Innovative Wellness Benefits to Offer Your Employees

Many employee benefits packages include retirement savings plans, medical, dental, and vision insurance, and healthcare spending accounts such as HSAs and FSAs, but some companies are taking things a step further in efforts to attract and retain the best employees. Fortune 500 companies such as Google reward employees with “massage credits,” free gourmet food, and paid time to focus on passion projects, while 3M offers online health classes, tobacco cessation services, and reimbursements for weight management programs.

Other noteworthy perks offered by Fortune 500 companies include corporate philanthropy opportunities, Friday half days, and discounts on airline flights, hotels, movie tickets, and restaurants. Tuition reimbursement, cash rewards, adoption assistance, and pet-friendly offices are also common.

While these workplace incentives are common among major U.S. corporations, you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to offer innovative benefits such as these — especially health and wellness perks such as coaching programs, paid volunteer time, and yoga classes. Nearly half of all U.S. workplaces offer corporate wellness programs to help employees with managing their stress levels, losing weight, quitting smoking, and improving their productivity at work.

To learn more about corporate wellness programs and how they can benefit your team, review the following information presented by Spark.

Corporate Volunteer Programs

The benefits of corporate philanthropy programs are vast. Like other company team-building activities and events, volunteerism in the workplace boosts employee morale, reduces stress levels, and improves productivity and collaboration. Additionally, these programs benefit nonprofit organizations within the community — providing them with the manpower or financial support they need to achieve their mission.

Furthermore, corporate volunteerism benefits employees in several other ways. When employees volunteer for a good cause, they report having a greater sense of purpose — and they feel happier and calmer overall. However, there’s more to it than simply paying your employees to volunteer their time and skills in the community. Using a corporate social responsibility platform, you’ll empower your workers to volunteer their time in a way that aligns with their skills and interests, and gets them the most out of the experience.

College Tuition Reimbursement

In addition to promoting volunteerism through community outreach programs and other philanthropic activities, many companies are choosing to reimburse employees for college tuition costs. According to Elizabeth Gonzalez of The Blueprint, tuition reimbursement programs encourage lifelong learning and professional development — and they help to recruit, retain, and engage employees in the workplace.

Moreover, tuition reimbursement programs benefit employers as well — as companies participating in education assistance programs (EAPs) can save money at tax time. For each employee who participates in a tuition reimbursement program, companies can deduct as much as $5,250 spent on tuition, supplies, books, and equipment.

If you’re thinking of offering an EAP to your employees, you may choose to partner with a particular school — as some colleges are a better fit for those who are furthering their education while full-time and/or raising a family. The University of Phoenix is one great option for working adults, as online undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in areas like business, technology, education, and psychology. With the flexibility to learn online, employees can obtain essential skills in these areas that may be applied to their current job within your organization.

Yoga Classes

Like college tuition reimbursement and corporate volunteer programs, yoga classes are a new and innovative wellness benefit to offer your employees for improved physical, social, and emotional well-being. Corporate yoga classes improve employee retention, productivity, and focus, reduce mental distress, and promote physical wellness in the workplace. These programs also help companies to save money on employee absences and illnesses.

If you’re interested in launching a corporate wellness program of your own, even offering just one yoga class a week could be enough to boost the health and well-being of your team. And if your employees are still working remotely due to COVID-19, online yoga videos could be offered as an alternative to in-person classes. 

Corporate Nutrition Programs

The foods your employees eat each day affect how they think, behave, and perform in the workplace, which is just one of the many reasons why corporate nutrition programs are so important. Corporate nutrition programs help to promote healthy eating in and outside of the office, reduce employee medical costs, and lower the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. They also help employees to lose weight and keep it off.

As part of your corporate nutrition program, you could offer healthy cafeteria options to your onsite employees and provide workers with access to nutrition education, health coaching, and counseling services. You could also implement Meatless Mondays in the workplace, replace sugary beverages with fruit smoothies and sparkling water, and provide fresh fruits and raw vegetables as snacks throughout the workday.

When choosing a vendor to partner with for your corporate nutrition program, it’s worth looking into the following wellness companies:

  • Wellbeats
  • Foodsmart
  • BurnAlong
  • Wellness Coaches
  • Health Solutions
  • Vida Health
  • Wellness Concepts

In Conclusion: Corporate Wellness Programs Work

Many corporate wellness programs incorporate company team-building activities, educational opportunities, and other health incentives such as yoga classes and nutritional counseling, but the benefits you offer will depend on your budget and employee wants and needs. By conducting an employee assessment, for instance, you’ll get a better idea of the wellness habits that matter most to your team — whether it’s diet and lifestyle, philanthropy, or continuing education. The purpose of a corporate wellness program is to boost employee productivity, morale, and retention, and it’s important to offer benefits that truly matter to your team.

Wellness looks a bit different to everyone, but volunteering in the community, learning new skills, practising yoga, and adopting healthier eating habits can help employees to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. And the best part about it is you don’t need to be a Fortune 500 company to share these wellness benefits with your team!

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