The new big trend in the employment arena these days is “workplace wellness.” Workplace wellness is any workplace program, activity, or company policy created to support better health and well-being in the workplace with a goal to improve the overall health of each employee. Many companies are incorporating wellness programs with incentives into the health benefit plan for their workers. Employees seem to enjoy the perks of an employee-sponsored wellness plan and many companies are jumping on board with this new addition to their employee benefit packages. Your company’s wellness program may include:
- Weight-loss competitions
- Educational seminars and workshops
- Stop-smoking campaigns
- Health and Wellness screenings
- Exercise and Fitness programs
- Any company-sponsored program to improve overall health
What are the Benefits of Company-Sponsored Wellness Programs?
Employees are more productive and experience fewer absences when they engage in a workplace wellness program. Individuals who are healthy are more capable of performing tasks on the job in an efficient manner. Healthy employees have the energy to produce better results. Morale is higher among healthy employees, as well. Getting your employees to exercise and eat properly can impact your bottom line in a positive way. Research shows that companies that embrace workplace wellness programs may see profits rise and financial goals met more quickly.
Why the Trend in Company-Sponsored Wellness Programs?
As healthcare costs continue to soar, many employers are seeking innovative ways to help their employees maintain health and productivity with an effort to decrease health care expenses associated with prevention and chronic illnesses. Therefore, many of them are welcoming workplace wellness programs into their work environments. Research shows that workplace disease prevention and wellness programs have yielded positive returns on investment and benefits for employers resulting in reduced health care costs for companies, as well as healthier and more productive employees.
What are the Legal Aspects of Company-Sponsored Wellness Programs?
While workplace wellness programs have many positive aspects, you need to construct and implement your program to avoid any legal risks to your company. There are many different federal and state laws that employers need to be aware of regarding company-sponsored wellness programs. You do not want to be in violation of laws and legal requirements. Your employment law attorney can ensure you are following the applicable laws that pertain to your type of business and wellness program.
It appears that company-sponsored wellness programs will continue to have a significant role in the workplace. When investing in employees, employers are wise to provide a wellness program for them. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and employers are starting to see not only the health advantages but the financial rewards for keeping their employees healthy through a company-sponsored wellness program. You should speak with your business law attorney or employment law attorney before implementing any company-sponsored wellness program for your employees.