Workplace wellness efforts are becoming a top priority in organizations around the world. STAT.
Long-term success requires proactive attention to both emotional and physical employee wellness. As companies adjust to ongoing flexible working practices and The Great Resignation, it’s essential to prioritize employee wellbeing more than ever before.
Several organizations are leading the charge in this field, and we want to share some of the true jewels 💎 we have discovered in the workplace wellness space. Continue reading for some amazing ideas on delivering workplace wellness programs.
Why Implement Workplace Wellness Initiatives?
Employee well-being refers to how a staff member’s job affects their overall health and happiness, and vice versa. When businesses prioritize wellbeing, their teams are less stressed and more productive. In other words, implementing workplace wellness initiatives can increase employee engagement.
In fact, companies with workplace wellness programs report:
- A 66% increase in productivity
- 67% increase in employee satisfaction
- 63% increase in financial stability
- 50% decrease in absences
These statistics show that employee wellness programs can be incredibly value. By boosting productivity and reducing absences, you can increase efficiency. It’s more profitable for your business.
Not to mention, when employees feel valued and happy, they will stay in their job. Considering that hiring new employees can cost 3-4x the position’s salary, it pays to keep employees happy.
Workplace Wellness Programs That Will Motivate You 👍🏻
There are endless ways to implement employee wellness initiatives. From smoking cessation programs to healthy eating, there are plenty of options to help you encourage a healthy lifestyle. Many employee wellness programs also focus on mental wellbeing.
Here are eight amazing wellness programs to inspire you.
1. Wellness Days 📅
Wellness days can refer to two different things:
- Designated days off where employees can take time to rest.
- A dedicated event that celebrates employee wellbeing.
The first type is useful for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, your employees need a break, or they will face burnout. Workplace stress is a slippery slope, where stressed employees struggle to meet deadlines. Before it gets to breaking point, allowing days off to focus on wellbeing can nip the issue in the bud.
In the United States, 89% of adults have experienced burnout in the past year. The most commonly cited reasons are physical fatigue, cognitive weariness, and emotional exhaustion.
Employers can work to tackle these issues by allowing their staff to take a set number of ‘mental health days’ per year. Crucially, these should be separate from annual leave and sick days. They allow employees to recuperate so they can return to work as their best selves.
The second kind of wellbeing day prioritizes team membership. Get everyone in the office together to participate in a themed wellness day (or wellness afternoon). This is very similar to team-building exercises, as it ensures that everyone is interacting socially. You can try dance classes, mindfulness days, cooking classes, stress management sessions, art therapy, or puppy play sessions.
Case Study: CharterNet Advisers offered staff extra wellness days for every fortnight during the lockdowns in Sydney.
2. Prioritize Flexible Work 🏡
The pandemic has made us all much more flexible in the way we work. Now more than ever, it’s time to shift to a more flexible working schedule that allows employees to improve their work-life balance.
You don’t need to implement remote work all of the time. However, giving your staff some wiggle room takes some pressure off their personal lives.
Let’s say you have parents on your team. Flexible working schedules mean they don’t have to worry about collecting their children after school. allowing them to divert that energy into their work.
Case Study: Despite being a huge company with over 25,000 employees, TELUS International has unique programs for remote recruitment, remote work, remote training, and more. The company prioritizes connection and wellbeing throughout the global team. If they can do it, so can you!
3. Give Wellness Allowances 💸
What is considered fitness to one person might not apply to another. It’s tricky to implement workplace wellness programs when different staff members have different needs.
You can attempt to combat this by providing wellness allowances. It’s a great method for celebrating employee success, allowing staff to become healthy employees by prioritizing their own needs.
Note that this method takes a little nudging, encouraging employees to use their allowances and think about what they need.
Case Study: Expedia Group has introduced a wellness reimbursement program. Employees can submit reimbursement claims for personal health and wellness expeses, and Expedia reimburses them for a certain amount. Employees have used this system for fitness watches, boxing gloves, skiing equipment, and flying trapeze classes.
4. Encourage Movement 🚶♀️
Physical activity has a huge impact on overall health, including mental wellness. It’s important to encourage your staff to get up and about, particularly in an office setting.
There are several ways you can do this. Some companies implement walking meetings, giving their employees fresh air and exercise while also maintaining productivity. Of course, this only works for small one-on-one meetings and places with good weather! ☀️
Other alternatives include on-site fitness programs, like yoga classes or boxercise. Yoga is a great option because anyone can participate no matter their fitness level, and it’s easy to do with minimal equipment.
Either way, encouraging your staff to stay active is crucial.
Case Study: Dealertrack‘s headquarters in Long Island, NY features dedicated cardio and yoga rooms. These repurposed conference rooms are more than enough to encourage staff to work out. Plus, it ensures they don’t have to drive to a nearby gym after work and pay extra membership fees.
5. Encourage Practical Wellness via Transportation 🚴♀️
If you live in a walkable community or city center, you can encourage employees to cycle or walk to work. This is a great employee wellness program because it’s low cost and easy to implement.
If you choose to use bikes, you can rent or buy in-house share bikes so that staff don’t have to shell out on their own transport.
Not only is this method great for physical fitness, but it’s also ideal for the environment.
Case Study: At Tommy, our employees are incentivized to use bike-sharing in their daily commute. We have in-house share bikes available for use during the day or overnight, and reimbursement options for other hire fees.
6. Introduce Power Naps or Meditations 😴
Napping on the job was once frowned upon. However, recent studies have sought to change that. According to NASA’s study on sleepy astronauts, a 40-minute nap can improve performance and alertness by 34%.
Plus, when employees are rested and avoiding stress, their quality of life improves.
As a result, numerous businesses have begun to allow napping in the workplace. It might seem crazy, but huge organizations swear by it!
Case Study: Google famously has on-site nap-pods featuring zero-gravity technology and cashmere sleep masks. While you don’t have to fork out on sci-fi-esque equipment, you can follow in Google’s footsteps by providing places to nap at work.
7. Implement Mandatory Breaks ☕️
Another thing to consider is breaks. Most employees know the feeling of deciding to work through their lunch break because there’s just so much work. But that’s an obvious recipe for burnout!
When you skip meals, there are a variety of potential health risks. From decreased blood sugar to slower resting metabolism, skipping lunch is just not worth it.
It’s important to encourage employees to take breaks during work hours. Ensure that lunch breaks (and possibly other breaks) are mandatory. You can reinforce this by ensuring that all managers and higher-ups take their breaks, so other staff follow their lead.
8. Provide Healthy Snacks and Lunches 🥗
Promoting healthy eating is essential. A well-balanced diet is one of the most important factors of a healthy lifestyle. But at work, it can be tempting to live on a diet of coffee and sugar to get through the busy day.
If you have a canteen, consider providing healthy food options, including vegetarian and vegan offerings. Otherwise, try to have some healthy snacks lying around like fresh fruit, nuts, smoothies, and yogurts.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that a healthy diet:
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk
- Includes a variety of protein sources including lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, soy, nuts, seeds, and seafood
- Is low in added sugars, saturated fats, sodium, trans fats, and cholesterol
Keep these guidelines in mind when providing food for employees. Also, be mindful of dietary requirements and allergies to keep your staff safe.
Case Study: Microsoft has a “Real Easy Wellness” labeling system. In the canteen, employees can easily identify healthy food options and make informed choices about their diet. Plus, there’s an on-site grocery store.
Prioritize Employee Wellness Today! 🐶
If you’re ready to start implementing employee wellness initiatives, then congratulations! It’s time to take the first step. There are several easy ways to boost employee engagement and improve work-life balance, but flexible work is one of the easiest. It’s a low-cost way to improve employee wellness, and a fast way to prove your commitment to staff wellbeing.
Tommy is your ultimate ally to help you restore work-life balance. With easy employee scheduling, friendly messaging, and workforce analytics, it’s the best tool available to assist you in running your business.
Get Tommy today and unlock a new way to schedule. You won’t look back!