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10 Great Wellness Program Ideas & Initiatives

written by: Brenda Barrett•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 10/15/2010

Meeting the needs of employees in a holistic manner is now considered best practice and for good reasons too. The following 10 wellness program ideas will give you a jump start when compiling a wellness program for your organization.

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    Why You Need a Wellness Program

    Most companies are adapting a wholesome approach in the treatment of their employees, and because of this, quite a few human resource practitioners are on the look out for great wellness program ideas and initiatives that can fit their organization and address the overall needs of the workforce.

    According to William Hettler’s study at the National Wellness Institute at the University of Wisconsin, there are various dimensions to an employees needs, they are:

    • Physical - which includes fitness and nutrition.
    • Occupational - which includes career and vocation.
    • Emotional - which includes affect and sympathy.
    • Social - which includes family and community.
    • Intellectual - which includes knowledge and wisdom.
    • Spiritual - which includes values and ethics.
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    10 Wellness Program Ideas and Initiatives

    Wellness Program Ideas 

    1. Fitness Program

    Current research clearly shows that the emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of a person’s life profoundly affect the immune system, healing, and health. Maintaining fitness is very important and this can be done through proper exercise.

    A great place to begin is by starting a company gym or allowing a fitness instructor to conduct classes before or after work. Check out this article on how to start an office exercise group.

    Additionally, incorporating meditation activities such as yoga and tai chi would be a great enhancement to any wellness program, they are touted to do wonders for the nervous system and a person’s temperament.

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    Massage & Sporting Activities

    2. Massage

    Massage is seen as a luxuriant indulgence to many, but it is actually a great therapeutic addition to all wellness program ideas. There are several massage techniques that are beneficial for people on the job. A massage is a great stress reliever and can affect the recipient emotionally and physically. Some companies have an in-house massage room where various types of massages can be offered. Barring the availability of an in-house massage therapy room, the service can be outsourced as part of a wellness program. Check out these benefits of massage.

    Wellness Program Initiatives 

    3. Sporting Activities

    Sporting activities are a great addition to any wellness program; they promote team building and engender camaraderie among staff members. Competitions can be arranged between departments in any sporting area. Other exercises such as: squash, tennis or swimming are also beneficial and depending on the budget and space, you can install your own courts and pool.

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    4. Nutrition Program

    Proper nutrition has a host of benefits to a workplace: the workforce can be healthier, which means less sick days, added Ideas Wellness Program for HR Managers energy, and less lethargy when the right foods are eaten. Health seminars are a good way to make the workforce aware of how to prepare balanced meals, this can be done both in-house or out. Lobby for a nutritionist to work with the staff cafeteria and ensure that concessionary stands serve healthy options like fruits or vegetables.

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    More Wellness Program Ideas

    5. Career Training

    Most persons have ambitions for advancement in their careers. Training seminars in-house or out can have a positive effect on a person who attends training. Job rotation or cross training can reduce boredom and expand a person's skillset.

    6. Skills Training

    You can look at employees’ interests or skills and send them to a training program to enhance or hone these skills when the opportunities arise, even if the skills are not related to their current job.

    7. Counseling

    Make professional counseling available to the workforce. Some companies go as far as to hire full time counselors while others will subsidize the cost of counseling. This wellness service is very beneficial to employees especially in times of grief.

    8. Company Socials and Trips

    This is a great way for interaction between co-workers and it can be done on a small or large scale for employees only or with invitation to family and friends.

    9. Volunteerism

    Adopt a cause and allow employees to give back to the community. There are several causes and charities. Choose something that will be easily accessible by staff and would welcome the expertise of your organization.

    10. Child care Facilities and After School Home Work Programs

    One of the major concerns of most working parents is what to do with children after school. If a company offers child care facilities for toddlers or after school homework programs for the older ones, then that would be one less worry for working parents.

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    Starting a wellness program can have implications on cost, so a cost-benefit analysis is crucial before attempting this venture and most importantly, conduct a needs analysis for a specific department or the company on a whole to see if your wellness program ideas are a perfect fit.

    Image Credit:

    Blond Girl Playing Tennis, Mohammed Rehsan Al Fattah Khan

    Fitness Centre, Fruhnyn

    Health Food, Geoffery Whiteway