Innovative Employee Health and Wellness Offerings

January 29, 2019

Two workers conducting stretches while seated in ergonomically correct chair
Kip Soteres

It's easy to turn to the better-known innovators to find interesting trends for your employee wellness incentive program, but you don't have to work at Google to uncover outstanding examples. You already know that workplace wellness programs help employees become healthier, more productive, more engaged and more likely to stay with your company. Science News, for example, reports on a University of California Riverside study that shows how wellness program can increase productivity by one full day per month.

The 2018 UnitedHealthcare Wellness Check Up Survey shows that employees agree. 53 percent of employees with a wellness program say that they have "noticed an improvement in their health," while 56 percent "took fewer sick days."

Here are some amazing ideas to help you differentiate your offering in ways that employees will appreciate.

A Fool for Fitness

Look no further than The Motley Fool for an employee wellness incentive program that rewards healthy habits. Their so-called Foolish Benefits include in-house health classes, subsidized massages, an annual health fair, flexible paid time off and more.

An Accent on Wellness

Accenture is a global consultancy with many employees working in high volume, high stress environments and logging hundreds of hours of travel. Their workplace wellness programs help employees by focusing on their practical realities. Monster.com reports benefits including, "employee assistance programs, which provide confidential support for issues like stress, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety." Accenture also includes access to Teladoc, a telemedicine service that gives employees 24/7 access to care regardless of location. Perfect for an organization with many traveling employees.

Healthier Lives by Design

In addition to onsite guided meditation classes, Genentech puts heavy emphasis on creating an environment to promote a healthy mind, body and spirit. Their Buildings 34 and 35 provide ample outdoor views and natural light to help employees feel energized and motivated while they work. They also feature comfortable neighborhood workplaces to encourage innovation and interaction in a welcoming social space. Centralized stairs, open spaces and clean, attractive settings also encourage employees to get up and walk.

Hasbro Health for Families

Hasbro is a global toy maker, and as such it makes sense for it to place special emphasis on family-centric benefits. Their workplace wellness programs help employees bridge their work life with parenting, and they do it with generous paid leave for biological and adoptive parents. The company also provides foster parent assistance. Strong employee networks and wellness surveys ensure that Hasbro's traditional wellness offerings stay aligned to current health trends and employee interests.

Ergonomic Furniture Unlocks New Opportunities

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) keeps a page of success stories associated with ergonomics and ergonomic furniture, citing Tyson, ConAgra, Pitney Bowes and Lockheed Martin among others. Lockheed Martin in particular has introduced wellness innovations that meet employees where they work including "Truck Driver Yoga" that addresses the unique physical strains that come with working in the transportation industry.

Wellness Where You Eat

Several companies include subsidized nutrition as part of their employee wellness incentive program. ECOS Earth Friendly Products offers an onsite garden where employees can pick fresh produce right off the vine. Sparks offers healthy, subsidized five dollar lunches and ergonomically friendly standing desks as well.

Custom Wellness To Match Your Corporate Values

There are many ways to innovate when it comes to creating your employee wellness incentive program. You can't do everything, so make sure to survey employees to understand what they will value most. Whenever possible, make sure that the added touches and perks align with your company, its vision and values, and its broader industry. Companies that do this well attract employees who will appreciate your wellness offerings and be more likely to stay as they grow and develop.

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