Top 36 Employee Wellness Program Ideas In 2021 [Complete Guide]

Employee-Wellness-Program-Ideas

Are you looking for employee wellness program ideas for your office? We’ve got you covered.

Let’s look at how to design, name, and manage a wellness program at your organization!

How to Design and Run an Employee Wellness Program

If you implement wellness programs properly, it provides a significant return for a business.

Johnson & Johnson has stated that their wellness program has saved the organization $250 million over a six-year period, resulting in a wellness program ROI of $2.71 for each dollar invested!

Sure, this stat sounds good. But how do your design and run a successful employee wellness program?

Here are some steps to establish and design a workplace wellness program:

Conduct an employee survey

Doing an internal survey is a great way to determine what kind of things your employees want and would value. You can ask questions like:

“What are your health goals?”

“Do you think conducting wellness programs during office hours is helpful?”

“Do you feel that we could do more to support you with your physical and mental health? If so, how?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance on designing an employee survey, including examples of survey topic areas.

Leadership Support

Here’s a harsh truth: Your employee wellness program will not work without support from the leadership team.

It takes time, money, and resources to build and launch a successful employee wellness program. And leadership buy-in is critical for funding purposes, for guidance, for getting support throughout the organization, and for approving program policies and processes.

Appoint Well-being Champions

The next step is, creating an internal well-being champions’ team to lead your program and build a wellness culture in the organization.

Make sure that management sets clear and measurable objectives and supports them with a budget. Here are some responsibilities of the wellness champions’ team:

  • Evaluating the current workplace programs and policies
  • Assessing employee needs and preferences
  • Developing a wellness program plan and process (which includes a vision statement, goals, objectives, and activities) 
  • Monitoring and evaluating the wellness program

Establish a budget

It’s a critical step. Without a sufficient budget, the program will stall. While creating a wellness budget, include the cost of incentives or rewards, activities cost, marketing, and program design cost.

Decide wellness program incentives and rewards

Incentives or rewards are effective tools to increase participation rates and encourage individuals to complete a program. You can offer reward points that can be exchanged for shopping, gifts, food, or monetary awards.

Communication

It’s time to write and communicate the organization’s wellness policy. Well-executed wellness programs require exceptional employee communications. You can create a  dedicated wellness program webpage, signage, and posters in the office. 

Or create a document with all the information and send it to your company-wide Slack channel. Also, appoint a dedicated team to answer any questions or concerns your employees may have.

Keep posting new program updates in the Slack channel, company-wide newsletter, and emails.

Evaluating the results of the program

Did employee health improve? Are your employees more or less happy in the office? What’s the program participation rate? Program completion rates? Healthcare cost reduction?

Evaluating the results of your employee wellness program can answer all your questions. It’s the only way to determine if it’s working or not and understand what you can do to improve the results.

Top 36 Employee Wellness Program Ideas

1. Monday Motivations Session

Help your employees gear up for a long week by starting Mondays with a powerful motivation session. This will go a long way in boosting their morale and supporting their mental well being. 

2. Health resources and newsletters

Start a company newsletter highlighting the importance of health and wellness at the workplace. Introducing new ideas around fitness, nutrition, and wellness education can make your employees more aware and sensitive towards them. 

newsletter

3. Walking challenges

“All work and no walk make employees dull!” Introduce walking challenges at the workplace so that your employees will improve their wellness and give a break from the entire day’s sitting regime. 

Walking challenge

4. Flexible working hours 

Remember that your employees have a life outside of work, which is why the least you can do for them is to provide flexible work hours. Whether they’re working from home or at your workplace, as usual, make sure you respect their work hours. 

5. Encourage breaks 

The workplace can become a breeding ground for stress. And this can impact even your most hardworking and productive employees. Ask your employees to take short breaks between long work hours. 

6. Gym memberships

Provide your employees a gym membership for their physical fitness.

7. Fun games and activities

Ask your employees to participate in fun games and activities and make your office a fun place to work. Let them rejuvenate and bring out their competitive sides.

remote games

8. Yoga days

Partner with a trainer or professional organization to organize a yoga workshop (once or twice a month) at your office. 

9. Promote and reward healthy eating habits

Encourage healthy eating habits at the workplace. You can hold healthy eating challenges and reward people who manage to ditch the packet of chips for fruits.

10. Promote sleep

The most underrated key to wellness is a goodnight’s sleep. Invite experts and conduct webinars or sessions to promote the importance of sleep.

Promote sleep

11. Partner with wellness experts 

Partner with wellness experts for a session full of wellness education.

12. Cooking challenges

Let your employees have a potluck of healthy recipes cooked by themselves. Let the office vote for the best.

13. Incentivize smoking cessation

Incentivize your employees to quit smoking. Research suggests that financially motivated staff is more successful at quitting than non-incentivized. 

14. Go meatless day

Meat rich diets are linked to inflammatory diseases and are bad news for the planet. Ask employees to go meatless at least a day of the week. 

15. Participate in Marathon

A marathon can be a great initiative to give a break to your employees and encourage overall well-being. 

16. Indoor games

Fun indoor games at the workplace can be a real stressbuster on any hectic workday.

indoor games

17. Run fitness challenges

Be it scavenger hunt, wall sit-ups, or pushups, organize workplace fitness challenges to encourage wellness. 

18. 8-Glasses of water challenge

Make your employees track the days they have at least eight glasses of water. The winner at the end of the week wins the reward!

19. Offer surprise day-offs

Nothing gives a rejuvenating break than a surprise day off. 

20. Reward loyal employees

Offer special perks to your old employees to make them happy and engaged. Your loyal employees are your most valuable assets, and long service also needs to be properly recognized and rewarded.

21. Happy hours

Take your employees out for happy hours at the end of long stressful weeks.

22. Make your office pet-friendly

Allowing pets in the office can help in reducing stress and making people friendlier. Work/life balance is valuable for employees, and bringing one’s dog or cat to work can help employees feel they are closer to achieving that balance.

pet friendly

23. Throw a costume party

Costume parties are way more fun and encourage people to bring out their best, ultimately promoting well-being at the workplace.

24. Create a high five board

Put up the names of your employees on a board. Bring some magnetic hi-five hands and ask employees to move them to the side of the employee who did something positive.  

25. Implement an employee recognition program

A lack of recognition is one of the most common reasons why employees leave an organization. Implement an employee recognition program and make your team happy at work.

26. Walking meetings

Take your meetings to a brief walk instead of a boring room. Let your employees breathe in the fresh air. 

27. Healthy meals in the office

Offer healthy lunches and snacks to your employees. These perks make a big difference in how they feel about their company.

28. Offer mental health support

Not everyone talks about their emotional well being openly. For this reason, you must organize mental health support sessions in the workplace.  

mental health session

29. Plants in the office

Plants can add more to an office than a decorative touch. A little green goes a long way in encouraging well-being at the workplace. 

plants in the office

30. Group outings

Probably one of the best wellness activities for groups you can do is group outings. Arrange a group dinner or sports day to build a bond with them outside the work.

group outings

31. Volunteer days

Take some of your employees to volunteer for a cause every month. Not only will this be an excellent group physical exercise, but it also encourages team bonding. 

32. Practice gratitude

Ask employees to write three things they’re grateful for every day on a shared Google sheet for 21 days. This exercise will make them happy and improve their well-being.

33. Host a comedy show

Get tickets to a comedy show or invite a stand-up artist for an amazing heart lightening session of laughter.

34. Take stairs challenge

Make your employees ditch the elevator and switch to stairs for a healthy lifestyle. Post a note near the elevator reminding people to take the stairs instead.

stairs challenge

35. Alcohol and substance abuse support

Help your employees overcome any issues by organizing workshops and one-on-one sessions with counselors.

36. Organize a book club

To encourage your employees to read, you can start a virtual book club. It will enable them to engage in critical thinking and be open to differing opinions.

Things to Avoid – Employee Wellness Program

It’s important to understand what things you need to avoid to build a successful employee wellness program:

Don’t put too much pressure on employees

Don’t put too much pressure on employees (or biome overly aggressive). It can negatively impact your employees’ health and engagement.

Let them choose what activities are suited for them. If someone is not comfortable with a diet program, it’s not a good idea to push them hard.

Cost Prohibitive

Don’t spend too much money, resources, and time on your employee wellness program. If you don’t focus on program objectives and results, it can get expensive.

Distracting from Work

Does your wellness program fit into your company’s environment and culture? Wellness activities should not hamper one’s daily work and business. Avoid having these activities on days when you have critical business meetings.

How to Name Your Employee Wellness Program

What should you call your employee wellness program? Did you give it a name?

Take some time to choose a name that inspires your employees to participate in wellness initiatives. Here are some points that you should consider:

Memorable

Come up with a name that is easy to remember. It should look good on t-shirts, web page logos, and posters.

Catchy

Write a pun or a rhyme that helps your employees think positively about your program. Here are some of the possibilities:

Simple: Health Buddies

Rhyme: Dump the Plum

Acronym: M.B.F (Mindful Body Fitness)

Connect with your brand

Ask your marketing or branding team to write down all wellness words and connect them with the brand direction.

Inclusive words 

Try to use inclusive words like “team,” “group,” “heroes,” etc. Avoid gender-specific or body type words like “guys,” “strong,” “six-packs,” etc. Inclusive words encourage everyone to participate.

FAQs

What makes a wellness program successful?

Here are some points to make a wellness program successful:

– Support from the management is key to the success of your wellness program
– Regularly communicate the goals of the program
– Assemble a wellness committee
– Set a specific budget
– Evaluate the wellness program

How do I create a corporate wellness program?

In this guide, you’ll find the tips and ideas to create a corporate wellness program.

How much does a corporate wellness program cost?

A corporate wellness program typically costs between $3 and $7.50 per employee per month ($36 -$90/ year).

How can employee wellness programs be improved?

Here are some quick tips:

– Target specific employee health concerns
– Leverage employee wellness tools and technology
– Provide incentives to participate
– Creating health-promoting policies and environments at work

How do you promote employee wellness programs?

Here are some ways to promote wellness program:

– Hold contests
– Company newsletters
– Explains the benefits of wellness program
– Appoint a wellness committee to answer all the questions
– Set up a wellness library for employees with videos, books, and informational resources on improving health
– Posters around the office

Employee wellness programs can be difficult to manage. Springworks’ Employee Wellness Tool helps organizations to manage and maintain programs. Check It Out Now

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