If youโ€™ve worked in the office, or still do, you know how stressful the day can be. Iโ€™ve been in your shoes before. From 9 to 5, the stress can be unbearable, not to mention the commute. But thereโ€™s one trend I have been noticingโ€”many companies are launching programs to promote healthier behavior among employees.

I know multiple deadlines and the bossโ€™s unrealistic demands can lead you to sneak out for comfort foods at the soonest opportunity. Can a workplace wellness program help, and how?

The idea has been studied in detail. Many large employers now offer wellness programs with incentives for workers to eat healthier, lose weight, reduce their stress level, and get more sleep.

All of these are so important!

Not surprisingly, the wellness program industry is now valued at about $8 billion!

How Do Employer Wellness Plans Work?

It all depends on the plan a particular company thought up. Some employers offer a simple program, such as a class, health fair, gym membership, or form to fill out as a health risk assessment. Other companies are more aggressive, even requiring invasive measures such as very specific health-related questions and even blood tests.

These health screenings tend to focus on risk factors such as high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and employees who are overweight. Sometimes there are financial incentives for workers who reduce their risk factors. For employees who are already health conscious, or who arenโ€™t comfortable with so much control, wellness plans can add stress. But think about how the Affordable Care Act enables employers to offer financial incentives like discounted insurance premiums and lower deductibles.

How Many Companies Are Offering Wellness Plans?

The idea is catching on. In 2018, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 82% of companies (with 200+ workers) offer wellness programs of different levels. These include assistance to help workers stop smoking as well as exercise programs and nutrition guidance.

An employee wellness plan can have many benefits. It can reduce absenteeism, which causes a loss in productivity. Preventing employees from getting sick, or showing up to work sick, can prevent the spread of germs and getting even more workers ill. Morale and productivity can be improved with exercise, which releases feel good chemicals called endorphins. Workers can, therefore, be more positive, energetic, and productive.

How Does a Wellness Plan Work for the Company?

Wellness programs can save employers on health care costs. Such initiatives can also increase employee retention, a problem across industries. Every employee thrives on being valued, and they are likely to feel so if a company invests in their well-being. A positive attitude towards work increases the odds a person will stay at their job. Investing in a wellness plan can, therefore, bring in a significant return for the firm.

Canโ€™t I Just Stick to My Own Wellness Plan?

Itโ€™s been debated as to whether company wellness plans are voluntary or not. Being a full-time employee, as Iโ€™ve experienced, doesnโ€™t offer the freedoms working on your own can have. But even as a successful tech recruiter, Iโ€™ve found that feeling good helps. Being positive reflects on everyone around you, from the clients you work with to the job candidates who need your help.

I definitely recommend exercising and eating healthy, so these plans make sense. But if you want to learn more about how recruiting works or how to get better at it, sign up for my e-Course, โ€œThe Millionaire Recruiterโ€, or get in touch with me to learn more.