Time flies when you’re having fun! It is not uncommon for employers to come to
the end of a plan year and realize they suddenly need to spend carrier wellness
funds before they expire. Before you waste money on things that won’t help
improve your population’s health status or boost morale, take a breather and
consider the following. Identify what you want to accomplish with your
purchase. Is your goal to produce a “feel good” effect, increase onsite
wellbeing resources, or motivate employees to improve their own personal
health? The most important thing is to consider what would resonate with your population. Here are a few ways to spend
wellness funds before they run out.
There are few things that reinforce organizational
commitment to wellbeing more than a company sponsored wellness week. Allowing
employees to partake in a week (or even one day) full of activities promoting wellbeing
is an easy way to spend your funds. An onsite chair massage, healthy catered lunch,
fresh fruit delivery, cooking demonstration, onsite fitness classes, onsite farmer’s
market, motivational presentation or an outdoor field day are just a few ideas
you could incorporate into a wellness week. Consider combining this with an
employee appreciation week and follow it up with having managers recognize
their staff personally for their efforts through public recognition or a kind
note of praise. This can have a lasting impact and sends a greater message of
value to individuals. When planning activities focus on your population’s
interests and get creative with including employees in the planning process.
Another increasingly popular way to spend wellness funds is
to offer experiential gifts that allow for employees to learn and grow together
and feel uniquely cared for. Research confirms that spending money on
experiences produces a more positive effect than purchasing tangible items.
Using your funds to buy a group challenge, sporting event tickets or other team
building activities can demonstrate appreciation and improve social and career
wellbeing. This could also be done in the form of raffle where experiential
gifts are prizes.
Fitness and Nutrition Prizes
Put your funds to work by raffling off items such as a
high-quality blender or activity device in exchange for participation in a
wellbeing interest survey, volunteer hours or participation in a 5k. Purchase items to enhance the built
environment of your workplace such as free weights and yoga mats for a
designated exercise break room, desk pedals or stability balls for desk-bound
employees, or a Vitamix for shared kitchen. Purchase healthy treats for
everyone prior to the holidays, including a recipe, to show your appreciation
and support of your employees.
When you’re faced with a last minute decision, you can still
exercise intentional spending to maximize your wellness funds. There are so
many ways to promote wellbeing! The first step is identifying what your
population would most appreciate given the current cultural environment. Filter
your purchasing decisions through a wellbeing lens and attempt to address each
of the wellbeing domains: Career, Financial, Social, Physical and Community. For
more information on Shifting Gears from
Wellness to Wellbeing click here.