A few years ago, when corporate wellness programs were still unheard of, most companies in the Middle East would only offer the occasional aerobic exercises to their employees or gym memberships for the executives. However, these measures have already been proven to be ineffective and usually end up as a waste of time and money as these do not really make an impact on their employees.
Short-term health promotion campaigns, such as the occasional aerobic exercises, and exclusive-only engagements, like the gym membership for executives, are doomed to failure because they do not reflect genuine corporate wellness.
Corporate wellness should be a habit and not just a one-time event. Effective wellness programs should also be designed for everyone in the company and not just for the higher-ups.
An effective corporate wellness program requires more than gym passes and salads in the cafeteria, but it also does not need to be complicated for it to be successful. Cultivating a healthy workplace can actually be simple and seamless when carefully planned and implemented.
So what makes a corporate wellness program effective?
The most crucial aspect in making a company’s wellness program more efficient is to assess the needs of both employers and employees. Gathering information as to what the company wants for its employees and comparing it with what the employees actually need is important to make the two sides meet halfway. A corporate wellness program, no matter how carefully planned, is useless when it does not fit the needs of its intended audience.
An effective employee fitness program entails communication between employers and employees. Both sides should be involved in choosing a wellness program that best suits them, and planning is only half of the process.
The most common mistake that companies make in their wellness programs is to think of it as a bonus rather than a requirement. This leads to the programs not being taken seriously. When employers treat their wellness programs this way, employees would also follow suit. This kind of attitude towards corporate wellness renders the entire program meaningless.
Therefore, to maximize the benefits of these programs and help employees reach their full potential, corporate wellness programs should be valued not only for how much money it saves the company but also in its ability to build commitment and loyalty among its employees.
As such, companies, particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, should learn to view their employees’ health as an investment instead of a liability. After all, employees are the most valuable asset of a company.