10 Companies that are Leading the Way in Wellness
These 10 companies are leading the way in wellness and serious about the perks that they offer their employees to get and stay healthy.
More and more companies are jumping on board with initiatives to help improve employee well-being. Benefits ranging from improved staff morale and productivity to the potential for saving money (Learn more in "Do Workplace Wellness Programs Save Employers Money?") provide good reasons for employers to value their investment in a wellness program.
There are a number of possible wellness initiatives that a company can employ, ranging from biometric testing (Learn more in "Introduction to Biometric Testing and Benefits of Use".) to on-site health and fitness classes, flexible work times, extra paid parental leave, and everything in between. Let's take a look at the perks that are being offered by companies who are leading the way in workplace wellness.
Virgin is a leader in flexible work arrangements. They offer initiatives such as working from home, unlimited leave, and well-being in the workplace. In a discussion about employee well-being and company culture, Virgin founder Richard Branson explained the importance of flexible work in their company. Richard explained that "Flexible working encourages our staff to find a better balance between their work and private lives, and through this balance they become happier and more productive."
Intel has made headlines with an employee mindfulness program for its global workforce. In their nine week voluntary program, participants start by deciding on the area they would most like to improve. The main part of the course includes developing the skills of quietening the mind, exploring emotional intelligence, and mindful listening. These skills are vital to maintaining a healthy social structure within a workforce. The program is based on the Intel mindfulness philosophy, which embraces concepts such as uncertainty and new information.
3. Clif Bar
It is not only huge companies that are leading the way with workplace wellness. Organic energy bar company, Clif Bar, offers worker sabbaticals to improve employer well-being. This practice allows employers to take time off from work with the goal that they will return feeling refreshed and renewed. Sabbaticals are only one of many wellness initiatives offered by Clif Bar. Others include free fitness classes and the ability to take exercise sessions during work or break times.
4. Southwest Airlines
Southwest airlines are well known for their outstanding company culture. They offer a three step well-being program for employees, called Wellness Rewards. This involves biometric screening, a smoking cessation program if needed, and an optional challenge or program chosen by the employee. Other health and wellness perks as a Southwest employee include dental, medial and vision coverage, disability plans, and life insurance coverage, and the Clear Skies employee assistance program. (Learn more in "Supporting Employee Mental Health in the Workplace".)
5. General Electric
GE's global well-being program HealthAhead, focuses on empowering employees and their families to lead healthy, well-balanced lives. They offer programs for getting active, eating healthy, sleeping soundly, quitting tobacco, staying healthy, and finding balance. These programs are based on a well-being pillar which encompasses healthy environments, healthy people, and healthy connections. The opportunity for flexible working hours and locations are also offered. This helps employees to feel valued as an integral part of decision making processes, and enables them to spend quality time with their families.
A clear leader on the web, Google is also leading the way with the health and well-being perks it offers employees. Family is a focus, with offers of generous parental leave policies, retirement savings plans, and death benefits. Some offices even offer the perk of allowing employees to bring their canine friends to work. Some Google workplace sites offer physicians, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage services. Many of their offices have on-site fitness centers and classes, and campus cafes provide nutritious meals and snacks to keep workers energized and focused throughout the day.
7. Whole Foods Market
John Mackey from Whole Foods Market believes that health care should not only be about containing costs, but also about helping people to lead healthy, vibrant and fulfilled lives. Whole foods combats rising health-care costs through their range of innovative health care and wellness plans. They offer a health insurance plan, a healthy discount incentive program, and total health immersion. The latter two programs aim to provide additional help to those who need it most, based on each team member's degree of wellness. The incentives offer those who are most at risk the opportunity to take control of and transform their health.
Values-based shoe business, Zappos, offers a number of wellness perks for employees. These include an on-site 24/7 fitness center, yoga studio and shower facilities, onsite and virtual fitness classes, company sponsored fitness challenges, weight management programs to combat obesity, ergonomic work station set up, and an incentive based wellness program. Medical, dental, vision and orthodontic coverage are offered, as well as paid vacation time that increases with the number of years employees have worked there. Wellness Adventures is one of their out-of-the-box initiatives. Small groups of employees get the opportunity to visit an off-site location and do something fun together, away from work. The overall focus is on making wellness fun.
Tradeshift have a collaborative culture and a disruptive vision, and they love to challenge the status quo. Their "eat, play, grow" philosophy means 100% coverage, unlimited vacation and sick time, and perks such as in-office yoga, boot camps and gym memberships. They also take care of the healthy food side of things by offering a fully stocked kitchen with healthy snacks, and provide daily catered lunches. A team-centered approach means employees are offered camps, field trips, sports games and happy hours. The benefits of working for Tradeshift extend even further, from mentoring and professional development, to maternity, paternity, and adoption leave for employees.
Asana is another company that includes mindfulness as a core approach to its wellness philosophy. They create a healthy environment for employees by offering three nutritious meals each day, as well as on-site yoga and free gym memberships. Other benefits include parental leave, flexible vacation time, and Uber credits. Asana holds the belief that every day should be employee appreciation day. They understand that appreciation goes a long way towards connection, and that it helps to improve health, happiness, and productivity.
Take the next step
Ready to implement a wellness program in your workplace? Consider incorporating some of the successful ideas above into your health and wellness promotion program. (Learn more in "7 Steps for Implementing a Workplace Wellness Program".) You can also follow other leaders in company health and wellness on Twitter. (Learn more in "Top Workplace Wellness Feeds to Follow on Twitter".)
Written by Elly McGuinness
Elly has been inspiring people to make sustainable changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle for the past 15 years. She offers online solutions for people who are looking to get started on, or improve their health and fitness. She blogs regularly, writes for a number of health and well-being publications and is the published author of a holistic weight loss book.