WHAT IS A WELLNESS PROGRAM AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
By Melani De Sousa and Dara Nixayathirath
Organisational and environmental practices can significantly impact the health and wellbeing of employees, many of which go unnoticed. Workplace wellness programs are designed to assist organisations in implementing employee, organisational and environmental strategies, ultimately to improve overall health, wellbeing and safety in the workplace. The American 2021 Wellness Trends Report shows companies in 2020 prioritised wellness as a business objective more than they did in the previous year. Doing so can result in increased productivity, greater staff engagement, higher retention and more successful recruitment efforts.
What is a wellness program?
Wellness programs, or corporate wellbeing programs, provide evidence-based strategies and solutions to improve issues impacting employee health and wellbeing. Generally they focus on preventative measures to avert the onset of negative health outcomes and can reinforce workplace culture to assist workplaces in creating a more supportive work environment.(3)
An effective wellness program should be embedded in the organisation’s operations and not an “add on” to existing policies, processes or procedures. They may include health promotion programs, appropriate recognition and reward pathways, wellbeing and mental health policies, greater balance between job demands and responsibilities, flexible working arrangements, equal and fair opportunity, vocational training and more. Wellbeing workshops on the other hand are often 1-2 hour sessions focused on a specific topic such as mental health awareness, stress management, nutrition or communication.
An effective wellness program should be embedded in the organisation's operations and not an "add on" to existing policies, processes or procedures.
why are wellness programs important?
In September 2021, The Productivity Commission’s Working from Home report (2) found 44% of Australian employees are working from home, compared to around 20% prior to the pandemic. With more Australians projected to work from home post pandemic, learning to adjust and embrace these lifestyle shifts is more important than ever. For many, this means learning to work full-time whilst schooling children, running a household and adapting to the challenges that a blurred work-home life brings. Adopting healthy lifestyle behaviours and habits throughout this period can be pivotal in ensuring a positive state of mind, reduced risk of mental health issues and a maintained sense of balance. Corporate wellness programs can help employees achieve this balance despite being away from their physical office.
who creates wellness programs?
Wellness programs can be co-created by Human Resource Managers, Leadership teams and/or People and Culture specialists together with third party providers who specialise in workplace health and wellbeing. For smaller businesses an effective wellbeing program may be implemented entirely by an outsourced specialist to maintain cost efficiencies. Internationally we’re seeing an increase in companies implementing third-party wellness programs (49% in 2019 to 61% in 2020) with a growing demand for financial wellness, mental wellbeing and caregiving services.
the wellness workshop's wellness programs
The Wellness Workshop’s workplace wellbeing programs are created specifically to meet your organisation’s objectives, size, budget and resources. Strategies are evidence based and developed by our organisational psychologist, accredited wellness coach, accredited practicing dietitian, exercise physiologist, mindfulness teacher and personal trainer. This ensures strategies consider all aspects of mental, physical and vocational health to increase productivity and engagement while reducing staff absenteeism, high turnover and work-related stress. We believe no business is too small to implement initiatives that improve employee wellbeing, thus delivering a happier, healthier and more constructive workforce. Programs start from as little as $1499 with wellbeing workshops from $599.
For more information on how wellness programs or wellbeing workshops can improve your employees' health and wellbeing email email@example.com or call us on 0412 370 476
References & Resources
Shortlister. Insight/ 2021 Wellness Trends Report. https://www.myshortlister.com/insights/2021-wellness-trends
Productivity Commission 2021. Working from home. Research paper. Canberra. https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/working-from-home/working-from-home.pdf
Karen Smith. Why Workplace Wellness is Important. Capital Region Chamber. https://capitalregionchamber.com/business-resources/business-u/business-library/workplace-wellness-important/