There are many different types of corporate wellness programs. And the examples in this list will help you to pick the best one for your team.
In this guide we will look at all the different options and their benefits. Plus, I’ll also share insider tips that you need to know before you schedule your next corporate wellness program.
Let’s get started.
12 Best Types of Corporate Wellness Programs & Examples
1: Corporate Meditation Classes
Corporate Meditation Classes are sessions in which your employees will a) learn about meditation, and b) practice one or a few different meditation techniques.
Meditation is the practise of focusing the mind. It is often done by focusing on breathing although there are in fact many different meditation techniques.
This simple practice has staggering benefits.
Corporate Meditation Classes can usually be booked as single sessions or multi-session programs.
Most corporate meditation classes will involve doing a breathing meditation or perhaps a guided meditation.
Overall, meditation is excellent for mental health, and also excellent for your bottom line. You can learn about the benefits of meditation for your workplace here.
Example: Our own company has been giving corporate meditation classes for years. We are proud to be a leader in the field, and happy to answer any questions you have. So if you would like to know more, simply contact us today.
Read our guide to workplace meditation programs.
2: Dedicated Mental Health Groups
Precisely as it sounds, this is a group discussing mental health and advising employees on their mental wellness.
Generally speaking, a workplace mental health group will feature one or two healthcare professionals along with a group of employees. Sessions are usually held monthly with voluntary participation, and should be open to all.
The facilitator(s) creates a safe and friendly space in which all comers are able to share their thoughts, concerns, and challenges.
According to Jen Porter at Harvard Business Review, Workplace mental health groups work because they use the top 3 methods of addressing the mental health stigma. Those are: social connection, education, and peer support.
Accenture Inc. in Toronto has a dedicated mental health group and a Mental Health Ally program that educates employees about mental health and offers numerous world class facilities to help workers to stay healthy. No wonder it is listed as one of Canada’s top 100 employees by the Globe And Mail.
3: Encourage Community Involvement
One amazing corporate wellness program that many overlook is this: just reward employees for being active in their community.
Community involvement is critical for mental health. Why? Well, it is all about belonging.
According to Lauren Zuckman at Psychiatric Times, ““I have found that community involvement is really key to a sense of belonging and really feeding our soul as we think about maintaining our mental health.”
Sounds good. But it’s not always obvious how an employer can encourage workers to get involved with their community.
Education is a great start. Simply educate employees about local activities and events. You can also reward employees for getting involved, such as by sponsoring them for a charitable activity.
Manufacturer 3M, based in Minnesota with offices in Canada, rewards employees for their community involvement via the 3Mgives Volunteer Awards. Employees and retirees who volunteer in the local community are rewarded with a $2000 donation to a charity of their choosing. No wonder 3M is such a highly regarded employer. Not only does this workplace wellness program help the community, it also helps improve employee mental health.
4: Massage Services
Everyone enjoys a good massage. It’s good for stress relief and it helps to soothe aching joints. That’s why many companies hire professional masseurs and some even have an onsite masseur, you know, so you can get your back rubbed whenever you like, which for me is right now.
One popular option is Mobile Chair Massage. This is a type of massage done fully dressed while sitting in a chair. It doesn’t even require privacy.
Google offers its employees massage therapy while they are at work. Indeed they have a total of 35 massage therapists working in their various offices around the United States. Maybe that’s why Google is highly regarded as one of the best companies in the world to work for.
5: Workplace sabbatical
A workplace sabbatical is essentially a lengthy absence from the workplace. They are usually granted to employees after several years of service. They can be either paid or unpaid.
Indeed says, “During a sabbatical, an individual remains an employee of their organization, though they neither report to work nor perform their regular job duties. This is a common practice in educational institutions. For instance, a professor may decide to take a sabbatical for a semester or two to conduct some research in their field of specialization or teach at a foreign university”.
Adobe Systems Canada allows its employees to take a sabbatical of four to six weeks every five years. They also provide a staggering amount of onsite lounge amenities such as a pool table and board games, and a gym. I’d be happy to work there!
5: Mental Health Chat Support
There are times when employees might experience a mental health emergency. And at those times, it is imperative that they have the support they need to help them through.
One way your company can support employee’s mental health is by having a free-to-call telephone number to offer chat support. Make sure that all employees can access this support at all times.
On the other end of the line you will need corporate social workers who are qualified to handle the call. And you will also need psychologists who can diagnose people over the phone and make appropriate recommendations.
Bell Canada has its famous Let’s Talk support group, which employees can reach out to anytime they need. This provides bell employees with trained wellness specialists who can help employees over the phone. Outside of its own company, Bell Let’s Talk is helping end the stigma about mental health, and supporting millions of people in need. There is also an excellent toolkit that is designed as a support for anyone helping others with mental health challenges.
6: Company Town Hall Meeting
A Town Hall Meeting is essentially a large meeting of the entire company or department. You can use these meetings to communicate anything you like, and unfortunately many companies use them just to share results and to talk at employees, not to them. That’s the wrong way.
The right way to do a company town hall meeting is to use it as an open forum for employees to discuss anything they like, including health and wellness. The main goal is to create a sense of belonging because the feeling of belonging is vital for mental health.
Danone Canada does a monthly live-streamed town hall for employees to connect and chat. They also have a dedicated wellness page on their site and a “Lets Move” contest aimed at encouraging employees to get active.
7: Corporate Yoga Classes
Yoga is one of the best exercises for both the mind and body. A form of Integrated Body Mind Training, yoga helps with anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as physical fitness.
Many companies include onsite yoga facilities. Usually, this includes both professional instructors and a proper yoga room.
There are many corporate yoga teachers you might like to consider bringing in and you can book classes either as standalones or on a recurring basis.
Two of the common benefits of yoga at work are reduced back pain and less stress, according to the journal Occupational Medicine.
Ford Motor Company in Ottawa offers recurring yoga classes to its employees, in addition to pilates and Zumba classes and wonderful onsite fitness amenities.
8: Corporate Wellness Seminars
There are a wide range of corporate wellness seminars that can be scheduled as one-offs or as a series.
For instance, you can book corporate wellness seminars for mindfulness, meditation, holistic living, general mental health, mindful eating, and much more. We here at THE DAILY MEDITATION are experts in providing corporate wellness webinars, so be sure to contact us.
Most webinars can be arranged over a number of different platforms, such as Zoom and Webex, and are quite easy to setup.
Hershey’s Canada has a year long list of different wellness webinars for employees, with many excellent guest speakers. They are rockstars at educating employees about wellness.
9: Smoking Cessation Programs
You already know that smoking is a killer. Employees who smoke cigarettes cost employers significantly more money in health expenditure. In fact, many employers find that smoking cessation programs save them money in the long run. And of course, it is also a wonderful thing to help workers quit smoking.
Corporate smoking cessation programs usually involve both providing pharmaceuticals and educative services, such as by bringing in a coach.
Union Pacific provides employees with a smoking cessation program that provides both pharmaceuticals and coaching. Thanks to the program, the number of employees at Union Pacific who smoke has dropped from 40% in the 1990s to 17% in 2007.
10: Healthy transport programs
One of the most popular corporate wellness programs in 2022 is the bike share. A simple idea, it allows employees to share a free bike to ride to work. It’s an inexpensive option but one that encourages workers to get active.
Another option is to provide financial incentives to employees who use environmentally friendly forms of transport, such as walking, riding a bike, and taking the bus.
Bike sharing has actually become so popular that there are thousands of companies with bike share programs, including Facebook in Menlo Park California.
11: Naps at work…?!
Usually you wouldn’t be happy about your employees falling asleep at work. But actually there are big benefits of a siesta, provided it is done correctly. Indeed, companies like Asana and Facebook have invested in special nap rooms to help employees get some rest. And it works because of the flexible work hours.
It is scientifically proven that naps increase our productivity according to Meredith Somers at MIT Sloan School of Management. So if you let employees nap at work you might actually see better results.
Asana, a tech company producing organisational management softwate, lets employees take a nap at work and even has dedicated nap rooms. Incidentally, the’ve also made it onto INC magazine’s annual list of the 100 best places to work. Not just once. Four times in a row.
12: Corporate wellness retreats
You can find corporate retreats for virtually any activity you want to do. And that’s great. Why? Because spending time as a team away from work can greatly increase teamwork. There are many excellent team building retreats, ranging from adventures in the great outdoors to luxurious spa retreats.
To find the ideal retreat, survey your team about the types of activities they enjoy. Then book whichever type of retreat everyone sounds interested in.
Remote Saas sales company Vivun took its employees to the stunning French Alps with the unique and exciting theme of “Mission Impossible”.
And there you are, the best types of corporate wellness programs.
These corporate wellness programs will boost your employees’ health while also supporting a healthy bottom line.
Why not get started with one of our corporate meditation classes? Contact us for details.
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison