Chances are, many of your employees made New Year’s resolutions to exercise more, lose weight, or eat healthier – good news! You can support these healthy habits through your workplace wellness programs. It’s a great opportunity to show workers you care about their well-being, and they’re bound to appreciate your support.
A healthy workforce helps your business
As Forbes contributor Meghan Biro writes, in “4 Ways To Make Workplace Wellness A Culture Win,” well-implemented workplace wellness programs, “not only enhance performance, they show a genuine concern for employees’ well-being.”
And we all know appreciated employees lead to a more successful business!
Easy ways to workplace wellness
Supporting healthy habits doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are easy ways you can build a wellness-oriented culture:
- Provide the flex-time to exercise. Help employees stay focused, manage stress and live a healthier lifestyle. Allow them to exercise during the lunch hour or late afternoon and then work in the evenings. It’s just good business sense!
- Offer on-site workout resources or discounted gym memberships. Not all employees can leave their job for the gym during the day. Be sure all employees have access to affordable workout facilities.
- Make it a social event. Consider “Fitness Fridays,” where all employees are encouraged to take an hour to work out. And, as Biro suggests, celebrate holidays such as National Walking Day — the first Wednesday in April. Opportunities to visit with colleagues and be active builds community, too. So get involved! There are plenty of service projects that get your body moving.
- Reward wellness efforts. The promise of incentives for healthy behavior — such as discounted health insurance premiums or gym memberships, an extra hour off, or gift certificates — keeps workers interested in wellness-program participation.
- Offer “wearable tech,” as Biro calls it, such as a Jawbone UP wristband, to track fitness. Employees can keep tabs on their own fitness, or even team up and encourage each other with workout partners or friendly competitions. It keeps health top of mind, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s fun!
- Measure results and make them public! Track statistics–by asking employees to report them–such as pounds and inches lost, steps walked, or miles run and post them for the whole organization to feel involved and keep motivation high. To maintain top-management buy-in, track ROI in terms of lower health care costs, less absenteeism, and higher productivity.
2016 workplace wellness trends
If you already have workplace wellness programs in place, now’s the perfect time to assess and improve your efforts. What’s working well, what’s not and what new benefits would employees value most?
A Workplace Wellness Trends survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans reports the rising popularity of nontraditional workplace wellness programs. Companies are still offering benefits such as health risk assessments and flu shots, but they’re also implementing mental health coverage (63%), encouraged vacation time (66%) and tuition reimbursement (63%), for example. What makes good business sense for you?
The GuideSpark Blog‘s “Trends in Next-Generation Employee Wellness Programs” observes that giving back to the community improves people’s well-being — and is becoming more popular! A UnitedHealth Group health and volunteering study reports 76% of people who volunteered over the last year said the experience made them feel healthier. 94% said it even improved their mood! If your workplace is not taking advantage of community service opportunities, now is a great time to start — plus it’s an opportunity to build involvement and excitement in your workplace.
Short term, your business will benefit from workplace wellness programs through improved morale, engagement, and loyalty. Long term, you’ll reduce health care costs, prevent injuries and illnesses and improve retention. So here’s to good health for all in 2016!
For more expert insights into building a vibrant, successful workplace, download our free “how-to” guide to building an everyday culture of appreciation. Make 2016 the year you re-energize your organization!
We wish you a healthy, happy and successful 2016, at work and in life!
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