As the holidays approach, the challenges to workplace wellness increase. Time for self-care shrinks (waistlines do the opposite!), and holiday stress and pressure piles on. Work-life balance is thrown off kilter. Now more than ever is the time to support your employees with workplace wellness opportunities and activities!
Workplace wellness has surprising benefits, especially during a stressful holiday season. Focus on others’ well being and you employees, business, community, and even you will feel its reinvigorating impact!
Read more to learn about the power of workplace wellness during the holidays.
Workplace Wellness is More Than a Nicety
The benefits of workplace wellness are well documented. The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) “Wellness at Work” page notes that healthy employees decrease health-related expenses for your company, are more productive, and miss work less often. Many companies are implementing workplace wellness programs, because, as the CDC says:
“Ideally, the office should be a place protecting the safety and well-being of employees while providing them with opportunities for better long-term health.”
Long-term health means caring for more than just your body. According to this article by the Harvard Business Review, employers and HR managers need to think beyond employees’ physical fitness and focus on mental and emotional health. This time of year, it’s not just about helping employees stay physically active — it’s also about offering support so they can manage the stress of a busy season. Health doesn’t take a holiday!
how giving back affects your health
The holidays remind us to be thankful for what we have and the importance of giving back to others. Giving back and sharing kindness not only helps recipients, but is proven to improve the mental and physical health of givers, too!
According to The Greater Good Science Center, generosity and giving back boosts your:
- Physical Health (Decreases stress and lowers blood pressure)
- Social Health (Encourages connectivity and positive engagement with others)
- Emotional Health (Altruistic behavior builds trust and releases endorphins!)
Embracing a workplace culture of giving back will build trust, teamwork, and contentment among your employees. Don’t doubt the power of generosity (even in small doses!), especially during the holidays!
LEARNING FROM THE PROS: workplace wellness and giving back
You know the concrete benefits of a healthy workforce — and you know that giving back to the community is a great way to build that workforce! If you’re not sure how to merge these business strategies, learn by example.
In “Quick Shots for #HR and Business Pros–#HRTechConf Edition,” HR consultant and HR Bartender blog founder Sharlyn Lauby advises using technology to marry these two vital business strategies–workplace wellness and giving back. Technology, she notes, is increasingly important for HR pros.
She participated in the 2015 HR Technology Conference and Expo, which closed with a “virtual marathon” called HR Gives Back. Proceeds from this fundraiser benefited Parkinson’s Disease research and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
From October 1 – 21, participants each ran or walked a total of 26.2 miles (a marathon), a little at a time, at their own locations, earning money for each mile. The conference ended on October 21, the day the famous DeLorean from the Michael J. Fox-starring movie Back to the Future “landed.” What better day to finish and celebrate with an on-site challenge?
Workplace wellness doesn’t take a holiday, so you might consider a similar event at your workplace during this busy time of year. Provide an incentive for employees to exercise on their own time for a good cause. It doesn’t have to last 21 days or involve a marathon, but you could pick a charity—or let workers pick their own charities—and challenge your employees to work out during the holiday season and raise funds at the same time.
Your holiday party is a great time to announce fundraising totals and award prizes. Best of all, technology can help employees easily track and report their activities, even if you have a widely distributed workforce.
There’s an App for That!
The app enables your employees to raise money for charity when they walk, run or bike. It’s a fantastic way to exercise and give back at the same time. It’s also bound to build camaraderie and engagement.
Employees simply turn on the app, choose a charity, and press start. As they exercise, the app tracks their distance and the money earned from corporate sponsors that partner with Charity Miles. Bikers earn up to 10¢ per mile; walkers and runners up to 25¢ per mile. Your workforce can choose from a multitude of charities, including the ASPCA, Habitat for Humanity, Nature Conservancy, or Wounded Warrior Project.
The holiday season is a time to help others, and anytime is right for workplace wellness. Why not organize a wellness/giving back event this season? Your employees, the community, and your bottom line will thank you.
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