Nonprofit Employee Retention: How to Set Up Successful Wellness Programs

Employee retention is a common goal across most companies, but for nonprofit organizations, employee retention becomes a much more difficult process. Nonprofits historically do not hand out the largest paychecks or the most ambitious career ladder options in order to entice employees to stay longer, so they need other methods of convincing their employees to stay.

Employee-friendly benefits are the best way to make that happen, and many nonprofits are now specifically focusing on wellness programs to help keep employee retention on the rise.

Here are a few benefits to wellness programs explained, and how you can create a successful one at your own nonprofit!

The Benefits of Wellness Programs

Positive Workplace

It’s no secret that happy employees create a happy workplace. Not only do wellness programs bring people together as a team, they also make employees generally healthier, which can create a better environment for everyone.

More Productive

Studies have shown that employees that have access to wellness programs tend to be more productive at their work. They are also more likely to spend more time at the office since they will need less sick days throughout the year.

Lower Insurance

Insurance costs can really cripple a nonprofit without a lot of extra cash to spare. Health and wellness programs decrease the amount of money that employees have to spend on medical issues, as well as the amount of times they need to utilize their insurance.

Tips to Create a Successful Wellness Program

Creating a wellness program for a nonprofit is no easy task. There are often limited funds, a minimal HR team to design it, and it’s also hard to convince upper level management to stick with a program from which they may not see definitive results for three to five years down the road. However, if you can get past these difficulties, here are a few tips to design a wellness program that will generate results.Participation: For obvious reasons, there is no way to have a successful wellness program if your employees are not participating in it. Nonprofits really need to encourage and offer incentives for employees to get involved, or neither of you will see any of the benefits.

Use Outside Resources

If funds are tight for your wellness program design, look to use outside resources. Contact insurance providers for programs to leverage employees, contact gyms and different fitness companies to see about getting a deal for your employees. This will not only give you some experts in the field to help you out, but it will also take some of the financial strain off your nonprofit.

Create Goals

The success of a wellness program is sometimes a difficult thing to measure. Set up some goals that you want to achieve and create a timeline for when you want to achieve them. That way everyone is on the same page, and if you meet certain goals and not others, you can more easily diagnose the problem and find a solution.


If your employees don’t know all the facets of the program, it’s hard to get involved. Create a communications strategy with your employees. Let them know about deals, events, and how this program will benefit them.

Keep It Fun

Ultimately, you want to make sure that this is something your employees will enjoy. It can’t just be flu shots and check ups. Incorporate fun activities, and keep checking in with your employees on ways you could improve the program to keep them interested.

Wellness programs are not only good for the bottom line, but they’re good for morale. Follow these tips to design your own wellness program for your nonprofit, and your employees will want to stick around.