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Company Wellness Programs: Bank or Bust?

When it comes to company wellness programs; unfortunately, the Field of Dreams line of “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply. Well-being includes elements other than the physical kind.

Companies’ financial investments and rigorous efforts to take care of their employees should warrant better results, so why do a mere 24 percent of employees at companies with wellness programs participate? While intentions are in the right place, wellness programs require more than a gym to be successful.

The “forgotten” four

If companies want to maximize overall effectiveness and enhance engagement, they no longer can ignore the other crucial elements that define well-being. The following four can help you get the best out of your employees every day:

  1. Purpose: knowing the impact their work has on the bigger picture
    Sometimes we get so laser-focused on a task at hand that we forget to look at the bigger perspective. Take a moment, if even once a month, to bring team members together to share accomplishments and discuss different projects and the impact they have overall.
  2. Social: having supportive relationships and positive influences in their lives
    “Thank you” goes a long way. Small signs of support increase positive thinking 10 times over. Show your employees you appreciate the time they put in and give advice when needed.
  3. Financial: feeling secure and stable with their economic position
    This one almost goes without saying, but compensate fairly. However, money aside, growth opportunities are another way to help employees feel secure and stable. Offer ongoing training courses so employees can grow their skills not only in their area of expertise, but beyond as well. Also, the financial situation of the company affects employees, too, so keep them in the loop. If the budget allows, put flat-screen TVs up around the office that highlight stock standings and business achievements.
  4. Community: enjoying where they are and taking pride in sharing that with others
    Corporate life often comes colored in the shade of gray. Liven up those cubicle walls by encouraging employees to have decorating competitions. As the adage goes, “the same boiling water that softens potatoes hardens eggs. It’s all about what you are made of, not your circumstances.” The same holds true in business: If you create an inviting and fun environment, they will respond and react accordingly.

All these elements are interconnected, and in order to achieve overall satisfaction, people must find peace in every category. A Gallup study suggests that adults who are thriving in all five elements are 81 percent less likely to look for a new employer.

Even the best of intentions can be a bust if the focus isn’t fine-tuned. Businesses that expand their well-being approach to encompass all five elements will see improvements to their bottom line and gain a competitive advantage from employees’ improved productivity, reduced turnover and increased happiness at work.