Corporate wellness programs can be great for employees and businesses. They can help prevent chronic disease, combat rising healthcare costs, lower absentee rates and generally increase productivity by making employees happier and healthier.
If you’re looking for a way to keep healthy lifestyles visible all year, hitch your wagon to the star of national health observances. Here’s a little information that might help you get started.
First, health observances are nationally recognized days, weeks, or months focused on prevention that raise awareness of health issues. Health observances offer the perfect opportunity to stage company events to educate employees about how to reduce their risk and improve their health and in the process, while showing them you care and getting them engaged with the company and their co-workers. These events will have the most impact if you follow them up with structured, long-term activities.
A great example would be to hold an employee heart-health fair on National Wear Red Day in February and involve employees in company programs like walking and healthy cooking clubs. The National Heart Association has already created name recognition for the observance, so it should be easy to get people involved, especially if you offer a few perks, like free gym visits or time off to participate in employee fitness events. Other national organizations like the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association offer ideas, support and information for companies looking to integrate health observances into their wellness programs.
To find observances that might work for your company, check out the “official” health observances calendar at healthfinder.gov, a publication of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The new calendar is usually published after the first full week in November for the following year.
Here’s a smattering of some of the most popular, most publicized health observances:
- National Nutrition Month in March
- National Women’s Health Week in May
- Men’s Health Week in June
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October
- Great American Smoke-Out in November
When your employees know that you care about them, they are make a commitment to your business. Need help with communications plans and toolkits to get your employees mobilized to participate? Let us know. We can help!