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How to Set Up an Employee Wellness Program

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

With absenteeism costing the Australian economy billions of dollars each year, it's no surprise to see that employee wellness programs are on the rise. Currently, businesses are looking for means to reduce costs while also better supporting their employees' well-being. The disruptive effects of COVID-19 have further increased the urgency for many employers to invest in employee wellness initiatives.

However, as you'll discover in this blog article, there's more to an employee wellness program than free medical check-ups, discounted gym memberships, and fruit baskets in the break room. Here, we'll explore what an employee wellness program is, its benefits, and how you can set one up within your organisation.

Suppose you want to create a wellness program that will make a difference in your employees' health (and your business's bottom line). In that case, there are a few key things you need to know on how to develop one that your employees actually use and is adaptable to changing job demands, such as the one we face today with the pandemic.


What Is An Employee Wellness Program?

Employee wellness programs are designed to promote healthy lifestyles and help with mental and physical health problems. The goal is to prevent or reduce chronic diseases and associated risk factors among employees. They may include educational components on nutrition, exercise, and stress management.

Many employee wellness programs also offer screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health conditions. Some employers offer incentives to encourage participation, such as discounts on gym memberships or prizes for meeting fitness goals.

Employee wellness programs can have a positive impact on the health of employees and the bottom line of the company. Studies have shown that healthy employees take fewer sick days and are more productive at work. In addition, employee wellness programs can help to lower healthcare costs by preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


What factors contribute to employee wellness?

Various factors can contribute to employee wellness, including ergonomic design, job satisfaction, and work-life balance. By promoting employee wellness, businesses can not only improve workers’ quality of life but also increase productivity and reduce absenteeism.

1. Ergonomic Design

Good ergonomic design can help to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain. MSDs are a leading cause of lost work days and workers’ compensation claims. By investing in ergonomic office furniture and equipment, businesses can create a workspace that is comfortable and safe for employees.

2. Job Satisfaction

Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to be engaged in their work and have a positive attitude towards their employer. This, in turn, can lead to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. Businesses can promote job satisfaction by providing employees with opportunities for career advancement and offering competitive salaries and physical and mental health benefits.

3. Work-Life Balance

A healthy work-life balance is essential for employee wellness. Employees who feel like they have a good work-life balance are less likely to experience burnout and are more productive at work. Businesses can promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working arrangements, such as telecommuting or compressed work weeks.

By considering these and other factors, businesses can create workplace wellness programs that support employee health and well-being and increase employee engagement.


How To Set Up A Wellness Program In 4 steps

Setting up an employee wellness program may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. By following these four steps, you can create a program that is tailored to the needs of your employees and your business.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

Before you can start putting together your employee wellness program, you need to take a step back and define your goals. What do you hope to achieve with this program? Do you want to improve employee health? Increase productivity? Lower healthcare costs? Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Choose Your Vendors Carefully

There are a lot of different vendors out there who offer employee wellness programs. It's important that you take the time to find a vendor that fits your needs and your budget. Get pricing quotes from several different vendors and read online reviews before making your final decision.

Step 3: Create a Wellness Committee

One of the best ways to ensure that your employee wellness program ideas are successful is to create a wellness committee. This committee should be made up of employees from different departments who are passionate about health and wellness. The committee's job will be to plan events and activities, promote the program, and provide feedback on how the program is going.

Step 4: Implement perks and incentives

Employees are more likely to participate in your employee wellness program if there are perks and incentives involved. Offer discounts on gym memberships, give out free tickets to sporting events or provide gift cards for completing health-related challenges. Whatever you do, make sure the incentives are something that your employees will actually want.

Setting up an employee wellness program is a great way to improve employee health and happiness—and boost your bottom line. By taking the time to define your goals, choose your vendors carefully, create a wellness committee, and implement perks and incentives, you can set up a successful employee wellness program that will make a positive impact on your business.


Benefits Of An Employee Wellness Program

There are many benefits associated with employee wellness programs. For instance, these programs can help reduce stress levels, improve overall physical health, boost morale and loyalty among employees, and even reduce healthcare costs. If you're considering implementing an employee wellness program at your company, read on to learn more about the potential benefits of doing so.

1. Improved Physical Health

One of the most obvious benefits of employee wellness programs is that they can help improve the physical health of employees. By encouraging employees to exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, and get regular medical checkups, employee assistance programs can help reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, these programs can also help improve employee mental health by reducing stress levels.

2. Decreased Healthcare Costs

Another wellness benefit of employee wellness programs is that they can help decrease healthcare costs for both employees and employers. When employees are healthy, they are less likely to get sick or injured and need to see a doctor or go to the hospital. This means employers will save on healthcare costs associated with absenteeism, productivity losses due to illness or injury, and workers' compensation claims. In addition, healthy employees are also less likely to take advantage of their company's health insurance plan by using it for preventive care services or regular checkups (both of which are typically covered at 100%). As a result, employer premiums will likely go down as well.

3. Improved Employee Morale & Retention Rates

Another potential benefit of an employee wellness program is improved morale among employees. When employees feel supported by their employer in their efforts to live a healthier lifestyle, they are more likely to be loyal to the company and less likely to look for a job elsewhere. In addition, happy and healthy employees are also more productive workers. Therefore, by investing in an employee wellness program, employers can actually save money in the long run by reducing turnover rates and increasing productivity levels.

Talk to a HR consultant

Talk to one of our qualified HR consultants for more information:



Investing in employee wellness programs is a smart business decision. Not only do these programs improve employee morale and physical and mental health, but they can also lead to increased productivity and decreased absenteeism.

Furthermore, employee wellness programs offer a multitude of benefits for both employees and employers alike. After all, happy and healthy employees are less likely to leave your company, which leads to decreased turnover costs. All of these factors contribute to a positive ROI for your company.

While the initial investment in an employee wellness program may seem like a lot, the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. So, if you're looking for a way to invest in employee wellness but have no idea where to start, HR Coach is here to help.

We offer a wide range of services, including employee wellness program development, implementation, and management. Contact us today to learn more!

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