Wednesday Wisdom: Workplace Wellness Programs

Wednesday Wisdom: Workplace Wellness Programs

With the summer months fast approaching, many people have become inspired to begin focusing on their personal health and wellness, but this doesn’t have to be an entirely individual effort. Workplace wellness programs have gained popularity recently as a new employee benefit, one that can have just as many benefits for employers as employees.  These programs have often been viewed as a nice extra, not a strategic essential, now evidence tells a different story. There are hundreds of studies that indicate a positive return-on-investment for workplace wellness programs. While specific ROI outcomes can vary, the science is clear on one thing: people who are physically healthy miss fewer days of work. With workplace wellness programs, employers are able to greatly reduce absenteeism, making for a more productive and happier workforce all around.

Size is a big factor in the extent a company can take their wellness program, however it doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial to implement one. You don’t have to do it all. The basic idea is to listen to your employees’ health concerns or goals and then provide various activities, both physical and educational, that address these. You can start by making changes or offering activities that are absolutely free, such as holding regular stretch breaks, organizing a walking program, and starting potluck lunches based around healthy choices.

At Galen, we’ve put our own own spin on Wellness Programs by creating group challenges for all our employees to participate in. While we don’t currently have the ability to deploy full resources on these programs, we have still found them effective and engaging. We just wrapped up our Spring Wellness Challenge, which was similar to our holiday one, outlined below, making it easy to re-implement (a trick for smaller businesses who don’t have the full time resources to dedicate to a large-scale program).

Looking for inspiration? Here’s the wellness program we set up for the holiday season:

Holiday Wellness Challenge

We all know that the holidays offer some serious pitfalls for healthful living. Schedules get more hectic, and it’s harder to squeeze in exercise. Foods get more calorie-dense and portions get more generous. Plus, it’s harder to say no to a coworker’s homemade holiday treats.. So to make the path to wellness easier, we created this challenge:

Galen’s Wellness Challenge

  • Do the “Noon Walk” – walk a mile during lunch, to/from work, or participate in a “Walking Meeting” and count the miles, each mile counts for 1 point

  • Exercise for 30 minutes – every 30 minutes counts for 1 point (has to be separate from the “noon walks” time)

  • Compete in a community event such as a Walk or a Race – participation and completion counts for 5 points (1 bonus point for taking pictures to be used for Galen social media!)

  • Cook all your meals for the day (freezer meals don’t count—they must be from scratch!) earn 3 points –1 point/meal (1 bonus point for making all three meals!)

For every 10 points you earn you’ll be entered into our prize drawing. Points will self-recorded via a shared spreadsheet. We will be providing team support and updates along the way! Start your New Year’s Resolution early (or maybe restart it from this year) and get healthy this holiday season!

For any company health & wellness or health & technology questions, contact us below: 

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