Studies show that keeping employees healthy and happy leads to more productivity and fewer work days missed. Many companies have started workplace wellness programs for their employees.
According to the CDC, a workplace health program is a health promotion activity or organization=wide policy designed to support healthy behaviors and improve health outcomes while at work. Some policies include allowing time for exercise, healthy food options, and financial and other incentives for participation.
CareFirst, the health insurance company, recommends determining your company’s needs through a questionnaire to see what employees are looking for in a wellness program – weekly exercise, meditation, mentor programs, stretch breaks, or stress management programs.
For many companies, offering their employees rewards and incentives for participating in the program increases participation. Other companies take it a step further and turn participation into a competition for teams or individuals.
Other companies make it mandatory for employees to complete a wellness exam – or pay a higher price for health insurance. As of 2014, the Affordable Care Act expanded the employers’ ability to reward employees who participate in wellness programs and meet goals, while requiring those employees who don’t meet these goals pay more for their health coverage.
Overall, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to wellness programs. Companies with programs see fewer turnovers, and employees take fewer sick days.
But wellness programs shouldn’t just be focused on physical fitness, like counting calories or starting a running group. There’s a vital part of health that happens outside of work: sleep.
We suggest having employees track their sleep using SomnologyMobileDoc, an application that helps you better the quality sleep and identify potential sleeping disorders. Also, be sure to check out the Plex Sleep Scanner system (coming soon), a wearable device that tracks your breathing patterns while you sleep.
A well-rested employee is the best employee!