Employees are your biggest asset; their experience significantly impacts your consumer-facing and employer brand. In today’s competitive recruitment environment, your benefits can attract more employees and help increase your brand’s popularity among consumers. Employee wellness programs are a popular benefit that provides employees with valuable perks. By learning more about employee wellness programs, you can decide if they fit your company and develop ideas to promote your program as soon as it’s up and running.

What Are Employee Wellness Programs, and What Benefits do they Provide Employers?

Employee wellness programs offer benefits to improve physical and mental health. Wellness programs also provide preventive measures to help avoid illness while enhancing and maintaining the general health of employees. Examples include perks to improve physical fitness (like gym memberships) or offerings to reduce stress (like enhanced breakroom features or meditation breaks). In addition, some programs focus on physical health with benefits that help employees manage chronic illness or eliminate habits that threaten well-being.

Although it’s clear that wellness programs are likely to appeal to employees, many business leaders wonder whether they have a tangible return on investment (ROI). However, different studies reveal employers can expect returns through increased recruitment and rewards provided by improved employee well-being. For example, a recent Gallup study noted that 61% of employees rank personal well-being as the most crucial benefit, meaning employers will likely improve recruitment efforts by implementing an employee wellness program.

Another study, backed by Rand Corp. and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, showed that 80% of businesses with more than 50 employees feature a benefit linked to employee well-being. These programs help reduce absenteeism, increase production, and improve employee well-being. For employers, these returns will likely outweigh the costs of implementing a wellness program.

How Employee Wellness Programs Help You Stand Out from Competitors

Your employer brand is the reputation you have among the workforce. According to a LinkedIn survey, a positive employer brand can result in a 28% reduction in organizational turnover, a 50% cost pre-hire reduction, 50% more qualified applicants, and a one to two times faster hiring time. Perhaps more importantly, 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before applying.

Unfortunately, many employers have a poor employer brand. Currently, one in four employees report experiencing burnout. Even more discouragingly, only 24% of employees in the workplace believe their boss has their best interests at heart. Employers who invest in benefits that show support for employees have a chance to turn these numbers around. Employees who feel cared for are 71% less likely to report burnout, three times more likely to be engaged at work, and five times more likely to strongly advocate for their company as a pleasing workplace.

Employee wellness programs allow employers to express how they care about and support their employees. By incorporating your employee wellness program into your overall branding message, you can make your company stand out in these ways:

  • Establish your brand as a company that gives employees a voice by developing a strategy to build a wellness program around choices employees want
  • Make your mark as a company of well-being, even if your product line isn’t related to fitness or health
  • Make it clear to prospective candidates that your organization cares about all the issues that affect employees inside and outside of the workplace
  • Develop a reputation as an organization that champions good health to promote a better future for employees
  • Build a supportive company culture that top candidates will want to become a part of

How to Promote Your Employee Wellness Program

Living and working in the information age gives businesses, employees, and consumers more opportunities to spread and consume information. With this increased access to information, individuals are more likely to interact with brands that align with their beliefs and values. In addition, promoting employee wellness programs on the platforms consumers and employees actively use you more likely to attract top job candidates.

These are some of the ways you can promote your employee wellness program.

Internal Communication

Seek employees’ opinions about what benefits they want in a wellness program. Keep employees informed throughout the process and hold a special meeting once benefits are available. Encourage employees to use their resources and implement a plan for feedback so you can be sure the program is working and make adjustments when necessary.

Social Media

Glassdoor research shows that 79% of job seekers look up companies on social media before completing the application process. You can use social media to provide a well-rounded view of your organization and help employees become engaged in wellness programs. Share employee success stories, post quick wellness tips, and announce new challenges on social media. Making this information public can provide insight into your company culture and attract employee interest.

Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy is the promotion of your brand or company by its employees. According to LinkedIn, candidates trust a company’s employees three times more than the company itself to provide credible information about working there. Potential candidates and customers listen when employees share a positive message about their work environment. Your employees can share information about your company’s wellness through personal interaction on social media platforms, employee interaction on social media, or videos and testimonials on the company website.

External Communications

In today’s competitive hiring environment, employers must provide as much transparent information about their organization as possible. Therefore, it’s important to humanize the company and share positive information. You can achieve this by incorporating news about your employee wellness program into company marketing materials using photos, wellness events, award announcements, and public recognition.

Eighty-three percent of employers report that employee wellness programs positively impact their employees’ health. Businesses that provide wellness programs that meet the needs of their current employers are more likely to attract, recruit, and retain highly qualified candidates.