On their face, employee wellness programs appear to be only about the physical health of a workforce. While these programs can and DO improve health, that’s just one of their critical benefits.
Another benefit? Managers and employees alike say that wellness programs, especially those that feature physical activity, generate new levels of engagement and productivity.
“I just have a lot more energy. I have more stamina. I feel like I have a clearer mind.” Our neighbors to the north at 1st Mariner Bank of Baltimore instituted a corporate wellness program in 2012 and have gotten a wildly positive response from their employees immediately. On top of the 700 pounds their employees collectively lost through the program, their program has also led to improved morale, higher energy levels, and less sick time.
And they are not alone. Here in Richmond, over 40 companies are Active RVA-Certified [[LINK to certification page]], prioritizing physical activity and wellness programs for their employees and facilitating improved performance and job satisfaction as they go.
A study published in Forbes reported that when asked, 77% of employees say “health and wellness programs positively impact the culture” where they work. “Employees become much more motivated and productive,” one of the study’s authors and CEO of Virgin Health Miles Inc, Chris Boyce, explains.
On top of job satisfaction among current employees, wellness programs and integrated opportunities for physical activity can be compelling recruitment tools to attract top talent. A workplace that cares about the health and happiness of employees is just seen as a better place to work and it’s those companies that earn themselves a competitive edge.