Employee Wellness Programs in Manufacturing

#USAMfgHour Twitter Chat Recap for May 14, 2020

It is important to have a goal before starting a [wellness] program like this. It helps provide the direction of the type of activities you want to share with your employees.

– Shannon Simpson, @Duratech

This week, Shannon Simpson, Digital Marketing Specialist at DuraTech Industries (@DuraTech) hosted a #USAMfgHour Twitter chat on employee wellness programs.

After brief introductions, Shannon asked participants whether they have an employee wellness program in place and, if so, what it looks like.  Most everyone said that they do not have any formal programs in place, though they have various informal initiatives like continuing education and professional development and opportunities for staff to get together.  Shannon said that DuraTech offers special events and wellness programs and that both have committees to plan activities that include wellness fairs, biometric screenings, gym discounts, fitness challenges, lunch & learns, newsletters and even an on-site garden.

Next, Shannon asked what the overall goal of a wellness program would be for participants besides employee engagement.  Lower benefit costs? Promote a healthier workplace?   @CVTPlastics said that less sickness and absences through having a healthier workforce would benefit the company overall.  Shannon shared DuraTech’s wellness mission statement,

“To improve the health & well-being of DuraTech employees & their families’ lives through positive education & activities that will support positive lifestyle changes, resulting in improved employee productivity & morale,” which sums up the purpose of a wellness program nicely.

Next, Shannon asked, “How do you communicate with your employees that the wellness program is available to them and get them to engage in behavior change?”  @SocialSMktg said that small companies like hers have this easier, but that bigger companies would have to plan wellness events on a calendar and then integrate them into employee onboarding and communications.  Everyone agreed that communication is key.  Employees need to know they exist and that they will be beneficial.  Messages can be conveyed through internal communications such as email, bulletin board posts, or team meetings to start.  Shannon agreed, stating that @DuraTech talks about the wellness program during orientation and in newsletters and emails.  While all activities are voluntary, they do offer incentives such as a prize or a few hours of PTO.

If a company does not currently offer a wellness program, what steps can be taken internally to contribute to employee wellness?  @NestbitMarketing said, “A great first step is to allocate some time and resources to decide what the program would ideally look and feel like. What resources do you want to provide your staff? How will it improve the employee and the company? Then start planning.”  Shannon agreed and suggested starting small and gauging the response and then going from there.  And, don’t forget that wellness is about mental and financial wellbeing, too! .   

The last questions asked participants what other engagement activities they provide besides wellness.  Do they celebrate Anniversaries and Birthdays?  Nearly every participating company mentioned that they do acknowledge anniversaries and birthdays.  However, @paul_kiesche cautioned that celebrating those milestones are only nice if they are authentic and not repetitive and insincere.

Shannon closed the chat by encouraging participants to remember that no single wellness program is standard.  Each will vary based on company health trends and goals. Some ways to measure the impact of wellness programs include:

  • Utilization by employees
  • Positive feedback from employees
  • Reduction of overall health insurance costs
  • Overall improvement in employee satisfaction
  • Requests for additional programs
  • Employee suggestions for different programs
  • Reduction in sick days and absentees

Does your company have a wellness program?  If so, what does it entail?

Visit https://www.duratech.com/ to learn more about what @DuraTech does and how it may be able to help you with your custom printing needs such as company prints, custom nameplates and graphic overlays.  Questions about wellness programs?  Feel free to reach out to Shannon at [email protected]

The #USAMfgHour chat is founded by @CVTPlastics @DCSCInc @witzshared and @SERVICECASTER.  Be sure to follow the official account for chat highlights, recaps, and information at @USAMfgHourChat and visit us on other platforms to keep in touch between chats.

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