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!
Here’s the List of 43 Employee Wellness Program Ideas
- Monday motivations session
- Health resources and newsletters
- Walking challenges
- Flexible working hours
- Encourage breaks
- Gym memberships
- Fun games and activities
- Yoga days
- Promote and reward healthy eating habits
- Promote sleep
- Partner with wellness experts
- Cooking challenges
- Incentivize smoking cessation
- Go meatless day
- Participate in Marathon
- Indoor games
- Run fitness challenges
- 8-Glasses of water challenge
- Offer surprise day-offs
- Reward loyal employees
- Happy hours
- Make your office pet-friendly
- Throw a costume party
- Create a high five board
- Implement an employee recognition program
- Walking meetings
- Healthy meals in the office
- Offer mental health support
- Plants in the office
- Group outings
- Volunteer days
- Practice gratitude
- Host a comedy show
- Take stairs challenge
- Alcohol and substance abuse support
- Organize a book club
- Fitbit subscription
- Meditation app subscriptions
- Wellness/happiness budget
- Employee assistance program (EAP)
- Massage therapy coupons
- Health Screenings and Check-ups
- Financial Literacy Courses
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 pulse 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.
Here’s a harsh truth: Your employee wellness program will not work without support from the leadership team.
Building and launching a successful employee wellness program takes time, money, and resources. And leadership buy-in is critical for funding purposes, guidance, 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.
Springworks’ employee recognition and rewards platform automates the process of creating, promoting, and incentivizing your employees.
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. Use poster templates to create visually compelling posters that effectively communicate your company’s wellness policy. To create a lead-generating webpage, you need to know how to develop a website, at least in general terms. This knowledge will enable you to avoid costly mistakes and speed up the delivery.
Alternatively, you can 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 43 Employee Wellness Program Ideas
You know the saying, “healthy mind, healthy body.” It’s a cliché, but there’s some truth to it. If your employees are stressed, they’re not going to be as productive. That’s why it’s important to invest in their wellness. Luckily, there are a lot of employee wellness program ideas out there. However, you must find the right one which fits your company’s culture and budget.
Here, we will explore some of the most popular employee wellness program ideas so that you can choose what’s right for you.
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.
3. Walking challenges
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 with a gym membership for their physical fitness.
7. Fun games and activities
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 or other healthy fast food options.
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.
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. You can hold a marathon for your employees and reward them with marathon medals after they complete the run. This will give your employees a break and encourage an overall sense of well-being.
16. Indoor games
Fun indoor games at the workplace can be a real stressbuster on any hectic workday.
17. Run fitness challenges
Be it scavenger hunts, 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.
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 aboard. 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 for 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.
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 employee well-being at the workplace.
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.
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.
35. Alcohol and substance abuse support
Help your employees overcome any issues by organizing workshops and one-on-one sessions with counsellors.
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.
37. Fitbit subscription
There are a number of different ways to incorporate a Fitbit subscription into an employee wellness program. Here are a few ideas:
– Offer a discount on the monthly subscription price for employees who sign up for a Fitbit account.
– Give employees the option to purchase a Fitbit through their health insurance plan.
– Provide Fitbits to employees as part of a corporate wellness initiative.
– Encourage employees to participate in fitness challenges and competitions that use Fitbit data to track progress.
38. Meditation app subscriptions
Meditation apps are a great way to encourage employees to take a break and clear their minds. There are many subscription-based meditation apps available, such as Headspace and Calm.com.
Encourage employees to sign up for a meditation app by offering a free or discounted subscription.
Meditation apps can help employees reduce stress, improve focus, and boost productivity. Encourage employees to use the app during work breaks, before meetings, or any time they need a mental break.
39. Wellness/happiness budget
When it comes to employee wellness programs, one size does not fit all. The key is to find what works best for your company and your employees. But where do you start?
One way to get started is to create a wellness/happiness budget. This will help you allocate funds towards wellness initiatives and measure the return on investment (ROI).
40. Employee assistance program (EAP)
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a confidential counselling and referral service that can help employees deal with personal and work-related problems. EAPs can provide employees with counselling, legal services, financial planning assistance, and other services. Many employers offer EAPs as part of their employee benefits package.
EAPs can help employees deal with various issues, including stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relationship problems, and financial difficulties. Employees can typically access EAP services by calling a toll-free number or meeting with an EAP counsellor at their workplace.
41. Massage therapy coupons
“Massage therapy coupons are great to show your employees you care about their wellness. By offering them a discount on massage therapy, you can help them relax and rejuvenate. This is a great way to show your employees you care about their wellbeing and want to help them reduce stress.”
42. Health Screenings and Check-ups
Arrange on-site health screenings or partner with local clinics for regular check-ups. Early detection of health issues, encourages preventive care and shows a commitment to employee health.
43. Financial Literacy Courses
Offer courses on financial literacy to empower employees in managing their finances. You can also offer sessions with financial advisors to assist employees in planning for their retirement.
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.
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.
Avoid adopting a generic wellness program that doesn’t cater to the diverse needs and preferences of your workforce. Consider individual differences and offer a variety of wellness options to accommodate various interests and lifestyles.
Offering wellness activities that are inaccessible or inconvenient for all employees can lead to exclusion. Consider diverse schedules and locations to make wellness initiatives inclusive.
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:
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.
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.
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
In this guide, you’ll find tips and ideas to create a corporate wellness program.
A corporate wellness program typically costs between $3 and $7.50 per employee per month ($36 -$90/ year).
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
Here are some ways to promote wellness programs:
– Hold contests
– Company newsletters
– Explains the benefits of the 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
Originally published on Jan 22, 2021 11:42 AM, updated Dec 01 2023