Some hardworking people prioritize their job over health. They skip lunch and stay up late to get the job done. They don’t have time to exercise because they work all the time. And they never take a sick or personal day.
This is an admiral yet foolish approach to work. Personal health always needs to come first. It’s the key to living a long and fulfilling life.
Being in good physical and mental shape also sets a person up to be great at their job. Many companies understand this and offer their employees a series of benefits and activities that promote health and well-being. This is known as an employee wellness program.
In this business guides, you’ll learn the advantages of a wellness program and the steps for implementing one in your company.
It can be hard to see the advantages of an employee wellness program at first glance. But the truth is healthy employees bring an array of benefits to the businesses they work for. Here are a few benefits of having an employee wellness program.
Gym membership reimbursements or office yoga classes might come to mind when someone thinks of an employee wellness program. These are great activities to offer but a quality program can include so much more. Here are some activities and benefits you can offer that cover all areas of employee health.
Anyone who works 40+ hours per week in an office setting needs to find time to move around and exercise. Some companies are fortunate enough to have an on-site gym or fitness classes but these perks aren’t feasible for most.
You can instead reimburse employees for fitness-related purchases or encourage your staff to form after-work exercise groups. Another idea is to use Fitbits or other wearable technology to track the activity of your employees and reward the most active people.
Exercise is good for the immune system but there is more you can to do to help your employees fight off illness.
During the winter, you can offer flu shots and make it known that employees are to stay home if they have a bug. It’s also a good idea to have a stocked first aid kit and a private “wellness room” where people can tend to personal health needs.
Stress is a silent killer that can trigger serious health problems. It also goes hand-in-hand with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
First and foremost, make sure no one is burning the candle on both ends. You can institute an office closing time to ensure everyone leaves at a reasonable hour. You can also require employees to take time off when they’ve incurred a certain number of PTO days.
And you can of course offer activities like yoga classes and massages that help people with mindfulness while working.
Some employees prefer to sweat and blow off steam on their own and that’s totally fine. However, they still may enjoy activities that help them get to know their colleagues better.
Consider offering social activities like an office book club, game nights and whatever else your employee enjoy doing. Smiling and laughing is an important part of health too.
Many people feel good when they help others. Doing good deeds is fulfilling and can help keep things in perspective.
You can organize a volunteer day for your staff to go into the community and help out. You can also encourage your employees to organize groups and fundraisers for causes that mean a lot to them.
One of the secondary benefits of a wellness program is that many of activities strengthen the bonds between team members.
An after work jogging group, a book club and volunteer days will all make your employees closer than they were before.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of a wellness program and what to include, let’s talk about how you can implement a successful program. Here are some basic steps for getting an employee wellness program going in your workplace.
An employee wellness program is more than just a cool employee perk. It’s an effective way to ensure your employees are in the right shape to do their best work.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post “Companies Can and Should Take on Employee Stress“