You’re an employer who wants to weave employee wellness into your company’s fabric. But you’re unsure how to go about doing so because it seems like a gargantuan task? Not to worry. In this post, we will go over 10 ways employers can encourage employee wellness from Day One.
Set the example
Psychological research shows that our behaviors are shaped by the behavior of those who are in closest proximity to us more than we think. If you want to encourage employee wellness in your company, your employees need to see you seriously engaged in healthy habits. If you’re living what you preach, people are more likely to follow along.
Host work-wide health activity events
Nothing builds company morale more than organizing activities that encourage employees to interact. The benefit of hosting a work-wide fun race for instance is that you will achieve two things with one activity: boost company morale while encouraging employee wellness.
If you have an on-site gym, a great way to incentivize that could be that each time an employee visits the gym and works out for at least half an hour, they get some kind of “sticker” that they can later turn in for a gift card to a favorite store. Turning workplace wellness into an exciting game will have your employees taking great care of their health.
Have a doctor regularly visit and provide health talks on common health issues
We’ve heard it time and again: prevention is better than cure. When it comes to our health, ignorance is not bliss. Having a trained health professional come in at least once a month for an educational talk can save more lives than you may realize.
Buy healthy lunches for team meetings
About to have a team meeting? How about switching pizza- a common staple at team meetings- for a healthier alternative like a fruit salad? Fruit salads may be slightly more expensive than getting pizza but the long-term payoffs make it worth it.
Replace sugary drinks in your refrigerator
Consuming a lot of sugar allows our bodies to store fat which then leads to obesity. If your workplace provides drinks for employees, it might be time to review those drinks. If you find that there are more sugary drinks in your workplace refrigerator, replace them with healthier drink options. Hint: Sparkling water is always a winner. It gives people the fizz they crave but the great thing about it is that, it is super low in calories. A 20 fl. oz bottle of soda on the other hand can contain as many as 250 calories.
Encourage a smoke-free workplace
Smoking accounts for many serious health conditions including heart disease. Many college companies across the country have now made their campuses smoke-free by prohibiting smoking within a number of yards of campus buildings. Let’s be real: not everyone will quit just because you prohibit smoking around your building. However, providing programs within your workplace that support the people who want to quit smoking can be another great way to support employee wellness. This may include selecting health insurance options that provide financial incentives to aid quitting such as discounts on nicotine patches.
Support mental health
A healthy body needs a healthy mind. Providing mental health resources in your workplace should also be a priority if you are seeking to encourage employee wellness. Here are a few ways you can do that.
- Health insurance options that also include seeking counseling/therapy if your employees need it.
- A stress-free workplace.
- A workplace where employees feel heard and where grievances are handled and solved properly.
- Regular team exercise sessions. Exercise releases endorphins that give us a sense of well-being.
- Reasonable time off when a worker suffers an adverse life event such as a death in the family, a divorce, miscarriage or accident.
- Train managers on mental health strategies they can employ.
- Have programs in place that discourage workplace bullying.
Sitting for too long can kill
The average American worker sits for six to eight hours everyday. According to a recent study, a sedentary lifestyle (which includes sitting at a desk for 23 or more hours per week) led to a 64% increase in heart disease. These are terrible odds! Thankfully, this does not have to be the case. You can help employees by:
- Installing standing desks.
- Some workplaces provide exercise balls as seating options that employees can use throughout the day.
- You can encourage employees to move around for 5 minutes each hour they sit.
Let employees know on Day One there is an emphasis on wellness
If you set the precedent from Day One that there is an emphasis on employee wellness within your company, people will expect it and you will have less opposition to it. If your company has coasted along without an emphasis on employee wellness until now, don’t despair! It is better to introduce the idea now- especially with new recruits- than to resist it completely.
Encourage Employee Wellness
Did you find this post to help you encourage employee wellness helpful? Share it with another employer looking for ideas to encourage employee wellness.