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How can you build a wellness program that truly resonates with your hard-working manufacturing employees?

Let's explore some ideas and strategies that can help you design a program that not only meets their health needs but also fits into their busy physical work schedules.

In an ever-evolving industry, where automation, next-shoring, and robotics are shifting the way we work, it's important to remember that people are still the backbone of any successful industrial business. Their skills, ethics, and dedication are irreplaceable, making them a priceless asset for any company.

However, to ensure their productivity and well-being, it's crucial to prioritize their health and safety, providing them with a work culture that promotes physical and mental wellness. By doing so, companies can not only retain their top talent but also boost their performance and profitability, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.

As healthcare costs continue to increase at a faster pace than incomes, your wellness program needs to go beyond encouraging employees to achieve 10,000 steps per day. Shockingly, one in every two individuals is suffering from a largely preventable chronic health condition, which accounts for 80% or more of the healthcare spending in the United States.

Despite the data generated by health monitoring tools like Fitbits and Apple Watches, employers still lack the necessary insight to manage their wellness programs and lower healthcare costs.

Does your company currently have an employee wellness program in place? And if so, are you tracking its effectiveness?

It's been found that less than half of employees remain committed to their wellness program for the entire year, and only 38% report that their program helps them manage healthcare expenses.


Wellness can do better!

In fact, it can change employee lives and keep employers fiscally fit!


Here are four strategies for getting your employees to engage in wellness:


  1. Capture and apply physical health data to detect risk

Less than one-third of employers are aware of their employee's key physical health indicators which place businesses at risk. Capturing and identifying employee physical health capabilities is crucial for properly managing employee health and safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of the American population suffers from a physical chronic condition. Identifying physical health concerns can help prevent an unnecessary incident and can have a significant impact on productivity. To create a successful wellness program, employers should conduct comprehensive physical health assessments, including those in the form of physical capability assessments that deliver the key data needed to place employees in jobs they will be safe and productive. This process should be repeated annually to spot trends in physical health and predict declines in physical abilities that could lead to injuries in the workplace.


  1. Offer personally relevant recommendations to monitor and improve health

Employees need more than just access to their health information; they need help understanding and implementing it. Your wellness program should identify preventive needs and health risks, set personal physical health goals, and provide tailored recommendations. Regular updates and incentive-based rewards can drive progress and save costs.


  1. Provide meaningful incentives seamlessly integrated with benefits

Offering a wellness program alone may not encourage employees to use it. Incentives and rewards are key to driving engagement. Employees are more likely to use health tools that are integrated with their benefits package and provide instant access to deductible status, out-of-pocket expenses, and other monetary-based incentives.


  1. Make wellness automatically accessible anytime, anywhere

Simplify your employees' wellness program by offering them a single app accessible from any device. Research shows that 88% of workers prefer a single login to access wellness information, while 80% prefer simple-to-follow workout plans with visual graphics. Give them the option to easily request, share, and update their information on the go, including access to a health coach or searchable information from reputable health organizations.


You can’t automate or outsource better health, but you can inspire and shape it. You empower your people with the right tools to do the job. Now, empower your people with the ability to take better care of their physical health. Help them understand why it’s important, and give them the guidance and incentives to manage their physical health. This will help you create sustainable engagement in wellness. And sustainable engagement can lead to more than just healthcare cost savings—it can change lives.


About the author

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP

Philip Stotter, MS, CEP has over 25+ years of experience in the medical, health, wellness, and professional sports industries. Clinician turned business developer, Philip is a sought-after industry speaker and professional consultant. His ground-breaking work in injury prevention, paired with the science of human movement, has put him at the forefront of product development with a multidisciplinary approach that integrates physiology, biomechanics, cutting-edge technologies, and data-driven research.