Think an employee well-being program should be an afterthought or a non-essential perk for your hospitality or tourism organisation? Think again.
Employee well-being programs  (also referred to as employee wellness programs) are structured initiatives put together by employers to encourage healthy behaviour among their staff. This can include topics and activities like:
- Health risk assessments and screenings
- Physical fitness and exercise
- Nutrition and healthy diets
- Time management and stress management
- Vaccination clinics
These employee well-being programs are designed to support employees in achieving peak physical, mental, and emotional health. And, aside from improved health, that level of health promotion within a company can lead to many benefits, including :
- Reduced absenteeism
- Better talent recruitment and retention
- Boosted employee morale and employee engagement
Employers could also see increased productivity, reduced work-related stress, safer workplaces, and even lower healthcare costs.
It’s proof that well-being programs are way more than lip service, marketing tactics, or PR stunts for hospitality companies—they offer tangible, impactful business outcomes.
4 Examples of Hospitality Well-Being Programs
Thinking about starting your own hospitality well-being program but aren’t sure where to start? Take some inspiration from these four major players in the hospitality industry.
1. Marriott’s TakeCare Program
When it comes to a top-notch example of a wellness program, look no further than Marriott’s award-winning TakeCare Program. It was established in 2010 to support employees in improving their health.
“TakeCare offers holistic programs beyond just physical wellbeing including mental and emotional health, career development, financial planning, team-building, recognition, sustainability and social impact, and much more,” Marriott says on its own site.
It offers plenty of different opportunities and perks for employees, including company-sponsored walking breaks and fitness breaks, as well as a designated relaxation space available to all Marriott associates.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Marriott also created the Vaccination Care Program, which provides employees with the equivalent of four hours of pay when they complete their COVID-19 vaccinations. 
2. Hyatt’s Colleague Wellbeing Council
Hyatt is another hospitality company that walks the walk when it comes to employee well-being. Their holistic approach provides fundamental tools and initiatives to support employees physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The company believes that employee wellness has to be a priority in an industry that’s as demanding and around-the-clock as hospitality.
Hyatt relies on their Colleague Wellbeing Council to continuously collect feedback and shape and evaluate their offerings to give employees what they need most. From low-cost or free healthy snacks and exercise options to travel perks and flexible work arrangements.
3. Accor’s Total Wellbeing App
When it came to supporting its employees, hotel operator Accor turned to something we all rely on every day: technology.
In Australia, the company launched their Lifeworks Total Wellbeing app, which provides employees with 24/7 access to counselling sessions and other mental and emotional health resources like webinars.
Accor also started a fund to help staff members who were burdened with medical bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to offering assistance to protect the mental and physical well-being of our teams to ensure they can get through this and that they emerge stronger than ever when the rebound comes,” said Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO Accor Asia Pacific
4. Royal Caribbean’s Wellness Works Program
As one of the largest cruise companies in the world, Royal Caribbean knows that its dedicated team of employees is what keeps the company afloat.
“We believe in the importance of providing various high-quality services and programming to employees while at work so we can remove life-stressors that can occur when employees have to make the extra effort to obtain them elsewhere,” said Kim Tillman, Wellness Director of Royal Caribbean Cruises
The company started its Wellness Works program, which offers many perks and programs. Their on-site wellness centre offers free chair massages, chiropractic care, meditation classes, and more.
Royal Caribbean also provides weekly exercise classes, personalised health coaching, regular fitness challenges and competitions, and even biometric screenings to help employees be informed and take control of their health. 
Should You Start an Employee Well-Being Program?
If you want your staff members to care about your business, you need to care about them. Starting an employee well-being program is an essential step in proving that you’re invested in their total health and wellness—whether physical, mental, emotional, or all of the above.
Fortunately, starting a wellness program within your own hotel, restaurant, or other hospitality organisation doesn’t need to be complicated.
Start by soliciting feedback from employees about what types of health programs would be the most beneficial to them. That information will help you make strategic choices and target your efforts on the initiatives that have the most impact.
While an employee well-being program is a tremendous and worthwhile step, keep in mind that it isn’t a substitute for fair pay, good health benefits, reasonable workloads and expectations, and an emphasis on work-life balance.
If those fundamental elements aren’t in place, launching a wellness program isn’t addressing the root of your employees’ stress and problems.
However, suppose you’ve already covered the basics to build a positive and thriving company culture. In that case, rolling out a wellness program could be just what you need to have an even healthier and happier workplace.
 How to Establish and Design a Wellness Program - SHRM
 Employers Broaden Well-Being Programs - SHRM
 Marriott International to Provide Associates Financial Award for COVID-19 Vaccination - Marriott International News
 Employer Case Studies - Lam Research, Royal Caribbean Cruses, LTD., and Western Reserve Hospital - Corporate Wellness Magazine
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