HR Trends

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Why Workplace Wellness?

Typical features of wellness programs are health-risk assessments and screenings for high blood pressure and cholesterol among others; behavior modification programs, such as tobacco cessation, weight management, and exercise; health education, including classes or referrals to service providers for wellness related advice; and changes in the work environment or provision of special benefits to encourage exercise and healthy food choices, such as subsidized health club memberships.

The poor health habits of many workers, growing rates of chronic disease, and the rising cost of health benefits have created new interest in workplace wellness programs. Employers are required by law to provide safe and healthy workplaces.The workplace must be free of recognized hazards, fromchemical exposure to lifting hazards.

Employers value these programs as a way to reduce absenteeism and employee turnover, and to offer a benefit that is appealing to many current and prospective employees. Some evidence also suggests that comprehensive wellness programs may pay off for employers by reducing their expenditures for employees’ health care or reduced premium contributions. These programs also impact positively on the bottom line. Choosing and implementing a meaningful wellness program canbe daunting!!!

Actively engage Employees

Wellness programs die when employees shun participating in them. There are a number of possible reasons for failure todraw interest, such as insufficient or ineffective means of creatingawareness around programs, charging too much (or at all) forparticipation, or expecting an unrealistic time commitment from employees. Sometimes,employees who are considered as “high-risk” (e.g., due to obesity,pre-existing health conditions, tobacco use, etc.) are hesitant toparticipate for a variety of reasons, including fear of discrimination. Encourage participation by engaging employees to participate in all steps, including design, planning, implementation and evaluation. Provision of privacy and confidentiality of individual’s personal health matters is paramount.



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