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Workforce Wellness: Benefits and 4 Ways to Get Started

January 12, 2024

The benefits of supporting employee wellness have been well-established and inspired businesses far and wide to implement physical fitness initiatives. However, physical health is just one piece of employees' overall well-being. Learn how to support your employees in all areas of their health.

The Link between Workforce Wellness and Human Capital

Each year, burnout and turnover cost businesses an estimated $322 billion, and 75% of medical costs are due to preventable health conditions. The benefits of a company wellness program extend far beyond the economic impact, however.

Prioritizing the health and well-being of employees can change the entire trajectory of a company. Effective wellness programs decrease absenteeism, increase employee retention, boost productivity, and improve overall morale.

A Holistic Approach to Employee Health

Successful workforce wellness programs do more than encourage employees to watch their weight or drink enough water. Instead, they address all of the factors that can impact employee well-being.

According to Gallup, the five elements that individuals need in order to thrive in their lives are:

  • career well-being
  • social well-being
  • financial well-being
  • physical well-being
  • community well-being

Ultimately, successful workforce wellness initiatives address all these elements by considering a holistic take on a person's well-being. Here are a few ways organizations can address all aspects of their employees' health.


Put mental health support structures into place.

According to the CDC, 75% of doctor visits are stress-related. Mental healthcare is just as important as physical healthcare, but employers may struggle with introducing strategies that support mental health in the workplace.

Train leaders to recognize signs of mental health struggles so they can provide the appropriate support to members of their team. Provide services that emphasize the value of strong mental fitness such as online counseling and mental health workshops.

Implement mental health days in your business and create a policy that encourages employees to take them, such as providing one day each quarter that doesn't roll over.


RELATED: How to Support Your Staff with Employee Mental Health Programs


Incorporate Technology

Digital wellness programs are often the first thing that comes to mind when you think about using technology to encourage workforce wellness. And while there is a lot of value in them, it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to supporting employee health with digital solutions.


Online Wellness Services

Used to its fullest extent, technology can empower an individual to adopt a healthier lifestyle in all areas of their life. Digital wellness solutions include:

  • activity tracking
  • telehealth services
  • resources on nutrition, stress management, financial planning, healthy lifestyle choices, and more
  • online physical fitness classes
  • virtual wellness challenges
  • family wellness platforms and services

Schedule Social Connection Initiatives

You can't expect employees to build relationships outside of their immediate team unless you foster an environment where social connections are encouraged.

Create opportunities for social connection both vertically and laterally, such as a mentorship program, milestone celebrations, coffee pairing meetings between different teams, and holiday family events.


Social Connection in a Remote Setting

Remote employees are especially prone to a lack of social connection, and some employees may only know each other by the sound of their voice on the phone. A lack of physical proximity can make it difficult to build meaningful relationships within a team.

Schedule virtual events that inspire personal connection and encourage employees to discover things they share in common, such as online happy hours on Friday afternoons or scheduled coffee chats that allow for casual conversation.


RELATED: Virtual Wellness Challenge Ideas: 20 Ways to Support Employee Wellbeing


Female employee talking over teams in home office

Prioritize Community Involvement

Corporate volunteerism isn't just a feel-good fad, but an initiative that positively impacts everyone involved. People who volunteer tend to be more supportive coworkers, perform their job tasks more effectively, and have a vision that aligns with the mission of their employer.

The key to encouraging community involvement is to create opportunities for employees to volunteer in a meaningful way. Seek out community partners who would benefit from the efforts of your employees, such as:

  • foster care services
  • a food bank or hunger relief organization
  • senior centers and elderly care facilities
  • local nonprofits
  • housing and homelessness resources
  • school or educational program

Volunteer initiatives could be on-site, such as a clothing drive, or off-site, such as staggered appointments to read with local schoolchildren during Read Across America week. Offer a variety of options that employees can explore so that they can join an initiative they feel equipped and inspired to participate in.


Emphasize a Healthy Work Environment

From Monday to Friday, people spend approximately half of their waking hours engaged in work. A healthy work environment ultimately encourages a healthy lifestyle.

For a business with on-site employees, a healthy work environment may include a fitness facility, healthy snack options, and even resources such as a part-time nurse or nutritionist. Ergonomic workspaces such as adjustable desks and proper lighting also encourage physical wellness.


RELATED: Setting Boundaries at Work: What it Means and How to do it


Infusing Wellness Into Your Procedures

Whether employees are working in-person or remotely, a culture of wellness is established when employers implement practices that encourage physical and mental well-being.

Management should model work-life balance so that employees feel comfortable with setting boundaries and prioritizing life outside of work. Encourage reasonable working hours and provide flexibility in work schedules when able.

Remembering that employees are people first and employees second can go a long way when you're trying to evaluate how well your work environment supports employees.


Bring Workforce Wellness to Your Organization

Transform your workforce wellness with Terryberry's employee wellness programs. Our wellness challenges are designed to create a healthy workplace and encourage healthy habits that outlast the challenge itself.

Terryberry’s wellness programs make it easy to build, run, and track your own customized challenges and reward system. Whether you want to build camaraderie or encourage physical and mental wellness in your workforce, our services are designed to help you reach your goals and achieve your vision.

We're here to help you build your unique wellness challenge, onboard participants, and track participation data along the way.

Ready to get started? Let's talk.