Health and Wellness Programs in the Workplace

Health and wellness programs should be part of an overall company strategy to promote healthy living in the workplace. Keep in mind, a health and wellness program might build off an existing health and safety program, but they are not the same thing. Unlike a health and safety program what has a legislative mandate (for example wearing hard hats at job sites), the purpose of a health and wellness program is to offer comprehensive health care over and above traditional employee benefits.

Here are some examples of a health and wellness program:

  • On-site fitness center (or private gym memberships)
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Transit alternatives
  • Paramedical services

There are many examples of quality health and wellness programs that are designed to improve the overall health and productivity of your workplace. For the purposes of this article we want to focus on the key steps to implementing a health promotion program:

Step 1. Leadership

Someone has to be take on the leadership role and be the main point of contact for the program. It could be by joint committee or simply your HR manager, but either way it requires support from senior management.

Step 2. Support

A health promotion program requires buy-in from everyone, including employees, union/worker representatives, management and your community. Local healthcare groups can include Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, local gyms, yoga studios, health food stores, etc.

Step 3. Identify Needs

You need to find out your employee’s needs, attitudes and preferences before implementing a health and wellness program. This can be accomplished through surveys, round table meetings, one-on-one interviews or anonymous suggestion boxes.

Step 4. Develop & Implement

Now that you have the leadership, support and you have identified the needs of your workplace, it is time to develop and put a plan into action. At this stage, it is crucial to educate and make your employees aware of the different aspects of your program. A quality health and wellness program already has employee input throughout each stage of the process.

Developing a plan involves setting realistic (and cost effective) targets and goals. Knowing the resources that are required is key to getting any initiative off the ground.

For Step 4, we recommend consulting an experienced Group Benefits advisor that specializes in health and wellness programs. Have an expert guide your plan will ensure its success and overall impact on your bottom line. Contact DENT Benefits today to learn more about health and wellness programs and how they can benefit your business.

The information in this material is derived from various sources. Material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources; however, no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please contact us for benefit, pension and insurance advice based on your corporate or personal circumstances.

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