wellness companies

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Wellness Companies

A wellness company helps other businesses establish programs to improve the personal well-being of its workers. These companies use awareness and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to boost the quality of life of the individuals.

Wellness companies provide tailored, personalized plans per individual and business. The plans are the result of using expertise, guided experience, and opinions. The goal is to improve individual health so they’re productive, less of a health insurance strain, and to create a happier atmosphere.

Have you considered promoting healthy lifestyles for your employees? Great!

Let’s explore the common mistakes when choosing a provider before you make the decision on which company to hire.

Five Common Mistakes of Wellness Companies

There are hundreds of wellness companies across the United States. That’s not including the thousands of smaller businesses offering these services. This makes the process of choosing the provider quite the challenge. It’s not only about the program but whether the info and guidance align (and stick) with the workforce.

What better way to weed out the low-quality contenders than to learn of the common mistakes? Let’s take a look at five that are red flags.

1. Incentives (without guidance)

Effective wellness programs use incentives to motivate employees to keep their healthy lifestyle and routines. These incentives are monetary bonuses but may also include merchandising, extra vacation days, and flex time.

Unfortunately, not all wellness programs lead to commitment. Incentives provide a positive reinforcement. But, so should the routine by rewarding activity and reaching milestones.

2. Inclusion and competition

The introduction of an incentive-based wellness program could lead to confrontation without the proper direction.

One would hope for positive competition to drive employees. Though, tensions between management and the workforce could exacerbate with this new outlet to compete. This could result forming inclusion that deters others from committing. Others do not want to commit because of the hostile environment.

3. Convoluted tracking & reporting

The wellness program is effective when biometric data is recorded often and used to make logical decisions on how best to motivate participation. A program that tries to factor dozens of data points creates a convoluted system that’s hard to track and report upon.

Instead, focus on one or two metrics:

  • Activity levels
  • Weight loss
  • Morale
  • Health care costs

Start small (weight loss) and work upward to bigger wins (health care costs) to determine the success of the program. Over time you’ll have the opportunity to expand your data set and measure a larger sample of biometrics. But, keep it simple for now when first starting out.

4. Commitment (both sides)

Healthy living isn’t accomplished in a few short weeks. Commitment must be the same as one would approach lifestyle changes versus a quick flash-in-the-pan trial of a diet.

The commitment needs to come from two angles:

  • Continual milestones, goals, and activity
  • Leading by example

The workforce will not commit if the higher-ups do not take part. The leadership needs to be present the same as any other area of the business. Practice what you preach. Do so and the employees will find the motivation to keep going.

It’s during this time to measure the mental well-being of the individuals as well.

Employees will develop the stamina and muscle to do the routines. Yet, if they aren’t emotionally stable and focused this can result in relapse. Use meetings, incentives (see above), and helpfulness to motivate those struggling so they do not lose their will to continue.

5. Lacking the ease of access

The tools and resources should not take considerable effort to find or use. This includes access to exercise equipment, healthy foods, and support (online, in-person, or over-the-phone).

Display results and community achievements with the discretion of the participants. Displaying these achievements encourage peer support. It also provides visual aids to understand progress.

Finding the Fit in Fitness

The mistakes made by wellness companies are beneficial. Meaning they are indicators to cut out the majority that isn’t aligned with your goals. Work your way backward through the selections and then consider the factors that make for a good fit with these programs. This way you have a great balance of what (and what not) to look for in these companies.

Justifying the Costs of Wellness Companies

Many business owners are skeptical of the return on investment with wellness programs. It’s easy to see why considering the costs to install these programs and the possible resistance that may be present within the workforce.

Studies have concluded that wellness programs do not cut costs but they do cut hospitalizations. The data collected showed that while costs associated inpatient hospital visits decreased there was an increase to out-patient services.

“At BJC, we understand that changing behavior to improve human health is a journey that is ongoing,” said Steve Lipstein, BJC president and CEO. “It cannot be easily measured in dollar cost savings. Wellness programs are about giving employees the information they need to understand and manage their personal health. Cost savings may follow over time, but nothing is more valuable than achieving and staying in good health.”

The justification for the investment in wellness companies should tap into this long-term goal. Critics agree that in order for the programs to work there must be trust in the system. If this trust is present then employee well-being and morale increases. This will lead to lower health costs, higher employee retention, and reduced absenteeism.

The result? A 3:1 return on investment.

Final Thoughts

We can all agree that promoting lifestyles that increase worker satisfaction and health is a good thing. Wellness programs are a great option for those that care for the well-being of their workforce. They’re easy to install but come with a host of mistakes unless you stay sharp and avoid these pitfalls covered in the article.

Need help choosing the right wellness company for your business? Take a look through our extensive network or get in touch for a personalized suggestion. We’re happy to help you find the perfect match!

lifestyle counseling

Why Everyone (Healthy and Not) Needs Lifestyle Counseling

You might have heard it said that America doesn’t have health care, but instead has “sick care.”

This comment reflects that fact that, of the money spent on health care in the United States, 75% is spent on treating preventable diseases. In other words, Americans spend more money treating sick people than promoting behaviors that prevent sickness.

But many folks are working to change this by taking charge of their own wellness. One way to do this is with healthy lifestyle counseling.

Depending on your current situation, lifestyle counseling can help you either improve or maintain your health. Let’s look at some of the ways it can benefit you personally.

What Is Lifestyle Counseling?

The purpose of lifestyle counseling is to help a patient identify factors that affect their wellness and to learn better habits and behaviors. Like other types of counseling, health counseling is centered on directed conversations between the patient and the provider.

Lifestyle counseling can focus either on preventative measures or on behaviors to alleviate current ailments. For instance, a patient with a family history of high cholesterol may seek health counseling to learn good diet habits. By contrast, a patient with diabetes may benefit from counseling to learn habits to maintain their condition.

What Kinds of Behaviors Will Counseling Address?

When you visit a lifestyle counselor, they ask a variety of questions about your daily habits and practices. This helps them to get a better idea of what factors could be affecting your health.

For instance, most lifestyle counselors will ask questions about your eating habits. This will help them identify whether your diet is healthy.

In some cases, a counselor may identify foods in your diet that could be adversely affecting you. For example, while you may not have noticed that you tend to experience stomach problems after eating dairy or eggs, a lifestyle counselor might notice this.

Of course, exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition. Based on your current level of fitness, they will recommend exercises that are appropriate for you.

A counselor will also ask about your sleep habits. They typically ask how long you sleep, and whether you sleep through the night.

Sleep allows the body to heal itself and manage stress. If the counselor notices that your sleep is irregular, they can help you identify habits to promote better sleep.

Finally, they will also ask about your relationships with your friends and family. While this might not seem relevant to your overall health, it actually has a big impact on it. People who have supportive relationships in their life are more successful in implementing healthy activities.

What Are the Benefits of Counseling?

If you are generally healthy, you may feel that you do not need health counseling. But the truth is that both healthy and sick people can benefit from counseling.

Avoid Preventable Illnesses

As we discussed at the beginning of this article, most health costs in the United States are related to treating preventable conditions. One of the biggest benefits of health counseling is learning behaviors to avoid these conditions.

For instance, research indicates that the average cost of treating type-2 diabetes over a lifetime is $85,000. Investing in lifestyle counseling could help a patient learn to manage their sugar intake early in life, making it less likely that they will develop diabetes. Preventing these kinds of chronic illnesses will lower patient health care costs significantly.

Another large source of health care costs is obesity-related disease and complications. Factors related to metabolic syndrome, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can be expensive to manage. Adopting healthy eating and regular exercise can reduce the likelihood of developing these illnesses.

Manage Stress

Healthy eating and exercise are not the only lifestyle factors to consider when seeking health counseling. Mental health-related issues like stress and anxiety can also be addressed with health counseling.

Stress is related to many adverse health symptoms, including muscle pain, insomnia, chest tension, and headaches. Counseling can help patients learn strategies to combat stress. These include breathing routines, exercise, and meditation.

Get a Full Picture of Your Health

One of the problems with America’s approach to healthcare is that it can sometimes be fragmented. If you are experiencing stomach pains, you will visit a gastroenterologist. If you have trouble sleeping, you will seek out a sleep specialist.

Each of these specialists will look at one aspect of your health and will respond to that aspect. As the old saying goes, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This can prevent physicians from identifying the connections between varied symptoms.

By contrast, a lifestyle counselor works to find the root causes of symptoms. For instance, if you are having digestive problems, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain, a lifestyle counselor may be able to identify stress or anxiety as the root cause. This way, you can treat the causes of your illness, rather than just manage the symptoms.

Promote Employee Wellness

Most Americans with health insurance receive their health insurance benefits from their employer. Since patients with good coverage do not have to cover all of their own medical expenses, they sometimes do not consider the costs of developing long-term health problems.

Even if employees do not always consider these issues, their employers do. This is why many employers are adopting corporate wellness programs, which promote healthy living among their employees. By promoting employee wellness, employers can lower their health care costs.

This is why many corporate wellness programs include access to lifestyle counseling. The goal is that investing in this counseling will lower the total cost of health care for all employees. Additionally, healthy employees are often more productive, which boosts the company’s bottom line.

Taking Steps to Better Health

With the right lifestyle counseling, you can develop healthy habits that will improve your quality of life.

If you want to learn more about how counseling can improve your lifestyle, contact us. Our experts will work with you to find the perfect plan for your needs.

top corporate wellness companies

What Programs do the Top Corporate Wellness Companies Offer?

It’s hard to deny that the world today is more wellness-minded than ever before, and the corporate world is no exception.

In a significant way, forward-thinking employers and a new generation of workers led the charge to bring the wellness initiative to where it is today. There’s no denying that a company’s wellness program can make a big difference in the organization. It’s valued by potential employees and can impact its ability to attract top talent.

There’s no denying that a company’s wellness program can make a big difference in the organization. It’s valued by potential employees and can impact its ability to attract top talent.

Implementing a wellness program doesn’t have to be difficult, but what the top corporate wellness companies offer goes a long way in setting them apart and making them an attractive place to work.

Read on to learn about some of the best offerings, and how you can make sure that your office stays competitive with the top corporate wellness companies operating in today’s market.

1. Step Counters

At its core, wellness is about health and nothing has done more to promote a healthy lifestyle than step counters and fitness wearables.

By tracking how many steps a person takes in a day and providing a goal number, fitness wearables hold users accountable for moving throughout the day and getting a certain amount of exercise.

The top corporate wellness companies have gotten in on the trend in various ways. Some provide their employees with the trackers or offer them discounts to purchase one.

Many will offer company-wide competitions that encourage their employees to reach or exceed a specific amount of steps over a set period of time, and then reward the winners with additional benefits like more vacation time or cash bonuses.

By incorporating accountability into their wellness offerings, companies create a culture where employees feel valued for being healthy.

2. Mindfulness

The top corporate wellness companies understand too that health is more than just physical.

Mental health and wellness is being taken more seriously now than ever before, and employers are recognizing that by offering employees different ways to practice and prioritize mindfulness.

Company-wide meditation classes have become more popular, and create a sense of community mindfulness which can be especially important in more competitive industries.

Other ways the employers promote mindfulness is by encouraging employees to actually take their lunch hour or short breaks throughout the day so that they clear their head and recharge.

Some companies have even gone so far as to create spaces where their workers can take a brief nap, allowing their minds to shut off for a little while and then return to their work reenergized.

3. Healthy Food

Offering employees free food is nothing new, and offering unlimited snacks is still a great way to catch the eye of potential employees who are comparing you to your competitors.

What’s different is the kind of food that companies are now offering to reflect the changing wants of their employees.

From corporate cafeterias to break room snack drawers, the top corporate wellness companies are getting a complete makeover. Many of them will even consult with nutritionists and chefs to make sure that the food available to employees will support overall health and wellness goals, be better for productivity as well.

4. Stress Management

The corporate world is more demanding now than ever before, and the top corporate wellness companies recognize that this affects employees as well. Not only are we being asked to do more to remain competitive within our careers, but our personal lives keep us busier too.

Offering stress management resources to employees is a great way for employers to communicate an important message. That, while they expect a certain level of work, they do not want or expect employees to run themselves into the ground.

An employee who feels that his happiness is respected at work–and who is given the tools to manage stress to maintain that happiness–will always do a better job at the office and will feel supported even when he or she is off the clock.

5. Unlimited PTO

Unlimited personal time off is becoming more common among the top corporate companies. Employers realize that employees are not abusing the program and that the offering doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity.

In fact, just because companies have an unlimited PTO plan doesn’t actually mean that workers are taking more time off than they would have otherwise. And those who do, tend to be more productive when they are actually in the office.

What many top corporate wellness companies have realized is that offering unlimited PTO goes a long way in establishing goodwill, and makes employees feel that their work-life balance is important.

6. Financial Wellness

The overall quality of someone’s life can be very dependent on their financial standing, and the top corporate wellness companies are recognizing this.

One of the newest trends in corporate wellness is offering employees tools to take control of their financial wellbeing.

This may mean offering classes on financial literacy, encouraging employees to save with matching 401k programs, or even in some cases offering tuition matching or loan relief.

Employees who are preoccupied with a difficult financial situation will have a hard time focusing on their work, so offering these types of programs as part of an overall corporate wellness package makes sense for both the employer and the employee.

Guiding Principles

When deciding how to implement a wellness program or what services to offer, the most important thing that the top corporate wellness companies do is value their employees as whole people, not just people who come into an office and sit at a desk.

This guiding principle is why so many of the top corporate wellness companies offer programs that improve both an employee’s physical and mental health. It’s also why these programs aim to find ways to help employees make the most of their time outside of the office.

For more information on who the top corporate wellness companies are, what they do, and how you can create a wellness program that makes sense for your business and your employees, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

health and wellbeing programs

7 Important Benefits of Health and Wellbeing Programs

Happy employees will ensure a happy company. This is a well-known fact because studies show that people who feel valuable return higher profits.

Did you know that there are benefits to incorporating health and wellbeing programs into your company?

Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, having health and wellbeing programs are a guaranteed way to provide your employees with benefits that will make them excited to come to work each morning.

These are our top 7 benefits of including these programs in your employees’ daily lives:

1. Health and Wellbeing Programs Promote a Less Stressful Environment for Employees

Approximately 93% of small business owners believe that their employees’ mental and physical health is important.

As a small business owner, you need to be considerate of the employees you currently have. A lot of the time the employees who work at small businesses are feeling the most stressed out at work.

Make it a priority to invest in the wellbeing of your employees because working toward creating a less stressful environment will be helpful.We have dozens of testimonials that prove how our services have promoted a healthy business environment.

When people are at work and feel less stressed out, they are more likely to be productive throughout the day. This productivity increase will give you higher profits and happier employees. When you are a small business owner, productivity needs to be maximized every day.

One way to make a health and wellbeing program eliminate a stressful environment is to give your employees healthy snacks and drinks. Having these items around the office will encourage people to take small breaks where they can eat healthy food that boosts their energy levels.

Another example of a way to reduce employee stress would be to let your employees spend 20% of their time focused on outside projects like Google has done.

Finding simple ways to change the environment of your office by adding in health and wellbeing programs can reduce the level of stress that your employees will face.

2. The Programs Connect Employees With Leaders

Every single person at a company should meet each other.

There should be a mix of people who take part in health and wellbeing programs so that everyone has a chance to get to know each other better.

Better relationships are key to increasing profits for a business.

For instance, someone who handles a store-front register should meet the business owner. Once they meet under the circumstances of a wellbeing program, they can both focus on how to provide the best customer service at the register. Connecting employees with employers will bring the entire company together.

3. The Wellbeing Programs Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

When your employees are healthy, it means they are less likely to take sick days.

If a company is looking out for its employees’ wellbeing, then the program will pay off in the form of higher productivity year-round. Creating a wellness program needs to include a promise to take care of the members of the company. By incorporating health and wellbeing programs at your company, it will show how much you care about who works for you.

4. Wellbeing Programs Entice Prospective Employees

When other people notice how well you take care of your employees, then more prospective employees will be drawn to your company.

It’s important to set good examples for your current employees and for any future workers.When your company becomes well-known for its wellbeing programs, then this will increase the popularity of your brand and what you stand for.

If you are seeking to recruit new members to add to the team, having these programs act as important benefits to explain why people should apply to work at your company. Employee health benefits are necessary to have to compete with other companies that rival yours. Make your company stand out by including these wellbeing programs that create incentives to work there.

5. Health and Wellbeing Programs Boost Branding Opportunities

Another way to use wellbeing programs to your advantage as a business owner is to boost your branding opportunities.

Want to easily teach people about your company?

Give your employees awesome freebies.

For example, you want your employees to show up at the wellbeing program in a gym. Give them with swag bags full of water bottles and gym towels covered in your brand logo.

The free items are a great way to boost your brand and increase visibility.These benefits will show make your employees recognize the wonderful place that they work at.

6. One Wellbeing Program Does Improves Productivity

You don’t have to book an expensive trip to Europe for your entire company to feel the effects of having a wellbeing program. Create a social setting for your employees to gather and get to work with each other out of the office.

By starting out with one program, your company can offer more options, too. One possibility is taking a day trip out to a park for some outdoor activity, such as kayaking. Another option is to hold a dinner party at someone’s house.

There are many ways for you to start developing a wellbeing program at your company, and the benefits of having one program will increase employee productivity.

7. Wellbeing Programs Encourage Communication

One final perk to incorporating these health programs to your company is the fact that they improve communication.

Whether you operate a small business with a few employees or a huge corporation with hundreds, it’s important to focus on improving communication throughout each level of the company.

The programs you choose to establish will make sure each person knows how important it is to talk to one another. Instead of keeping your employees divided, the programs encourage everyone to be active participants in getting to learn about each position at the company.

In Conclusion

Creating health and wellbeing programs in your small business doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

At the Proactive Broker Network, we want to help you grow your business. Start by slowly integrating one option at a time.

The benefits are highlighted in this article are definitely helpful to think about the next time you are looking for ways to promote productivity within your company.

wellness program ideas

How to Create and Implement New Wellness Program ideas

Fifty years ago, if you had spoken the phrase “corporate wellness” or “wellness in the workplace,” no one would have had any idea what you were talking about. In fact, fifty years ago, people not only still smoked in offices, but it was the rare boss who didn’t keep a bottle of scotch in his bottom desk drawer.

Now, wellness is all the rage. But it’s not just a trend. More and more companies are realizing that fostering an atmosphere of wellness is about more than just keeping employees healthy. Doing so provides a host of benefits, not least of which is improved productivity.

As much as you may want to incorporate wellness program ideas into the day-to-day of office life, however, it can be difficult to know how. We’ve put together this guide to help!

Putting the Wheels In Motion

A good first step? Enlist the help of some passionate folks.

There are likely employees who are known around the office for being fitness fanatics, or particularly healthy eaters. Maybe that one guy in sales who built his own standing desk out of boxes he snagged from the recycling bin.

In addition to being smart delegation, asking for volunteers to head up a Wellness Committee is a good way to get employees invested. It will also help ensure that this initiative isn’t seen as a top-down mandate.

Once your committee is in place, it’s important to communicate with them. Before anything else happens, provide a budget so they know how much money they’ll have to work with.

Assessing the Value of Employee Wellness

Remember that wellness program ideas can directly impact your bottom line –positively! It’s hard to calculate the ROI of such investments, but one meta-analysis of over 40 business wellness studies revealed a 25% reduction in absenteeism and sick days.

That doesn’t even take into account such intangible benefits as morale, improved productivity, reduced turnover, and easier recruitment efforts. All of these will occur when your corporate culture places a high value on wellness.

If possible, be generous with the budget you give your Wellness Committee, but also encourage them to get creative. There are tons of wellness program ideas that are inexpensive or even free to implement.

Make Fitness Part of the Daily Routine

Offering credits for gym memberships is fairly standard with most companies’ insurance plans, but so few employees take advantage of this perk that it barely counts as one of your wellness program ideas. Instead, make your office environment conducive to small bursts of daily activity.

Install bike racks, if your building doesn’t already have them. Organize daily lunchtime walks or short bike rides. If you have a conference space that’s not being utilized, convert it into a yoga or fitness room, complete with a big-screen monitor for viewing fitness videos. Invest in a handful of mats, and check Craigslist for low-priced treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights.

Another low-cost wellness idea is to provide all employees with pedometers. Encourage them to walk to one another’s office rather than communicating via email or chat. Walking meetings are another of the wellness program ideas that are gaining favor.

Food, Glorious Food

Let’s face it — employees love free food. But if your office is typical, refreshments likely consists of birthday cake, potato chips and beer at the office happy hour, and maybe a pizza lunch when the sales team hits a big goal.

A better option? Provide fresh fruit for workers to snack on. Order in lunch from a vegan cafe. Offer to kick in for shares in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. If enough employees sign up, the farm may actually deliver directly to the office!

Since office potlucks are always popular, try turning the next one into a healthy cooking contest, with prizes for the best good-and-good-for-you meals.

You probably already have an office water cooler, but if not, get one pronto.

It’s probably not wise to interrupt the steady stream of caffeine that some employees rely on, but consider augmenting the java with green tea. Offer unrefined sugar or honey as sweeteners rather than those pastel packets. Stocking some non-dairy milk for the vegans isn’t a bad idea, either.

Don’t Forget About Emotional Wellness

Taking steps to boost employees’ physical health is great, but don’t ignore their mental and emotional health, either. The best wellness program ideas take body and mind into consideration.

One thing workers really value? Flexibility in their schedules or their work location. If it’s feasible, implement a work-from-home policy one day, or even one afternoon, a week. Or think outside the 9-6 box, and let folks come in early or work late.

Other wellness program ideas include morale boosters like hosting “Spirit Week,” paying employees for volunteering in the community, and even offering nap spaces. Getting just a little shut-eye midday can really boost employees’ productivity, as well as their morale.

If many of your workers are dog owners, it might be worthwhile to become a dog-friendly office. Employees will be in less of a rush to leave if their dogs are right there with them, rather than waiting at home. And even those who don’t bring their own dog get the stress relief of playing with and petting pups.

Cube-decoration contests, paper-plate awards, spontaneous dance parties, or monthly lunchtime trivia games are fun ways to improve employee engagement while reducing the tension that can erode wellness. Screen a movie in the conference room every once in a while (don’t forget the popcorn!). Have a frozen-smoothie party when the hot weather’s getting everyone down.

Help Your Wellness Program Ideas Really Succeed

This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it initiative. Periodically, you’ll need to reassess. Maybe your employees would rather form a kickball team than having an in-house yoga room. They might prefer occasional chair massages to having a ping-pong table available seven days a week.

You’ll rely on your Wellness Committee to take the pulse of the office, of course, but using anonymous online surveys is another way to gauge how well-received your wellness program ideas really are.

Need more ideas, or assistance in getting your office on the proverbial road to Wellville? Give us a jingle!