The Workplace wellness programme (WWP) aims for the prevention and intervention that reduces employee’s health risks. ‘Health Promotion’ according to the World Health Organization, can be defined as the “process of enabling people to increase control over their health”. A common setting to do this is in the workplace.
Here are a few reasons why your organization should consider implementing a wellness programme:
We see that low levels of productivity at the workplace can reduce efficiency, morale, and the motivation to work. Employees can be physically at work but mentally not there, what is referred to as presenteeism. Employees can improve performance significantly in productivity, workforce morale and engagement from a basic wellness programme. In which they are encouraged to make healthier lifestyle choices, manage their time more effectively, and release negativity and anxiety. A study shows a one year programme can increase productivity by 46%, and can increase up to 63% the longer the programme is in place.
A wellness programme can positively impact your company’s bottom line and generate savings by controlling employees’ healthcare costs and reducing absenteeism. The costs of neglecting a wellness programme is an increase in health risks, staff absences, and higher turnover. A wellness programme can prevent this by focusing on healthier employees, meaning fewer sick days and preventing health issues from arising. Decreasing the loss of working days can mean reducing an estimated cost of RM 2.27 million per organisation per year. Additionally, on average a wellness programme shows a Return On Investment (ROI) of 1:1.5, a positive ROI which shows the programme produces positive results.
How to start a wellness programme?
There is a proven 6-step strategy to successfully start a wellness programme:
- Organisational commitment: As with any major initiative it needs to start at the top, and management’s support and commitment to the programme is essential for employees to be able to direct themselves to a change behavior in the long-term.
- Incentives for employees: To be able to motivate employees, the organization can provide regular incentives such as encouraging friendly competition, recognition for accomplishments, rewards, and celebratory events.
- Effective screening/triage or survey: Providing regular checkups and health screening can help an employee be aware of their condition and detect any early issues. Health surveys recording demographics and exercise routines can also help gain a better understanding on areas to improve on.
- State-of-the-art theory and evidence-based interventions: This can add to the credibility of the programme and assures it to be successful.
- Effective implementation: A high quality implementation results in achieving the intended outcome and producing positive results. This is a critical step to indicate the effectiveness of the programme.
- Ongoing Programme Evaluation: We can learn a lot by listening to our own people. This step provides a reflection on the programme and gains feedback from employees, resulting in us to learn how to improve the programme in the future.
The wellness programme’s goal is to achieve the maximum health benefits of its employees. According to our data, it shows that over 70% of Malaysians have a high inactive lifestyle. If this continues, this may have negative outcomes to each employee, company, and country’s performance. Taken together, as employees spend more time sitting at work, this may be associated with decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, higher cost, and could possibly prevent success. Workplaces wellness has proved its effectiveness if practiced with integrity. It can lead to positive outcomes and business success.