Influencing Wellness on a Shoestring

11 APRIL, 2017

Influencing Wellness on a Shoestring

Wellness Programs

Wellness programs can be complicated and a target for regulatory agencies as employers’ good intentions can conflict with privacy and discrimination laws. So, as a hospitality employer, what are your options?  Can you influence wellness in your workplace?  Can you do so without a large budget or fancy tracking program? We believe you can. Here are some easy, cost and resource effective ideas to get you started.

What do your vendor partners already provide?

Typically, health insurance providers have wellness components incorporated into their coverage options. Think in terms of smoking cessation, cancer screenings, diabetes support, regular wellness physicals, flu shots and immunizations. Your providers may even be willing to host a ‘wellness fair’ at your property.

Beyond traditional physical health, also consider the emotional and financial health of your employees.  Check with your 401(k) administrator and your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see what ideas or additional resources can be contributed.

    Suggested Actions

  • Explore options with your vendor partners.
  • Spotlight health, financial, and emotional wellness in new hire orientation materials.
  • Check your Non-Solicitation Policy to ensure compliance.

Scan your work environment for wellness robbers.

For a wellness focus to be authentic, the work environment must align and support your initiatives.  Consider the following antidotes against wellness robbers.

    Suggested Actions

  • Replace candy jars with fruit, nuts and even mindfulness notes.
  • Subsidize healthy options in vending machines/lunch rooms (charge less for apples than for candy bars).
  • Provide healthier options for employee lunches, meetings and gatherings.
  • Make hand sanitizer easily available.
  • Arrange a walking club before or after work.
  • Provide pedometers and generate enthusiasm around taking steps (literally).
  • Incorporate light stretching and a mindfulness quote into daily standups.
  • Sign up for local runs/walks and provide logo t-shirts for participants.

Make wellness a continued effort and make it fun.

As with any initiative, without support, excitement and fun, it will likely fizzle.  Getting managers on-board and setting examples is a great way to generate momentum and gain followers. Establishing a voluntary committee to evaluate and keep ideas fresh can encourage involvement and ensure inclusiveness. And, establishing ways for measuring success is important to show efforts are paying off.

    Suggested Actions

  • Encourage (but do not force) managers to participate and support wellness efforts.
  • Establish a volunteer wellness committee for feedback, inclusivity, and fresh ideas.
  • Tie wellness to your engagement strategy to keep employees motivated and happy during work.
  • Create a wellness calendar and spread wellness activities throughout the year.
  • Establish ways to measure your wellness program’s success, including asking questions like: Are you happy with what we are doing? Do you feel it has helped you? What ideas do you have for wellness?

When thinking about your employees’ wellness, it is critical to believe in its importance and to demonstrate your care. With a little guidance and creativity, even a low budget, low resource wellness effort can pay off by increasing morale, energy and motivation to positively impact your property’s culture.

About Hospitality Benefits:Empowering leading hotel companies to lower healthcare costs by bringing hospitality companies onto one purchasing platform and equipping HR and hospitality leaders with tools and services to manage staff, compliance, employee appreciation and understanding of their benefits. Because our staff has an unprecedented blend of hospitality know-how and benefits expertise, we understand your priorities and deliver services seamlessly in a manner traditionally enjoyed by only the largest companies in the industry. To get in touch and/or learn more about how we can help you contain those ever-growing (and threatening) healthcare costs, visit