Most businesses understand the importance of customer loyalty and how it benefits their bottom line: The more incentives and perks you can offer your customers, the more likely it is that they’ll return and spend more money.

But corporations spend so much time thinking about how to create loyal customers that some forget about the importance of creating loyal employees. Frankly, some of the “old standbys” of a standard benefits package aren’t cutting it anymore.

That’s why corporate wellness programs are becoming more important than ever. Wellness programs are designed to focus on the whole worker, inside and out. They promote health and fitness, mental healthcare, and set the tone for an environment of wellness that shows employees empathy for their work-life balance.

Now more than ever, employees need to feel safe returning to work in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. Having a wellness program in place for their return can encourage an environment of safety by focusing on health, cleanliness, and overall wellness in the office and at home.

When your employees are happy and feel truly cared for, they’re more likely to remain loyal to your business. Corporate wellness will no longer be something reserved for big businesses. It will be a necessity for all levels of the corporate world.

So, how can wellness programs really help with productivity and loyalty?

The Benefits Employees Really Want

When most people think about a standard benefits package, everything from healthcare to a 401(k) likely comes to mind. But expectations are changing in the working world. At the very least, your health and wellness package should include insurance, a company policy on smoking and drug use, and the assurance of a safe and healthy workplace environment.

But if you truly want to attract new employees and continue to build loyalty with your existing workers, building a wellness program from the ground up may be the best way to do it.

So what does a corporate wellness program actually consist of? For the most part, a wellness program is fully customizable depending on the needs of your business and your employees. But the program should be centered around specific areas of your employees’ well-being like:

  • Health and fitness ideas (gym memberships or on-site fitness center)
  • Giving each employee a wearable fitness tracker
  • On-site massage therapist
  • Healthy snacks/meals provided
  • Insurance coverage for mental health services
  • A focus on work-life balance (giving employees extra time off and encouraging frequent breaks)

Healthy employees not only miss fewer days of work, resulting in higher productivity levels, but they are also more likely to have more energy and motivation to complete their work and put their best effort forward. With that being said, wellness programs typically benefit employers and the business itself just as much as they benefit the employees.

Understanding Your Employees: The Key to the Ultimate Wellness Program

If you want to know about the benefits your employees really want or which areas of health and wellness they think would be most beneficial, asking them is a great place to start. Surveying employees that work for your business can let them know you’re taking an active interest in their health.

Employee surveys are still as relevant as ever and have many benefits, including:

  • Giving your employees a chance to be heard
  • Predicting behaviors
  • A way to adjust behaviors

Attracting New Talent in an Employee-Focused World

Recruitment is more important than ever, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the length of the pandemic, unemployment rates spiked to levels that hadn’t been reached since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans found themselves without jobs and filing for unemployment benefits.

As things slowly start to return to normal or the world focuses on a “new normal,” strong recruitment strategies, like using a headhunter, posting your open positions on multiple job sites, and promoting the benefits and perks that really matter, will help your business to attract top-talent individuals.

The importance of wellness programs in the workplace can’t be understated, not only to keep your current employees happy and productive but to attract new employees in a world that expects more than traditional benefits.

If you operate a small business, try focusing less on salaries and traditional healthcare benefits. Instead, focus on flexibility, wellness, and balance. Recent data has shown that allowing your employees the opportunity to work remotely increases interview rates by 44%. That should give you a clear idea of what workers are looking for.

While that may be true from a financial perspective, you can stand out as a small business by offering a better work-life balance for your employees and showing an interest in their physical and mental health and wellness.

Again, it has to do with what employees really want. Some industries (including healthcare) offer things like tuition reimbursement, which can help to reduce stress levels in their employees. Think about what you can do to show your workers that you value every aspect of their lives and consider making it a part of your wellness program.