In short, yes. Corporate wellness can be your competitive advantage.
Allow me to explain why. But first, it's important to understand the goals of a corporate wellness program. Most programs have some combination of these goals:
- Increase productivity and efficiency of work
- Improve employee morale and engagement
- Develop a more positive company culture
- Cut costs on insurance and employee healthcare packages
Some companies might have variations of these, or goals specific to their workforce, but in general, this is what many companies want out of wellness. When done right, an employee wellness program can absolutely deliver on all those accounts.
That being said, the leap from wellness to competitive advantage really isn't that far. Check out these four ways your wellness program can set you apart from your business competitors.
Basic Production Advantages
As I said earlier, when done right, your program can absolutely meet the general wellness goals: increased productivity and efficiency, improved morale and engagement, a positive company culture and lower healthcare costs.
Quite simply, if you meet all of those goals, your company will run more smoothly. When your company runs more smoothly, you can provide a better product or service than your competition. When you're better than the competition, you win business. Simple as that!
Being able to attract talented employees is another way wellness can provide you with a competitive advantage. Obviously good employees will do good work for you, so this is clearly a one-up on your competitors.
But how will your wellness program draw these talented employees in? The workplace is evolving, and providing wellness options is one way you can keep up. With the constant connectedness of our lives today, many people take work home with them, exclusively work from home, work on the road and so many other non-traditional work situations. With this new, fluid "office space," work-life balance isn't necessarily as relevant as it once was.
Many employees today want to work, and they want their lives. They expect the two to mesh with no troubles. Your wellness program takes step towards that seamless connection because it provides a "life" component to the workplace.
Similarly, more millennials enter the workforce every day. It's no secret that this generation is different than others. They expect different things from a workplace. They want more from a job than just a paycheck. Your wellness program can contribute to this "more" factor.
Finally, a wellness program is an excellent way to show potential employees that you care about them. When employees feel cared for at work, they'll be more engaged, more productive and more willing to come to and stay with your company.
Essentially, it comes down to this: take care of your talent, and your talent will take care of you.
A positive public image is also something your wellness program can help you use as leverage over your competitors. Today, nothing is private, and if you don't create an image, one will be created for you online.
It's important to be proactive and show consumers that you are a company with which they want to work. When they see that you help your employees live healthy lifestyles, they'll know you care about your workforce and about the work you do.
Many people also value transparency. In order to provide that to your consumers, you need to do things you're proud of. Investing in your employees' well-being is something to be very proud of!
In the end, it's important to give people a peek inside your office environment because nothing is really "behind closed doors" anymore, anyways. When they get this sneak peek, give them something positive to look at.
While your wellness program is ultimately about your employees, it's also simply great PR. Wellness activities like group workouts, healthy potlucks and community activities are excellent opportunities to show what's behind the scenes of your workplace. You can use these types of events to relate to the public, fill social media pages, secure media placement and ultimately get your company name in front of new audiences.
Is there really any question? Wellness programs -- when done right -- are just all around good for you and your company. Aside from meeting excellent company goals, a wellness program can help you to attract talented employees, maintain a positive image and keep up with your PR strategy. These things will help you differentiate yourself from your competition, and keep the cycle of good business turning.
What other competitive advantages have you seen from your employee wellness program?