Wellness programs that work.

Northwest Bank was named one of the 2014 Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America by Healthiest Employers, a privately-held technology and data research firm that focuses on corporate wellness.

We earned this achievement by developing a high-quality wellness program to establish and maintain a healthy workplace for our employees. Our goal is to provide the tools for a healthy life to everyone at Northwest.

Wellness programs can reap many benefits for your company, including healthier and happier employees, lower absenteeism due to illness, financial savings and more. The key is selecting a wellness program that is right for your company.

Here are five issues to consider while developing a wellness plan:

  1. Get approval from the top.
    Garner executive-level support by clearly communicating the benefits and objectives of your wellness program. If you’re struggling to define these goals, it’s too early to discuss! Don’t risk losing the support of management before you even have a chance to succeed. Encourage company ownership or executives to actively participate in the program to boost employee enthusiasm.
  2. Give employees what they need.
    If you offer assistance in areas based on the health problems and fitness levels of your employees, you’ll increase the likelihood they will participate. Ask them what they want. Smoking cessation seminars, nutrition classes, weight loss programs and free flu shots are often popular options.
  3. Make wellness worth their while.
    Give positive incentives to employees who participate, especially as they achieve program milestones. These rewards can be as simple as certificates of achievement, gift cards to local businesses or even cash deposited into employee health savings accounts. While positive incentives work best, negative incentives – like higher health insurance rates for those who do not participate – can also motivate.
  4. Embrace team spirit.
    Make participation fun. Teamwork and camaraderie help employees stay motivated and reach their goals. Examples include lunchtime walking clubs, healthy break room snacks and gifts like water bottles and pedometers (with the company logo, of course). Send regular email alerts with updates, helpful hints and tips and acknowledgement of achievements.
  5. Involve the pros.
    Enlist the assistance of a nearby gym, pharmacy, medical practice or yoga studio to enhance your wellness program with in-house seminars, classes and clinics. Group discounts are also appreciated.