Wellness programs can be expensive to implement and maintain over time. These days many companies are decreasing wellness budgets to compensate for lower profits. This is forcing many HR professionals to search for other methods in helping to fund their wellness programs. A few key solutions in partnerships and low-cost resources can help employers develop effective solutions without compromising wellness results.
Develop wellness partners
Wellness is a hot topic, and one that now has access to many more available resources. Take advantage of your community hospitals, clinics, fitness centers, and social groups. Many of them will offer classes, health tips, trainers, and nutrition information free or for a low cost to organisations. Work your program around these activities. Don’t forget to explore non-profit health organizations such as the Heart Foundation as well. These organizations offer valuable health topic information at no cost.
Another great partnership can also come from your insurance provider. Insurance providers have access to vast amounts of health information that they can provide to you as a client. Use these resources as part of your wellness program services.
Implement low cost activities
To stretch your budget, be sure to implement several low cost or employee paid activities and events into your program. Research community resources and events, and encourage your employees to participate as a group. Studies show that group activities have a greater affect on health behavior change and motivation. Some examples of low cost activities include:
• Employee health fairs using community health organisations
• Nutrition seminars with local health professional as guest speaker
• Promotion of an employee-sponsored sports team
• Sponsorship of an employee walking or running event
• Promotion of community health and fitness programs
Utilise in-house resources
Wellness programs involve the entire company so don’t be reluctant to use appropriate company resources to enrich your program. Involve other HR staff or recruit other staff members to assist you in developing a quarterly newsletter to keep your employees informed about important health topics. This is also a great media tool to promote your activities, spotlight employees achieving wellness goals, and to reinforce your company’s overall message of wellness. Research health trends through reliable sources online, and communicate them to your employees to keep them informed.
The bottom line
Wellness budgets do not need to be large to be effective. With a little research and partnership, HR professionals can find health information, events, and activities that can be incorporated into their wellness programs at low cost.