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Tips on implementing a wellness program for your company

April 24, 2018

By: Erin Krawczak for The Bellingham Business Journal | The Bellingham Business Journal

Erin Krawczak - Training & Development Manager

Erin Krawczak - Training & Development Manager

As a busy working mom, I am always thinking about how to squeeze in quality time with my three active kids. That’s why it meant so much to me last year when I was able to spend a full workday helping my son finish his Eagle Scout project. The wellness program is one of my favorite perks of working for Peoples Bank. Called Wholepeople, it includes a $200 annual wellness reimbursement, paid time off for community service and wellness-related activities, and other benefits designed to promote a healthy mind, body and community.

Data shows that more and more businesses are recognizing the link between employee wellness and overall job satisfaction, happiness and productivity. Whether you are thinking of setting up or expanding your wellness program, here are a few pointers that can help you design a program that works for everyone in your organization.

Do it for the right reasons. A secret to our wellness program’s success is our company’s fundamental operating philosophy. Peoples Bank implicitly understands that employee health is not just about lowering medical plan costs or boosting productivity numbers. While those are indisputably good outcomes, our wellness plan is designed to boost camaraderie and morale, which in turn leads to a happier and healthier workplace. We are not just addressing costs; we want to improve people’s lives.

Build camaraderie. One of our most popular wellness events is what we call our step challenge. At certain times throughout the year, employees compete with each other in groups to see who can walk the most steps in a particular time period. During a recent challenge, my department got creamed by the marketing department. Building camaraderie with people in different departments across the company is what makes these challenges fun. We are always trying to find new ways to strengthen our workplace by providing new experiences, great incentives and prizes, a chance to create friendly rivalries and connections, and opportunities for recognition. This not only builds participation and excitement but has long-lasting benefit in terms of overall morale. Read more...