Do You Know About Your Company’s Corporate Wellness Programs?
Corporate wellness programs have emerged as a common employee sponsored benefit that is now available at about half of US employers with 50 or more employees; a group that employs three-quarters of the US workforce. (RAND.org)
Many companies now offer a broad range of wellness benefits ranging from multi-component programs to single intervention. Employers provide benifits through a vendor, group health plans or a combination of both. Programs include wellness and screening activities such as an HRA (Health Risk Assessment), to identify health risks as well as interventions to reduce risks and promote healthy lifestyles. Some of these interventions are primary, which target employees with risk factors for chronic disease and focus on lifestyle management, while others are secondary interventions where the goal is to improve disease control in employees with chronic conditions which focus on disease management. Among employers offering a lifestyle intervention, 72% offer a fitness-specific component to their program. (RAND.org)
There are several of benefits to employers who offer corporate wellness programs and Incentives. Some benefits include:
- reduced medical costs,
- reduced absenteeism,
- increased productivity, and
- increased morale and happiness in the workplace.
Exercise is a central component of corporate wellness programs. There are several of benefits of exercise to all employees including mommies and mommies-to-be. Such benefits may include:
- increased energy,
- increased focus,
- reduced stress,
- better control of weight management,
- fewer complications with pregnancy-related issues such as preeclampsia risk and gestational diabetes,
- easier labor and delivery, and
- strength and energy to play with your children and the capacity to juggle and balance the many components of life, family, friends, career and a social life in general!
With all of these benefits, it is surprising that many employees, including mothers and mommies-to-be, are not aware their company offers a wellness program and all the benefits provided to them.
Here how you can find out if your company offers any wellness benefits or how to initiate one:
1. Check with your Human Resources (HR) Department, Total Rewards Department or your company’s wellness champion to see if corporate wellness benefits are available. Employers often offer some type of wellness benefits including fitness discounts and subsidies through your company’s health plan, or directly through a direct vendor.
2. Some employers provide an on-site gym for employees to use. Take advantage of a quick workout before work, during lunch or after. Some employers are now offering extended lunch breaks, so employees have time to work out and shower to return to work. Imagine all the endorphins released for the second half of the day!
3. Many companies that support corporate wellness have health fairs throughout the year where the health plans and vendors they partner with come to support and educate employees on the benefits available to them.
4. If your company does not offer a corporate wellness program or fitness benefits then simply ask HR if they are willing to implement. Rally up a few interested colleagues and voice your needs together! This way, administrators can see there is a genuine interest and may be more willing to take the time to research the programs available to offer to employees. From my experience, establishing fitness partnerships is a straightforward process. Options range from reduced gym rates for employees to some employers who choose to subsidize employees gym memberships in general or incentive based on monthly usage.
So to all my working fit mommies and mommies-to-be who wish to incorporate wellness and fitness into their lifestyle, please check with your company as you may be missing out on some great benefits - Good luck in your fitness journeys!
Nicia is am a fit-mommy-to-be who last year made a career change to share and inspire a more proactive approach to wellness. As a Corporate Wellness Executive for one of the world’s leading fitness center chains, her role is to establish Corporate Wellness Partnerships with businesses, organizations, and government and educational institutions to inspire healthy and happy employees in the workplace.