Importance of Health and Wellness Programs
Health and Wellness programs are a great tool that corporations utilize to boost employee moral and help with issues such as sick days, motivation and work efficiency. These programs give employees a healthy way to connect their work lives with their personal lives. Studies have shown that nearly 50% of an organization’s profits are consumed by employee health care costs and a ‘high risk’ employee can cost an organization almost $3,000 more per year than their ‘low risk’ colleagues. In addition, ‘high risk’ employees are shown to be 18% less productive, which adds up to 7 hours per week or 2 months per year in lost productivity. For employers who seek out and implement a Workplace Wellness program, they find that, on average, medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absentee days fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent. Other studies have shown that Workplace Wellness programs can reduce sick leave by 28%, medical costs by 26%, and 30% among worker’s compensation claims.*
Encouraging Employee Health & Wellness
Open Gates has jump started an initiative to encourage overall employee health and wellness. We truly care about the health and well-being of our employees and created our program based on their specific wants and needs. After surveying all employees, we found most employees desired a place for physical activity and exercise. So, we decided to create a fitness center in the basement of one of our facilities! Now we have a fully operating gym and a place to provide circuit training and ZUMBA classes. This fitness center has provided our employees access to a service that most of them can’t reach on a daily basis because we are located in a rural community.
Employees also requested more information about healthy foods and simple, easy-to-make recipes. The Health and Wellness coordinator hosts educational lunch sessions and posts several healthy recipes on the company’s intranet page. We even provide all of the fixings to create healthy smoothies in the break room! The coordinator also provides monthly workouts and informational PowerPoints that cover a variety of different health related topics such as: high cholesterol, how to eat healthier meals, stress management, and sleeping better.
As a part of the health and wellness initiative, Open Gates also created an ‘AwesomEngery’ incentive program that rewards employees for physical activity. Every month employees can submit workouts to win prizes! Finally, the company hosts a variety of team challenges throughout the year to encourage employee interaction.
Our Goal With the Health and Wellness Initiative
Here at Open Gates, we strive to offer a great place to work for our employees. Our goal with this program is to encourage overall health and wellness. We believe this program will enhance employee work/life balance, create a supportive atmosphere, and have a positive impact on the health of our employees.
The Open Gates health & wellness initiative continues to grow–we’ve decided to add another fitness center at our Frytown Warehouse & Distribution facility! We hope to get more employees involved in the incentive program, work out classes, and educational sessions. As the program grows, we will constantly evaluate and collect feedback from program participants.
“The Open Gates Group mission is to create value and enhance lives. The company not only encompasses this mindset from a business standpoint, but also holistically. The wellness program shows that Open Gates values the health and well-being of their employees. As a result, employees’ lives are enhanced–both professionally and personally. This is a wonderful program to be a part of!”