I recently came across an article that recommended different types of wellness programs for organizations looking to reduce healthcare costs. There has been a lot of interest lately in the wellness incentive arena and have identified 5 distinct types of wellness programs that could be used separately or in conjunction with one another to reach a company’s wellness goals:
1) Health Risk Assessment Awards ~ Employees complete HRAs and earn a onetime wellness award. This wellness program is ideal for organizations looking for a simple way to get employees interested in their health and possibly even prevent and diagnose potential health related issues, this can provide a long term reduction of employee healthcare costs. This is the most popular type of wellness program for employees of any sized company.
2) Weekly Wellness Newsletters & Quizzes ~ Participants of this wellness program receive a paper or emailed newsletter and then log into their company’s online incentive program to take a quiz covering the wellness newsletter. Based on the number of correct responses or correct quizzes completed, employees can accumulate points to redeem wellness incentives.
This wellness program is ideal for companies looking to educate employees on healthy behaviors and encourage them to be interested in their own health and wellness issues. Wellness newsletters and follow up quizzes allow employees to gain new knowledge over time while earning awards to ensure interest is continuously generated. Both employees and their organizations see positive results and returns with this type of proactive wellness program.
3) Employee Assistance Reward Programs ~ Participants of these wellness programs have access to wellness and health related information, nutritional advice and opportunities for exercise. These comprehensive wellness programs provide employees with the tools to accomplish their health and wellness goals and rewards healthy behavior. Many different metrics are usually developed by a team of human resource personnel, managers and employees for this kind of program.
This wellness program is ideal for larger businesses looking to change employee lifestyles and health habits permanently over time. Employee assistance reward programs generate one of the highest returns on investment because they require commitment from employees at all levels to make an effort to adopt the wellness culture that begins to shape up the organization.
4) Physical Activity/Sponsored Events ~ Many corporations are latching onto this idea of sponsoring monthly walks/runs for different charities and offering rewards based on employee participation and performance. On a smaller scale, brown bag lunches and lunch hour promenades are also popular additions and may be held more regularly than events that take time to prepare.
Physical activity/sponsored events encourage employees not to just talk about wellness issues but actually encourage healthy and practical means of achieving health and wellness goals. This wellness program is ideal for employers looking for opportunities to be involved in the community and charity events while providing structured exercise and rewards for employees.
5) Team Health and Wellness Incentives ~ Teams of employees, as part of this kind of wellness program, are formed and given group and individual goals. Weight loss, smoking cessation, fitness and other goals are incorporated into team wellness programs.
This wellness program is ideal for companies looking to build teamwork within the organization and reach goals to permanently and effectively reduce healthcare costs for all employees while building teamwork skills and morale like no other wellness program. The support and trust that is seen between members of these wellness teams is best fostered when teams are encouraged with goals that never pit one participant against another.
These top 5 wellness programs are effective when used separately and in conjunction with each other and can range from simple, once a year awards to comprehensive employee health and wellness incentive programs. Check back next week for information on wellness program best practice advice so you can maximize the potential of your wellness initiatives.