When setting up a workplace wellness program, it’s essential to make sure that you avoid forcing anyone into an activity they don’t want to do. While it’s fine to offer incentives to participate in these types of programs, they should never be mandatory for employees. Since some older and disabled employees may have difficulties with some types of wellness activities, they may feel discriminated against with some workplace programs. Participation in these activities shouldn’t be directly tied to compensation.
That said, some things can be done that will reduce company costs. If a company has a health insurance plan that covers all its employees, consider adding an annual preventive checkup. Many insurance companies will offer discounted premiums if employees are willing to undergo at least one screening each year. These screenings are designed to detect chronic and undiagnosed disease at an early stage. By catching an illness at an early stage, it can be treated at a lower cost. If employees wait until they are very sick, the costs of care can end up being extremely high. If you implement a program like this, it’s important to make sure that all employee health records are kept private. Just like the medical records at a traditional physician’s office, this information is protected under HIPAA guidelines. Disclosing protected health information can have serious consequences for a business.
Most important of all, don’t make employees feel like they’re being excluded with any type of wellness program. Always work to make sure that everyone is included. If you’re setting up a retreat for your employees, make sure there are options available for those with less mobility or health problems. By making your workplace more inclusive, you’ll be able to improve employee morale significantly.