We understand it's only August and we're still five months away from ringing in the new year, but hear us out — it's never too early to start brainstorming your 2024 wellness plans. Before you know it, life will get busy during the holiday season and your priorities will shift, projects are almost guaranteed to fall through the cracks. Don't let your employee wellness program be one of them.
As we coast into the last few months of 2023, we're here to help you plan ahead and put together a successful wellness plan for next year.
The time to plan is now.
The sooner you plan and implement a wellness program, the sooner you can unlock the potential of your employees and your company. A common misconception is that wellness programs are only offered during open enrollment season — but they can be rolled out any time of the year.
Ideally, they should launch when your company leadership has the time to properly plan and communicate the program. If you start planning for 2024 now, you can motivate your team and kick off the new year with a bang.
It's the best time to invest in your greatest asset — your employees.
There’s no better time to show your employees you care than right now. Aside from addressing high healthcare costs and saving money, investing in your employees' health and well-being is just a kind thing to do. And it's crucial for the success of both your employees and your company's bottom line.
When a company shows appreciation and care for its employees, those employees, in turn, are likely to appreciate the company. According to Gallup, they also tend to show increased productivity and loyalty.
Getting started with your employee wellness plan.
Wellness is an important part of your workplace culture. Here are a few quick tips to get started.
Meet with senior management.
They're responsible for thinking about the bottom line, so show them how a wellness program can help make your organization be more efficient and profitable. For example, employee wellness programs can help improve health care costs, absenteeism, productivity, morale, retention, and loyalty.
Create a wellness committee.
When developing, proposing, and rolling out new wellness initiatives, you don’t want to fly solo. A team can help cover all of your bases. Make sure your group includes a diverse selection of employees who can give you realistic feedback on the initiatives. And remember — employee well-being is about more than just physical health; it includes emotional, social, and financial health as well.
Assess what your employees need.
To figure out what your employees need and want from a wellness program, ask them. A health assessment can offer valuable guidance. This information will capture useful data on topics like: demographics, health risks, wellness habits, chronic conditions, employees’ interests in specific wellness activities, perceptions of your culture and ideas for improving it, and biometric information (data on cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels, etc.)
Develop your plan of action.
Now is the time where you can sit down and map out your wellness strategy. First, you'll want to articulate what the program will achieve and how it will help employees and their families. Next, establish employee education and how you'll get the word out. Confirm your budget, and then choose activities relevant to company culture that will address your wellness needs, like preventive health screenings, group fitness classes, or stress relief activities.
You'll also want to make sure you set "SMART" goals: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific. For example: Achieve 45% participation in step challenges by December 2024.
Offer incentives to boost participation.
People love feeling motivated. Give your employees a reason to participate in your wellness program. And make sure you offer incentives for achieving small steps — not just reaching goals. Offer opportunities to move at work, such as group walking at lunch or walking meetings. You could also provide subsidized gym memberships. Encourage the use of fitness wearables to help monitor activities, like steps or exercise minutes.
Or, you could even offer company swag, like water bottles, coffee mugs, or earbuds. And flexible scheduling and telecommuting are also great low-cost motivators.
Employers who invest time and energy into a strong wellness program can reap the benefits of a healthier workforce — and getting started is easier than you think. Following these steps can quickly put you on the path toward better wellness at work, for a stronger, more productive company tomorrow. OnSite's tools and resources can get you there. Let’s help you get started.