5 Companies Excelling in Employee Wellness

Corporate wellness means motivating employees to choose to live a healthier lifestyle, rather than forcing them to do so.


(fizkes / Shutterstock.com)

Forward-thinking companies have thrown the rigid work environment out the window. Companies are taking a holistic approach to employment, not just targeting performance reviews, but cultivating an environment that promotes healthy living, inspires creativity and collaboration, reduces employee stress and sick days, and encourages an engaged and happier workforce.

The emphasis on employee wellness is paying off. According to Harvard Business Review, on average, employers who invest in health and wellness saw savings of $6 in healthcare for every dollar invested. Companies like Johnson and Johnson saved $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008.

As more corporations include wellbeing in their employee benefits, some stand out more than the rest. From free spinning classes and fitness gamification to meditation workshops and in-office massages, these companies excel in employee wellness.

1. Google

Google has become famous for its non-traditional approach to the work environment that promotes work-life balance. Benefits include on-site healthcare services including access to a physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, and masseuse. Employees can stay in shape by attending exercise classes, using community bikes, or taking advantage of free entry to fitness centers. Google even throws in cool courses like guitar lessons, coding degree programs, cooking classes, and more.

Workers can fuel themselves throughout the day at the campus cafes and micro kitchens stocked with nutritious, color-coded meals and snacks as well as smaller plates for portion control. Employees also receive financial guidance from financial advisors. All of that comes with flexible work hours along with paid vacation and volunteer time. Talk about a good deal!

Interior view of Google Office in Tel Aviv.

Interior view of Google Office in Tel Aviv. (ColorMaker / Shutterstock.com)

2. Intuit

Intuit, a company that develops financial, accounting, and tax preparation software, really focuses on stress management and mental well-being. As a part of their “Fit for Life” program, employees get reimbursed for expenses related to physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Their Well Minds program specifically covers costs for mindfulness and meditation classes that help with stress management. When entering a conference room, you’ll find a “mindfulness moment” on the whiteboard giving tips for stress management. Intuit workers also get rewarded for stress-reducing activities like tracking monthly mediation minutes, taking a walk, engaging in breathing exercises, and listening to calming music.

3. Fitbit

Fitbit products measure the level of activity using wearable technology that tracks steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, diet, and other fitness activities. So it comes as no surprise that a company dedicated to personal health would strive to promote wellness among their employees. Working for Fitbit, you automatically get 50 percent discounts on their devices along with health benefits and affordable doctors. Employees also get flexible work hours with the option to take plenty of vacation. Fitbit even has its own Commerce product line so that companies can host corporate wellness programs for their employees.

4. Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist, a Texas medical center with seven locations throughout Houston, stands out as a perfect example of an organization putting the Fitbit Commerce program into action. They first enrolled in the Fitbit program back in 2014, supplying 11,000 devices to their 4,000 employees.

Using the Fitbit devices, Houston Methodist hosts Fitbit Challenges like a 10,000 steps goal, Beat Your CEO Challenge, or Battle of the Sexes Competition. Their "Pick Up Your Pace" program lets employees earn points for reaching goals for a certain number of steps, monthly visits to fitness centers, attending fitness classes, or recreational sports participation. Employees have won as much $10,000 in prize drawings through this wellness program!

5. The Motley Fool

Working at this investment publication comes with all kinds of perks, from free spinning classes and fitness boot camps to in-house massages. Chief Wellness Fool, Sam Whiteside, loves how promoting employee wellness encourages collaboration in the office. “I'm able to pull different 'Fools' from different departments that may have had only one conversation before, but come together and collaborate in a fitness class."

Each month, Whiteside releases a monthly health newsletter within the company called The Flex. Every issue proposes a new challenge to get staffers moving. That can mean pushups during meetings or walking around the building. Staff love the opportunity to mix up the routine and do something new around the office.

Employees also get free personal training sessions and wellness consultations. Whiteside described, "We discuss goals, and that gets the conversation going. When they know that I care, that's where the difference is made. I love personal training, but being a force that people can count on is huge for wellness."