Work at Wellness

Wellness programs have soared in popularity in recent years.  It’s debatable if they bring down your healthcare costs, but their true value comes in other forms – increased productivity, loyalty, and employee engagement in addition to being an effective recruiting and retention tool.  While it takes a bit of time and effort to develop a program, happy and healthy individuals are more productive employees.  Here are a few tips for bringing wellness into your workplace.

Encourage physical health

Many office jobs require employees to sit at their desks all day.  Counteract that by bringing in standing desks to get them on their feet.  Leave the sodas and chips out of the equation and instead, provide nutritional snacks such as Greek yogurt, fruit, almond milk, and green tea, in addition to hosting potlucks featuring healthy foods.  Organize a biggest loser contest.  Sponsor monthly wellness challenges, such as a “Drink More Water” challenge, a “Stair Well” challenge, and a “Healthy Eating” challenge. Encourage walking meetings and organize a walking club during lunch hours.  Offer discounts to local gyms and reimburse race entry fees for participants.  Host guest speakers from healthcare facilities or schools for lunch-n-learn programs on health topics of interest to your employees. Organize a team sport such as softball or ultimate Frisbee. Offer a smoking cessation program and institute policies against smoking at work. Your employees will thank you later.

A healthy mind

A healthy body is great, but a healthy mind is just as crucial to achieving well-being for any employee.  Designate a meditation area where employees can practice yoga or be by themselves to ‘recharge their batteries.’  Provide seminars on stress management techniques.  Offer an employee assistance program (EAP) and ensure your employees are aware of its existence, availability, and confidentiality for both personal and professional issues. Encourage laughter to reduce stress on the job. Address emotional and spiritual wellness with self-help books that can be borrowed or exchanged. Sponsor and encourage participation in community activities.

Don’t forget about financial wellness

Most employees don’t feel financially secure, putting added stressors on them, so remember to include a financial component to your wellness program to give employees access to financial education and guidance.  Offer financial planning advice through a Certified Financial Planner.  Bring in speakers on a variety of financial topics such as eliminating debt, paying for college, retirement preparedness, understanding credit scores, and household budgeting.

An employee wellness program is an effective tool which may benefit both employees and your business. Considering implementing a program to bring about positive change within your company.

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