Sage Advice

Focus on wellness programs to attract top talent

The skills shortage is a real issue affecting employers in many different sectors. Can your human resources management team come up with some ways to land the top talent? The strategy that your company might want to use to attract highly coveted members of the workforce is to promote the importance of healthcare while touting the organization's focus on improving the work-life balance of its staff.

Wellness programs are on the rise

In fact, a new study from the Society of Human Resources Management found more than 7 in 10 of the more than 440 HR professionals who took part in the survey said their business offers a wellness program, resource or service to their employees. The research showed 56 percent of these respondents said they saw an increase in participation in these programs from 2011 to 2012. But are these initiatives working to attract workers and retain existing employees?

"More employees are taking advantage of wellness programs that their employers offer, but the challenge for employers remains in quantifying the impact of wellness programs," said Alex Alonso, vice president of research at SHRM. "Fewer than three out of 10 organizations measure return on investment or cost savings associated with wellness programs. Yet organizations indicate they would be more likely to invest in wellness initiatives if they could measure impact."

Workers want employers to put a greater emphasis on health

The new year is a perfect time for organizations to stress the importance of the wellness of staff members. Many Americans rededicate themselves to becoming more physically fit and eating healthier. Businesses can demonstrate that they truly care about the health of their staff by creating programs that will help employees reach their goals. With more than 4 in 5 of 434 employees in a recent Keas study stating that they want to cut weight, exercise more or reduce stress in 2014, companies just need to find a way to get their staff members more involved.

Creative incentives to promote wellness

Organizations that want their staff members to take part in wellness programs need to figure out ways to get them involved. According to the Keas research, 38 percent stated they would be motivated by cash and 17 percent would respond to prizes. In addition, 38 percent believe they would work out more if there was a gym onsite and 21 percent answered that the option to work flexible hours and/or work from home could get them involved with company-run health programs. Figuring out how to get the workforce excited about health could be a good way to retain current employees and make the company look better to job seekers who want to find their next employer.

"Engaging employees by making health part of the company culture has become a key factor in this equation," said Josh Stevens, CEO of Keas. "Healthier employees are happier employees, and happier employees are more engaged and productive.

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