What is 'Wellness Program '

An employer approach to improving employee health, wellness programs include activities such as company-sponsored exercise, weight-loss competitions, educational seminars, tobacco-cessation programs and health screenings that are designed to help employees eat better, lose weight and improve their overall physical health. Wellness programs often involve financial incentives for employees, such as lower health-insurance premiums or gift cards.

BREAKING DOWN 'Wellness Program '

Besides improving employee productivity and decreasing sick days and leaves of absence, all of which reduce operating costs, wellness programs may be able to lower an organization's health insurance expenses. Employees can also benefit from wellness programs through lower health insurance premiums, decreased out-of-pocket medical expenditures and an increased sense of well-being.

Corporate wellness programs offer a variety of scheduled programs, such as stress management seminars that address everything from sleep to work-life balance to financial health; cooking classes; healthy recipe exchanges and fitness challenges. Other components of an effective corporate wellness program might include healthy vending machines and cafeteria offerings. Healthy and appealing food might also be served at meetings and included in company-provided overtime meals.

It's also important for corporate wellness programs to promote mindfulness of workplace noise and regular and appropriate breaks. Many companies also offer in-house workout spaces or marked walking paths on the corporate campus to encourage physical activity. Others institute no-smoking policies or policies requiring seat belt use in company vehicles.

In addition, organizations might create wellness-related linkages between their wellness program and other company benefits like employee assistance programs (EAPs), which help employees get support when they are in a difficult emotional or physical situation that affects both their health and their work. EAPs connect employees to counselors who can advise them confidentially on issues from emotional distress to a difficult medical diagnosis to personal or work relationship issues to life events like marriage or parenting.

Health screenings are a controversial component of many company wellness programs. Some people contend that tracking cholesterol, body mass index and other figures leads to de facto discrimination and heavier financial burdens placed on workers with below average health.

Example of a Corporate Wellness Program

One corporate wellness program created by Indiana company Draper, Inc. – a manufacturer of gym equipment, window shades, and projection screens – instituted a 10-week weight loss challenge called “Dump Your Plump.” It consisted of 12 teams of six employees, each competing to win weekly grocery gift cards and a cash grand prize for the overall winner.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Program Trading

    Program trading uses a computer algorithms to buy and/or sell ...
  2. Employee Engagement

    Employee engagement is a human resources concept that describes ...
  3. Direct Purchase Program

    A direct purchase program is a method by which individuals can ...
  4. Exempt Employee

    Exempt Employee refers to a category of employees.
  5. Employee Contribution Plan

    An employee contribution plan is an employer-sponsored savings ...
  6. Medical Cost Ratio - MCR

    Medical cost ratio is the comparison of a health insurance company's ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    How You Can Save Money by Maximizing Work Benefits

    Understanding and maximizing company benefits can save you money.
  2. Personal Finance

    How Financial Wellness Benefits Employees

    Implementing a financial wellness program can help lead to a more productive, engaged and happier workforce.
  3. Small Business

    Companies That Offer Unique Employee Discounts

    These companies offer employees great discounts and unique incentives you don't find with your average employer.
  4. Personal Finance

    What's Your Employee Value?

    Have you ever wondered how much you're worth to your boss? Here's a method for calculating that value.
  5. Personal Finance

    Top 10 Companies with the Best Parental Leave Benefits (NFLX, ADBE)

    Ikea just announced it will offer its 13,000 salaried and hourly employees in the U.S. up to four months of paid parental leave. Here are the other companies that offer the best benefits around. ...
  6. Managing Wealth

    Top 5 Ways to Retain Your Best Employees

    You need to think beyond salary to make the most talented people want to stay on for the long term.
  7. Insurance

    Freebies From Your Health Insurance Company

    Whether your goal is to lose weight, quit smoking or just take overall better care of yourself you may have a surprising ally: your health insurance company.
  8. Insurance

    6 Alternatives To Health Insurance

    Not having health insurance doesn't mean that you have no alternatives. Here's what you can do to reduce your healthcare costs.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Why Do Businesses Benefit From Life Insurance on Employees?

    Companies can buy life insurance on their employees and collect the benefit proceeds. Find out why companies want to benefit from the death of their employees.
  10. Small Business

    How Corporate Culture Affects Your Bottom Line

    Here's a look at how companies can be successful financially by promoting a positive work atmosphere for employees.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can LLCs have employees?

    Discover how limited liability corporations (LLC) can have an unlimited number of employees and the legal steps required ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Portfolio

    A portfolio is a grouping of financial assets such as stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, also their mutual, exchange-traded ...
  2. Gross Profit

    Gross profit is the profit a company makes after deducting the costs of making and selling its products, or the costs of ...
  3. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  4. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  5. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet item that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  6. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
Trading Center