Employee health and wellness is an increasingly important facet of maintaining a work-life balance. Employees often struggle to build healthy behaviors, whether through exercise or dieting. Barriers, like cost and time, dissuade people from investing in themselves. Luckily, there are several ways that employers can encourage health and wellness amongst their staff and workplace. Encourage employees to stay active in both body and mind by taking up yoga on a frequent basis.
1. Incentivize Healthy Behaviors
Employers should work to incentivize healthy habits among their employees. There are many easy ways to create workplace incentives that boost health and wellness. For example, instituting a monthly “Bike to Work” day, complete with free goodies for those who participate, can encourage otherwise sedentary employees to get moving. Health initiatives require some creativity, but they can have a big effect on workplace wellness and morale. Consider bringing a flu shot clinic into the office, instituting a company step challenge, or hosting a healthy food cook-off competition. And, importantly, make sure to get great prizes for those who participate.
2. Make Healthy Foods Accessible
Most employees eat snacks and lunches throughout the day. Employers can make an effort to stock the kitchen or break area with healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables. If you work in an office setting or corporate environment, consider paying for or ordering healthy lunches for the staff, like a comprehensive salad bar. If you have a snack bar, include nutritional information for popular items, and stock healthy drinks like seltzers rather than soda.
3. Try a Team Fitness Challenge
Team fitness challenges are an easy and fulfilling way to build a workplace community. Set a goal of completing a certain number of steps in a given week or create incentives for people to use walking or standing desks. Creating a team challenge is a great way to help employees feel closer with each other. Plus, there are many apps available that make it easy to track progress.
4. Consider a Wellness Stipend
Health and wellness initiatives cost money, and many employees don’t want to spend their hard-earned dollars on something they don’t think they need. Offering a monthly stipend or reimbursement is a great way to encourage exercise. Often, fitness studios offer deals for large groups of people, like companies. If you don’t have the infrastructure in place to institute a wellness stipend, consider offering group-rate deals on nearby gyms and wellness centers to your employees.
5. Build a Community that Extends Outside of Work
Whether your employees work in-person or remotely, creating a community can have innumerable health and wellness benefits. Working on mental health and mindfulness is easier when employees feel supported and respected. Install initiatives that work to connect employees with each other outside of the workplace. For example, signing up for a local bar trivia night or participating in an intermural volleyball league can help people feel closer to each other. Remember: health and wellness aren’t just about feeling physically healthy. You need to prioritize mental and emotional needs, too.