Making the most of your corporate wellness program
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Making the most of your corporate wellness program

Instituting a wellness program in your office is one thing, but doing it right is another. Read on as UAE Medical Insurance provides information on how to get the most out of your company's wellness program in the UAE.

Is wellness on your company’s radar? We’re not just talking about medical insurance here. Rather, a program that will not only deliver more health-conscious employees to your business, but also deliver superior results that will drive efficiency and productivity in your offices. Companies around the world are waking up to the benefits that a comprehensive wellness program can give to employers and employees alike, and UAE companies are no different. Here, UAE Medical Insurance examines a few key ways that you can see a successful wellness program help the performance of your staff, and thereby your company as a whole.

Prominence of wellness benefits

Many companies that have had the means to implement wellness programs are already crowing about the results they are seeing. Dow Chemical, for example, has already seen a 7% reduction in stress among its staff after implementing its program. Another company, this one in Abu Dhabi, reported their program’s blood tests for employees yielded the results that 89% of their employees had high cholesterol, while 25% were pre-diabetic. These are the types of stories that have led to the spread of wellness benefits in the UAE and beyond.

Managing a company’s wellness program is not an easy or automatic thing. If you want to make sure that you are truly getting value for the money you spend, you must make sure that employees are actually making use of it. This has been a struggle for many companies. A survey by Limeade saw 52% of employers state that participation was their biggest challenge where their wellness program is concerned. Additional results of the survey showed that 36% of the audience felt at odds with employees when it comes to developing long-term healthy living habits, and 49% were having problems initiating and maintaining interest in their wellness program. There are steps that can be taken to make sure that the company and its employees are on the same page, though.

Know your audience

Wellness programs need not be, and likely should not be, ones-size-fits-all. Indeed, the wellness benefits that will work best for your company is the one that appeals the most to your specific employees. In order to accomplish this, you must analyze the makeup of your staff. Consider their demographics, as well as their geographic location. For companies with locations in multiple countries, it may be best to obtain bespoke wellness plans for each separate office. Plan administrators should also effectively communicate with staff in the hopes of understanding their cultural needs and personal interests.

For example, while an office that has been around for a relatively long time may have older staff that could benefit from stress reduction initiatives, but aren’t necessarily that interested in getting active at work, a newer office with a bunch of 20-somethings on its roster is likely to be more demanding of wellness benefits like gym memberships or team yoga classes. What kind of options do you have to choose from for your employees? There are quite a few options out there, including:

  • Catered events

  • Charity events

  • Health and prevention education

  • Gym membership

  • Personal training

  • Wellbeing seminars

  • Meditation

  • Yoga, aerobics and other classes

  • Mindfulness education

  • Fun excursions

  • Stress management

  • Psychiatric or psychological therapy

  • Life coaching

  • Health screenings

  • Nature walks

  • Company sports teams

  • Weight management

  • Targeted intervention programs

  • Professional development programs

  • Family activities at work

  • Counseling helplines

Clearly, if your company goes to the effort of securing a wellness program, the people in charge will want to see staff actually using it, and are likely looking for more than half of employees to do so, if not almost everyone. What’s more, many of these activities require people within the company to step into leadership roles to organize them, which aids in professional development. This is not only to get value for money spent, but also because it has been shown that these types of programs promote teamwork, productivity and staff retention.

Give employees a choice

Annual medical cost inflation in the UAE is generally 9-10%, which is a great deal higher than the 2-3% general inflation that is seen in the country. This shows that healthcare costs are rising, and this should be a consideration for all businesses in the country – especially those in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that are required to purchase health insurance for employees. Even so, companies are still including wellness benefits beyond the requirements laid out by these emirates, and they are empowering their employees to make decisions about the wellness plan that they will be using.

By developing a system of surveying employees about their hopes for a wellness program, people in your company can feel empowered to take control of their personal wellbeing and health. Some companies are now offering customizable health and wellness benefits so that employees are able to opt into certain benefits that they feel are a good fit for their preferred lifestyle. The overall focus of wellness is to promote good health now instead of simply relying on health insurance to help with bad health later on. It makes sense to let people choose just how they can work wellness and healthy living into their personal lives. Truly, there are more ways than ever for companies to set up their wellness programs, as more and more businesses are blazing the trail for what these programs can be.

Let’s face it: If a company’s wellness plan is going to be successful, a majority of its staff is going to have to actively engage in it throughout the year. Otherwise, the whole thing can come across as a waste of time, effort, and money. Giving people choices that will get them to participate in a wellness program is a no-brainer.

Working on wellness

Looking at the list of wellness program examples above, it’s easy to see that some of these would need to be organized by the employers/employees themselves, but others can be obtained from outside the company. Many health insurance companies today are offering wellness packages that will serve as a great base for companies looking to add these types of benefits and make a more holistic health and medical plan.

Those in the UAE who are thinking that wellness could have a real impact on their business would do well to contact UAE Medical Insurance. Our agents can listen to your specific wants and needs, and then scour the local and global insurance market to find the insurance provider that is best suited to offer what you are looking for at a price that fits into your budget. Compare plans from multiple insurance companies and get a free quote today!


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