When thinking of ways to expand your business, corporate wellness probably tops your list. But what is corporate wellness exactly?
Corporate wellness programs are wellness programs sponsored or provided by employers for the benefit of their employees. Wellness programs promote positivity, illness prevention, and a healthful lifestyle. Though the offerings and the exact structure of the program may vary by program, one of the biggest components of corporate wellness is nutrition.
If you’ve decided to build a corporate wellness practice, take a look at these key items and program components that can be used to help you stand out against the competition and win the big clients.
Here are 5 Essentials For Building a Corporate Wellness Practice:
1. Know the Numbers
Whether it’s your specific program, or corporate wellness in general, it is best to point to quantitative savings for your potential customers. This report by the Harvard Business Review showed a $2.71 return per $1 dollar invested return through a 6 year program at Johnson and Johnson, and a decrease in healthcare claims by approximately $1500 among wellness program participants. Furthermore, the studies proved improvements in employee morale and workplace culture.
Think about it: Employers want to know how you will save their company money, improve the workplace environment, or increase productivity. For the data-savvy provider, corporate wellness has evidence-based statistics to support each of these metrics.
2. Learn About the Culture
Beyond the numbers, employee health will impact the everyday office environment. Team-building competitions, engaging wellness events, and employee rewards for participation can all lead to positive changes in the workplace.
When building a corporate wellness program, it’s important to ask employers what their objectives are, in addition to your own, and to find elements of culture that are unique to a given organization. This will allow you to take advantage of what’s already built at the company to make your program a success. For instance, a Harvard Business Review report discussed using the competitive environment at H-E-B’s supermarket chain to create competitions centered around employee wellness.
With a corporate wellness program, you want to create opportunities for everyone to get involved. Offering programs that will bring larger groups of people together can create a positive team environment, where they not only act as each other’s support system, but also are more engaged with their workplace. We’ve seen corporate wellness programs that offer items such as group yoga or meditation sessions to keep participation up and reach more individuals.
Even more, get employees involved by adding a little friendly competition – you can even match different departments against one another.
Working with a much larger corporation? Why not set up a March Madness style bracket to have different teams across the board face off. This way, everyone can get in on the fun and all efforts are required to win!
3. Leverage Technology to Achieve Best Results
Unlike 1-on-1 counseling, corporate wellness fosters a community of wellness. You have a much larger team working towards their individual health goals. You can play up that community to encourage communication and support among coworkers. One excellent way to start this is through implementing a dashboard. Show each team’s statistics and let them watch as they move towards their health goals. Include items such as health assessments and biometric screenings where you can regularly track improvements. According to corporate wellness expert, Caroline Susie, “Many outcomes based programs can show data improvements not only with biometric data, but with other claims such as ER visits, lower hospital admission rates, better management of chronic diseases, and lower pharmacy costs.”
Gain more access to your clients with one of the most exciting technology innovations in the healthcare space: telehealth. Using a telehealth system for corporate wellness allows for decreased commute times for providers working at multiple sites, easier access to care for the employees, and useful data that can be used to improve programs for optimal achievement of their objectives. With the high penetrance of smartphones, employees can have corporate wellness providers at their fingertips for advice, behavior change, and counseling.
Even more, visual diet logging, exercise tracking through integrated wearable devices, and video visits are just a few of the improvements that telehealth platforms bring to corporate wellness. Additionally, telehealth is an important practice differentiator for providers who look to bring the “wow” factor to employers, and beat the competition.
4. Build Your Network
It’s no secret that providers who put in the most work get the most clients. At large companies, HR departments are frequently in charge of employee wellness initiatives. You can often find their contact information online through Google or LinkedIn searches. It may seem intimidating to reach out to HR professionals, but don’t be shy! You are offering a program that is proven to save their money and improve the workplace environment.
One often-overlooked area for corporate wellness is smaller companies in growth stages. These companies may view strong corporate wellness programs as a way to create great culture from the get-go, or may look to wellness initiatives as a way to attract top talent to their company. Remember to reach out to startups (especially in the healthcare space!) while networking as these companies tend to be highly innovative.
Chances are that at some point in your corporate wellness efforts you’ll be working with a large quantity of individuals. It’s important to create a solution that’s scalable for large corporations. This may mean giving educational sessions to large groups or starting a lunch-and-learn program.
5. Keep It Fun!
Eating healthy meals and worrying about physical exercise isn’t the top priority for every employee. Programs that only emphasize health may lead to missed opportunities for office competition, such as step challenges or goal challenges, to maximize employee engagement. Remember: Keeping employees engaged with fun activities and competition is a great way to help them make incremental improvements to their health.
If you are looking to build or grow a corporate wellness practice, or have a successful corporate wellness practice and want to tell us about it, we’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org