Companies With Wellness Programs That Challenge Their Employees

Companies With Wellness Programs That Challenge Their Employees

Not all corporate wellness programs are created equal. However, the ones done well result in significant positive returns not only for the employees themselves, but for everyone a part of the company ecosystem.

You know we are big fans of Corporate Wellness programs. We know they work and we know that their importance cannot be overemphasized. They’re best when teamed with clear and honest management systems like using Deputy scheduling to organise shift patterns and breaks.

Over the years, these programs have received a lot of criticism for being overoptimistic about the return on investment. Questions have been raised; do these programs really make a significant enough difference to warrant the huge investment required to keep these programs going? Well, we beg to differ. Corporate wellness programs done the right way, and we lay emphasis on the “right way,” do make a HUGE difference. And we’re not just saying that.

Most companies that have been rated among the Fortune 100 Best Companies to work for and The 50 best companies to work for in America from Business Insider are famed for their employee wellness programs. The scores were determined by “multiplying six criteria: high job satisfaction, low job stress, ability to telecommute, high job meaning, experienced median pay, and salary delta.” And what achieves most of these things better than corporate wellness?

We highlight two companies doing well and doing good through their wellness initiatives to support healthier, happier workers and corporate culture.

GOOGLE

As a company, Google continues to rank as one of the best places to work and leads the pack against its competitors when it comes to keeping its employees happy — and its corporate wellness programs are a major part of them.

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The blog “Why Are Google Employees So Damn Happy?” is an awesome read for an inside look into Google’s company culture and commitment to creating a happy, healthy workplace. From slides and ladders as an alternative to lifts and escalators and other little things like labeling food according to its nutritional value and hiding cookies, it’s obvious that Google really does care about it’s employees. I mean, they actually have 35 massage therapists employed in their United States offices for employees to get their massage fix without ever leaving the office.

Google’s wellness program shows that something as simple as a standing desk can make a world of a difference to employees. And… they have dance classes in some of their centers. Talking about these measures, Newton Cheng, Google’s Fitness Programs Manager, states:

“We know that if we can help someone be happy, it supports their ability to be innovative and creative.”

That’s obviously a corporate wellness program done well!

Safeway

Safeway is another great example of successful workplace wellness programs influencing other companies interested in taking a modern approach to positive behavior change. US Enterprise Medical Director, Dr. Peter Wald of Safeway, says that Safeway redefined its core business from “a grocery company with a wellness program,” to “a wellness company that happens to sell groceries,” and it is the best thing that could have happened to the company. Fitness centers, preventative-care health centers, and health-focused cafeterias work on this mission. The motto is to put health in “surround sound.”

Safeway’s dedication to this cause has resulted in public recognition, including the award for Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles® by the National Business Group on Health in 2013. And that’s just one of the many accolades it has received.

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Safeway’s collection of awards also include:

  • One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies
  • A Fortune Most Admired Company
  • A Top 100 Military Friendly Employer
  • A 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees
  • The 2013 Secretary of Defense Employers Support Freedom Award, the nation’s highest honor for employers of National Guard and Reserve members

In addition to its commitment to employee health and wellness, Safeway also supports communities by giving back through corporate philanthropy and that’s a wellness program initiative that employees love. The company works hard at decreasing carbon footprints and creating zero-waste facilities. Safeway also works with people with disabilities, and lays emphasis on education, hunger relief and cancer research. They have raised more than $1 billion through these initiatives since 2001. A great place to work for sure and their wellness initiatives are obviously working as they boast participation rates of over 80 percent.

So you see corporate wellness programs done well can be a major boost! Are there any other companies you see doing corporate wellness well? Let us know in the comments below!

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