We previously dove into the process of setting up a corporate wellness program. To recap, the five steps to planning a wellness program are:
- Create a Plan
- Set Your Goals and Objectives
Write (or Revisit) Your Company’s Wellness Mission Statement
- Assess Your Current Wellness Program Status (and Your Employees' Needs)
- Determine a Budget
In this article, we’re going to cover the foundation of implementing a successful wellness program for organizations of all sizes: creating and cultivating a culture of wellness in the workplace. If you want to download the full guide to Implementing and Launching a Corporate Wellness Program, click here.
How to Create a Culture of Wellness in Any Organization
Workplace Wellness Efforts Are At An All-Time High
Creating a corporate culture of wellness is an integral part of any organization. People who participate in wellness activities within organizations are more engaged and active on average.
With companies having pivoted to remote work, or facing new ways of working in the office, workplace culture has changed dramatically. What hasn’t changed are companies’ commitments to their employees - more than 84% of companies offer some version of a corporate wellness program according to a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation report(1). That same year showed more than $8 billion in corporate wellness spending, even before the pandemic (2).
When HR leaders were surveyed in the Willis Towers Watson 23rd Annual Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey, 94% of respondents said they want to develop a wellness culture in the workplace that supports and enabled employees in their pursuit of well-being, while holding employees accountable for their own health (3). These organizational leaders who are pushing these wellness initiatives forward understand the value of effective wellness programs for not only the health of their employees, but also the overall health of the organization.
Employers Benefit from Workplace Wellness
Effective corporate wellness programs like BurnAlong are great for boosting corporate wellness culture, employee wellness, engagement, and satisfaction, but they are also good for employer’s wallets. The reality is that 83% of Americans reported suffering from work-related stress before the pandemic, and companies are losing around $300 billion a year due to workplace stress (4). If that statistic isn’t alarming enough, there’s more:
- Around one million people miss work each day for stress related reasons.
- 78% of employees with high financial stress say it distracts them from their work.
- Chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, significantly drive up healthcare costs for employers and employees.
- Employees miss 28.2 million work days a year (costing almost $5 billion in lost profit) as a result of chronic illness.
- Nearly 60% of employees think workplaces should offer wellness benefits, but only 42% of employees think their employer cares about their work-life balance.
- Employees that report high levels of well-being are 45% more likely to be able to adapt to change; they are also 59% less likely to look for another job in the next 12 months.
- High-well-being employees are far more likely to rate their own work and their organization as “excellent.”
The facts bear it out: the companies who create a culture of wellness within their organization give a boost to their employees’ morale, health, and wellness, while also reducing the astronomical costs of ignoring employee wellness.
How to Create a Meaningful Culture of Wellness
Many organizations understand that simply spending money on a wellness program doesn’t solve the complex and unique problems their employees face. To develop a successful program and really drive meaningful change within the organization requires weaving wellness into your overall corporate culture.
Integrating social support and encouragement for your employees is one of the most effective ways to increase their participation in corporate wellness initiatives. It’s been proved to be one of the most effective means of sustaining behavioral changes required for disease prevention and wellness promotion - whether in person (64%) or virtually (48%).
Creating an organizational culture of wellness doesn’t just involve the support of coworkers and the employer, but it requires the involvement and support from an employee’s immediate circle of family and close friends. Bringing this social network into the wellness efforts can dramatically increase participation, which boosts the overall effectiveness of any program.
A 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine study found that someone trying to make a healthy lifestyle change will be 67% more likely to succeed if a spouse or partner makes the same changes(5).
Launching a successful wellness program and creating a culture that emphasizes and celebrates wellness in the workplace is not easy. Careful planning and preparation will help, but the best way to succeed is simply to get started. Now is the time to revisit your mission as an organization and create an impactful corporate health and wellness program that will benefit your employees and your organization.
How BurnAlong Created a Remote Culture of Wellness
Here at BurnAlong we live our values by giving our own employees and their families access to BurnAlong so they can share the benefits of 1000’s of wellness classes taught from 100’s of expert instructors from around the country.
Beyond offering a virtual benefit that reaches all of our employees and their families, we also emphasize a culture of wellness within our daily meetings and the way we work. Here are some ways we’ve built an internal corporate wellness culture:
Have you done your stretches today?
BurnAlong employees get up and stretch every Monday and Friday morning to kick off our weekly meetings. We rotate who leads the stretches so everyone participates and has fun. Sitting at a desk all day can lead to long-term health complications, so this is a quick and easy way to remind employees to get up and stretch their bodies.
What are you thankful for?
Expressing gratitude is a core part of BurnAlong’s culture of wellness. Every Friday, the BurnAlong team goes around and says ‘thank you’ to one other member of the team for something they did that week. It’s a key way to remind everyone to stay grateful and positive, and lets everyone else on the team know that they are recognized and appreciated.
Is it Thursday yet?
Every month, BurnAlong employees get together for a fun activity on a virtual happy hour to stay connected and have fun. We’ve played online trivia games, participated in a virtual gift exchange, and get together for coffee chats in small groups during the month to get to know each other better outside of work.
Next Steps: What can you do?
Leading employers, insurers, municipalities, universities, and hospital systems partner with BurnAlong to help create a meaningful culture of wellness in the workplace. Schedule an enterprise demo to learn how you can bring BurnAlong's corporate wellness solution into your organization today.