So a common goal among almost any group is to lose weight or get healthier. The most common excuse? Not enough time. But what if working out was scheduled into your work day? What if it was encouraged by your employer to eat healthy through incentives and kick backs?
This is not from the land of make believe, ladies and gentlemen! There are companies all over the world that have invested in corporate wellness programs for their employees and are seeing phenomenal returns. So if you want to convince the powers that be that you need wellness programs at your place of work, this is the article for you.
Step 1: Explain to him exactly what a wellness program can be.
Really, a wellness program can be anything that is encouraging the mental and physical health of a company’s employees. This can include access to a gym, reduced health insurance premiums for people who get off of blood pressure medication, or providing counseling to quite smoking. The list goes on and on. The possibilities for programs are only limited by your imagination.
Step 2: Give her “businessy” reasons!
Health Promotion Journal published a review of 62 different studies of corporate wellness programs. Between these studies they found an average 25.1% decrease in absenteeism and 24.5% decrease in medical costs. The average return on investment (ROI) between these studies was 5.56. The author of this review recounts a story of telling a friend the benefits of corporate wellness programs:
“He asked me if workplace health promotion programs really saved any money. As I was prone to do all the time, and as I thought was appropriate given Mr. Greenwald’s business and investment acumen, I went into a detailed analysis of the results and methodological limitations of the studies that had been published by that date. He cut me off after a few minutes, saying ‘‘Wait a minute, did you say you have more than a dozen well-designed studies that show an ROI of 3:1? I have a lot less evidence than that when I have to make billion dollar investment decisions on new products!”
Step 3: Give them some examples of other companies finding success.
One example of the success of corporate wellness programs is the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin, Texas. Capital Metro gave their 1,282 employees access to gyms, personal trainers, dietary coaching, smoking cessation programs, cash incentives, and more. With this change, they experienced a 25% decrease in absenteeism. They also found a 2.43 ROI.
Step 4: Assure him that wellness programs will make you all more pleasant to work with.
Many wellness programs were recently implemented in Singapore. A study conducted on these companies showed an increase in employee satisfaction. There was also an improvement in the employees’ attitudes toward the company. When people feel taken care of, they tend to work harder.
Step 5: Tell her that you have what it takes to make a successful program!
Ok, you don’t have to do it alone, but the best programs are employee led! If it is a grassroots effort, people are way more likely to invest in it. Another way to ensure that the program is successful is to make sure that the goals are personal to the employees. Sure, it is great to save the company money, but when it comes to making a change for their own health, employees will find much better motivation in finishing a 5k, getting off of blood pressure medication, and being around for their kids for years to come.
I recently wrote an essay on this for a writing competition, if you are interested in reading the whole paper with more ways to convince your boss that wellness programs are a great idea click HERE. There you can also find citations to all of the studies referenced in this post.
Thanks for reading!
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