There are certain factors that compel job searchers to pursue one work opportunity over another. Specifically, a company that advertises great benefits will generally have an edge over an employer whose benefits package is far more stingy.

Now when we think about workplace benefits, we imagine things like health insurance, a retirement savings plan (ideally with an employer match to boot), and perks like free coffee and snacks. But apparently, workers these days are looking for more. In fact, 73% of professionals say that a company's health and wellness program is a key factor in their decision to work there, as per an OfficeTeam survey.

Man at desk looking up and smiling

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

If your company hasn't been focusing on health and wellness, it might be time to shift your approach to workplace benefits. Otherwise, you might not only lose out on prospective hires, but find that your current workers are jumping ship as well.

The importance of wellness programs

In today's competitive job market, employers need a way to set themselves apart from the pack. And for your business, that could mean offering a comprehensive wellness program that encourages healthy behavior on your workers' part.

And chances are, your company will benefit from it, too. When employees have an easier time maintaining good health, they're less likely to call out sick and miss work as a result.

What might your wellness program look like? In the aforementioned survey, professionals indicated that they'd like to see more:

  • Wellness incentives (such as rewards for meeting certain health or fitness goals)
  • Access to fitness facilities
  • Healthy food choices at the office
  • Ergonomic equipment
  • Stress management resources
  • On-site health screenings and vaccinations (such as the flu vaccine)

Now the good news -- for workers at least -- is that a large number of businesses already have a health and wellness program in place. A good 20% of companies, however, offer no such benefit, so if you're one of them, you might consider changing your tune.

Even if you already have a health and wellness program in place, it never hurts to give it a checkup. First, look into worker participation rates. If they're low, figure out what barriers might be preventing employees from maximizing this benefit. If, for example, you regularly offer on-site fitness classes, but few workers take advantage of them, it could be because your timing is off, or because there's too much pressure on employees to pass up these opportunities when deadlines loom. If that's the case, some internal messaging might do the trick in encouraging workers to better participate. At the same time, it never hurts to directly survey your employees and find out what aspects of your program they're enjoying, and where you need to improve.

When you help your employees stay physically and mentally healthy, they have an easier time performing optimally, and their outlook is more likely to stay positive. And that's reason enough to implement a comprehensive health and wellness program at your company.

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