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Creating a wellness program: key questions for all businesses

Wellness programs continue to be the focus of many HR and company benefit discussions these days, and for good reason! A growing number of surveys have indicated that there are a lot of benefits attributed to supporting the health and wellbeing of staff. Employer provided health insurance continues to be the most popular employee benefit offered around the world, however interest in more holistic and preventative solutions is growing. This week, Pacific Prime discusses what key questions your business should consider when considering creating a wellness program for itself.

Reasons for thinking of a wellness program

Perhaps you’re still on the fence about whether it’s a good idea to be creating a wellness program. You’re not alone. According to a survey from the SHRM, two thirds of organizations experienced recruiting difficulties and skills shortages. Having a comprehensive benefits package can help both attract and retain the best talent, and a wellness program can be part of that.

Here are a few other things to think about if you’re not sure a wellness program is right for your business:

  • CareerBuilder says 61% of workers say they’re burned out in their current job
  • Three quarters of employers have viewed wellbeing as important to their staff and useful for recruiting and retaining talent
  • An Aflac study found two thirds of employees make healthier lifestyle choices as a result of their company wellness program
  • A HealthMine survey also highlighted that 38% of workplace wellness participants managed to reduce their sick day usage
  • 78% of companies now, according to Virgin Pulse, consider employee wellbeing to be a critical part of their business plans

Once you’re sure your company can benefit from one, creating a wellness program will require a bit of thinking and planning to ensure its effectiveness. Otherwise, you might end up spending a lot of money while receiving very few advantages in return.

Questions to ask when creating a wellness program

The best way to start off on the right foot when creating a wellness program is to think a bit about why you want one, what you want it to do, and how you want people to engage with it. As such, here are some handy questions to ask yourself before you start the process of gathering wellness program quotes:

What are your business goals and objectives?

Understanding whether you’re aiming to boost talent recruitment quality or looking to build upon your company culture will go a long way to helping you determine which wellness benefits will be the most effective for your company. You can also arrange goals and objectives by a macro and micro level; referring to big changes and small behavioural ones.

Some examples of goals your company might have are:

  • Reducing the number of sick leave days used by employees over X months
  • Improving staff satisfaction and engagement with the company by X%
  • Increasing the number of high level candidates applying for roles with the company
  • Cut turnover to X% annually

Having goals is also a handy way to measure the effectiveness of your wellness program over a period of time, ensuring you’ll know if you’re getting the best out of your benefits budget spend.

What type and scale of wellness benefits are you looking for?

Is your company looking to make a statement in its industry, or is it simply looking to stay competitive with its peers? Do you have a large budget for more expansive solutions, or do you need to keep a firm grasp on costs? All of these questions can help you understand what type of wellness benefit options will work with what your company needs.

Smaller wellness benefits might simply be a matter of your company offering pamphlets or brochures on health services. There are also subsidized gym memberships, nutritionist sessions, or access to Employee Assistance programs. The budget and level of organization needed to roll out the different wellbeing solutions will differ, and you’ll need to factor that into your plan.

Who are your employees and what are their needs/wants?

Staff at different ages will have different health needs. Some will be parents that may appreciate benefits that grant them more time to be with their family. Others might be young people working to afford overseas experiences, and having international coverage might be a benefit that they can truly engage with. Knowing the people you’re creating a wellness program for will make it easier to deliver something they’ll want to use.

For example, if your staff are older and not terribly active, driving a wellness campaign of employee registration for a local charitable marathon might be a waste of time and effort. Similarly, hosting retirement seminars for mostly younger staff might not see the sort of interest you might expect, given the time and money invested.

How will you engage your staff with their new wellness programs?

Communicating any new or changing benefits effectively to staff is important. The best and most successful benefits programs will all have a solid communication strategy behind them. This allows staff to better understand what their options are and how best to use them, and should include the following steps:

  • Start the communication plan as early as possible – You can find yourself under-prepared for staff questions and feedback if you leave it to the last minute
  • Tailor the message to match your staff – Just like the wellness benefits themselves, the most effective communication strategies are those made to fit their audience
  • Plan your approach – Work out the best way to educate your staff and give them time to connect with your new plan
  • Stocktake your communication tools – Whether it’s paper-based, via email, via your company intranet page, or via support from a third-party, make sure you know what’s available to you to help you get your message out

Being honest and transparent about any communication is also key to ensuring trust and higher engagement levels.

Getting support for creating a wellness program for your company

One of the best ways to plan, design, and negotiate an effective and engaging wellness program is to seek out the services of an experienced third party. A proper employee benefits broker, such as Pacific Prime, can really help you go through the stages of setting up not only a wellness program, but an entire employee benefits package that meets both the goals of your company and the needs of your staff.

In addition to benefits sourcing, Pacific Prime also offers a range of added value services that include:

  • Communication assistance and staff orientations
  • Administrative help and claims processing assistance
  • Annual claims data analysis and benchmarking
  • Bespoke in-house developed tools for accounting and plan management

Let our staff meet with you to show you why more than 3,000 corporate clients around the world choose the Pacific Prime difference for their employee benefits and wellness program creation. We’ve got a reputation for simplifying insurance, and will work with you to ensure your chosen benefits program will be a success.

For a free quote or to arrange a meeting, contact the team at Pacific Prime today.