Six things you should know about corporate wellness programmes

Doctor2Go TeamEmployment Brand, Wellness Programme ROI, Workplace Health, Workplace Wellness

1. There is no one size fits all.
Wellbeing programs fall along a spectrum, from clay workshops, yoga and massages to random acts of kindness, mindfulness workshops and Fitbit step count programmes. What’s important is that you’re elevating the role wellness plays in your company culture. Whether your wellness plan is new or established the goal is to continually make moves towards a healthier work environment, one tailored to the challenges experienced by your employees. Doctor2Go offers biometrics screening anytime and a focus on education delivered via video, with gamification for reaching goals. The key is creating a programme relevant to the needs you’ve identified in your teams.

2. Implementing wellness is a team effort
Beware of people who say corporate wellness is easy. While there is a vast amount of resources available, very few New Zealand or Australian companies have a dedicated wellness role or and most are yet to couple wellness into their employment brand benefits. Corporate wellness initiatives need a lead stakeholder and having a committee that represents employees and takes responsibility for communicating relevant offers ensures widespread distribution into your workplace community. Changes won’t happen overnight, but over time you’ll see your population health rise. Digital tools make it much more comfortable than before, and tools like Doctior2Go can be simpler to implement than education programmes. When population health and wellbeing is everybody’s responsibility, then everyone wins.

3. Wellness programmes should be inclusive
Having a programme that keeps fit people fit isn’t the goal. You need a range of options, so you don’t punish and exclude those who have a long journey ahead of them. Wellness programmes can be incredibly inclusive when you look at the needs of your workforce. We see an explosion of New Zealand companies with the Rainbow Tick, which we are supportive of, but did you know that 50% of gay men don’t disclose their sexual identity to their GP? Or did you know woman take more time off than men? Doctor2Go is one of the solutions most suited to helping those most in need. Workplace diversity and inclusion research continues to show the benefit of diversity in the workplace. This means your wellness programme needs to be a holistically healthy lifestyle which addresses all healthcare levels.

4. Wellness and digital go hand in hand
Technology is changing all the time. Your team knows about the latest Apple device, the newest drone and they have probably already downloaded Uber Eats. Employee wellness programmes are no different. Online platforms allow employees to access health information at all times and from any location. Wellness apps like Spingday track activity data from wearable devices like Fitbit and Doctor2Go uses blood pressure monitoring to help reduce the risk of heart attacks or stroke.

5. They’re paying off
The explosion in the popularity of wellness programs is well-deserved. Employee wellness programs are thriving in a lot of different ways. Wellness programmes reduce employee absenteeism, staff turnover and employee stress. The health benefits of your team’s improved exercise behaviour, reduced levels of alcohol, smoking cessation and lower risk of hospital entry reduce employment costs and improve workplace culture.

6. It’s not all about the ROI
Most companies get caught up in justifying the addition of another expense to the bottom line. Staff already get insurance and other perks, so it’s easy to focus solely on assessing the financial benefit. What matters most is creating a programme that is built for your team and the way they work. When a wellness programme helps your team to stay healthy, that’s what matters. As Richard Branson says, if you treat your staff right, they’ll do right by your customers. Wellness programs work for the company… and the employee because you’re prioritising employee health over profitability.