People Management

Employee Wellness Programmes

Sep 27, 2023 | By Saranne Durham

Wellness is a term often used within a corporate context. It links to employee well-being. When it comes down to it, a company’s health and therefore viability is largely dependent on the well-being of its employees. As a result, an increasing number of businesses value employee wellness programmes. 

What is an Employee Wellness Programme?

An employee wellness programme is a company programme that is designed to help improve employees health. Ideally, a programme could focus on stress management, mental health, weight management, curbing substance abuse or helping people to stop smoking. Some companies outsource their programmes, while others have their programmes overseen by in-house Human Resource personnel

What do Wellness Programmes Provide?

Most wellness programmes are built around the 6 basic components of wellness. Depending on what a company decides, they may choose to focus on a selected number of these wellness elements. 

The 6 Elements of Wellness

  1. Mental: Cognitive capability, goal attainment, attention and decision-making. 
  2. Emotional: Regulation of emotions and responses to others. Self-esteem and resilience. 
  3. Physical: Healthy habits, exercise and nutrition. 
  4. Spiritual: Values and beliefs, outward view and compassion. 
  5. Social: Quality of interpersonal and community relationships. 
  6. Environmental: Personal lifestyle as well as relationship and interaction with the earth. 

What Affects Employee Wellness?

There are a number of things that can affect someone’s well-being. Key factors include oxygen, nutrition, sleep and activity. An employer can have a direct impact on these factors. 

For example, an employee’s bad sleep patterns can be a result of unnecessary or unchecked work-related stress. Therefore, running or creating access to mindfulness courses can greatly assist in the healthy management of stress levels.  

The physical environment wherein someone works also has an impact on how productive they are able to be. A lack of fresh air and thus oxygen, within an office space, will negatively affect someone’s cognitive ability. This can result in bad decision-making or an employee feeling sluggish and depressed. Lack of access to nutritional food, during work hours, can result in an increased risk of health complications. Which would directly impact absentee rates. Bad eating habits can also lead to difficulty focusing and feeling tired and moody. As does dehydration, which additionally negatively impacts brain functionality. Thus, there are advantages for both employer and employee in an office having healthy vending stations and a water cooler.  

Generally, those who are more active are healthier than those who tend towards being sedentary. Thus, incentivising employees to prioritise exercise can lead to decreased absenteeism and increased productivity.  

Why are Employee Wellness Programmes Important?

Employee wellness programmes yield many benefits for individuals and the company they work for. Specifically, the ability and productivity of employees are positively impacted by their overall wellness. More importantly, they will feel more satisfied, healthy and happy! 

5 Company Benefits of a Wellness Programme

  1. Improved productivity and workplace attendance. 
  2. Better employee health and reduced health care costs. 
  3. Reduction of stress levels. 
  4. Improved teamwork. 
  5. Increased staff retention and boost of company’s good-work place reputation. 

As a manager or someone leading a team, being able to encourage wellness is a great skill to have. It’s part of managing, motivating and inspiring people to do their best work. The SACAP Global Employee Motivation and Wellness micro-credential course is designed for those who manage a team or want to pursue a management role. There are no scheduled online classes so you can upskill on the go. Course content is released on a weekly basis allowing you to work through the course material, and meet weekly targets, at a time that is most convenient.  

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