Companies with Class: Using Wellness Classes to Engage Employees

Corporate wellness is trending, and employers are discovering that there is more to wellness programs than simply offering health screenings and encouraging employees to buy a wearable fitness device. The more effort that goes into a program – organizing wellness challenges, implementing a Health Risk Assessment and a wellness portal, adopting a health-oriented culture in the office – the more successful it will be. Engaging employees can be a difficult task; with so much going on in their lives, individuals often acknowledge that they should be doing more for their health, but struggle to take the necessary steps.

In situations like this, workplace wellness classes can make a tremendous impact on employee engagement and motivation. Many companies are finding that employees respond very well to the convenience of on-site wellness classes.

These classes can cover a wide range of health topics such as mental, financial, and physical wellbeing, and more. Many companies opt to bring in outside coaches or trainers to conduct classes, like nutritionists, life coaches, or dance teachers. However, the classes can be organized internally as well. For example, the famously trendy Google offers classes through a program called Googlers-to-Googlers, in which all classes are offered to and taught by Google employees. The classes can be on nearly any topic — from kickboxing to parenting to public speaking.

Much like wellness challenges, wellness classes offer an entire world of possibilities. With some creativity, the classes can be fun, unique, and effective no matter what the theme.

Physical Health Classes

  • Boxing
  • Foam rolling
  • Hula hooping
  • Better posture
  • Pilates
  • Power walking
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Disease management
  • Nutrition
  • Weight loss

Mental and Emotional Health Classes

  • Meditation
  • Stress management
  • Addiction management
  • Sleep improvement

Life Improvement Classes

  • Financial wellness and budgeting
  • Parenting
  • Public speaking
  • Time management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Social media 101

Creative Classes

  • Photoshop
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Dancing
  • Creative writing
  • Improv
  • Gardening

Career Improvement Classes

  • SEO
  • Java
  • Online advertising
  • Web design
  • Communication
  • Business writing

As you can see from this far-from-comprehensive list, the possibilities are endless. Of course, it is unrealistic to attempt all these classes at once, especially for smaller businesses. However, the most fundamental classes for companies to consider are nutrition, physical fitness of some kind, stress management, and general life coaching. These are the building blocks that form a wellness class foundation for any company of any size.

While some companies go all out on their wellness programs – team building retreats, custom-designed tech-based wellness challenges, fully furnished recreation rooms complete with organic indoor gardens and gaming centers (we’re looking at you again, Google) – not all companies can afford expensive, intricate employee health programs.

Luckily, many corporate wellness classes, including some of the ones listed above, can be found online for free. In that case, all it takes is a simple click to view or download, and employees will be on their way to living fuller, happier, healthier lives.

As with other aspects of a wellness program, the first step is assessing the needs of employees. If your employees generally don’t struggle with obesity or unhealthy eating, implementing a nutrition or weight loss class will be a waste of time and money. Health risk assessments are a great tool for identifying and addressing the health needs of employees, as employers can use them to collect and analyze data regarding employee health — from risk of diabetes or depression to unhealthy eating habits or lack of exercise.

Once a class subject has been selected, consider the amount of time and resources your workplace has to dedicate to the endeavor. Perhaps a horseback-riding class would be well-received by enthusiastic employees, but it may not be the most practical or affordable way to engage workers in a healthy outdoor activity. Creating a budget for workplace wellness classes is imperative to avoid biting off more than you can chew.

A little foresight and effort is involved, but wellness classes can be a fundamental part of cultivating wellness in the workplace. Individuals truly respond to employer efforts to make healthy living fun, interactive, and convenient. It’s a no-brainer than many people would much rather do Zumba during their lunch break than trudge to the gym after a long day of work. Convenience aside, on-site classes are also a wonderful way to encourage team building and positive coworker interaction. Increased productivity, boosted morale, higher employee engagement, and lowered healthcare costs — with wellness classes, your company can have it all, and have fun doing it!

David Ashworth

David AshworthVerified account

Chief Executive Officer at MediKeeper
David Ashworth is a seasoned CEO with over 30 years of heading local, regional and global businesses – from start-ups to $4 billion companies. He has held management positions in organizations in Europe, Asia and the United States.. David holds a BA in business administration from Lady Spencer Churchill College in Oxford, England, and has attended INSEAD Business School and the Stanford Executive Program.
David Ashworth

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