How To Promote Employee Wellness At Work: 10 Proven Ideas
Just like the health of your body determines your functionality, the functionality of an organization depends highly on the health of its employees. Especially after witnessing the disastrous pandemic over the last two years, it has become increasingly important for organizations to ensure that their employees are fit and healthy.
In simple words, employee wellness refers to the state of good health of your employees. It deals with employees being fit and encourages them to exercise, monitor their diet, and inculcate habits to keep themselves healthy. In terms of corporate wellness, employee wellness largely revolves around the physical fitness of employees.
The key purpose of employee wellness is to make sure that your employees are always in a state of good health, keeping them away from diseases and a range of health issues. Companies often organize employee healthcare programs where the employees' health is monitored, and they are provided with valuable tips to get healthier.
Organizations often get confused between employee wellness and employee wellbeing. It is essential to understand that these two terms cannot be used interchangeably.
Employee wellness is simply a state of good health. It deals with your employees getting fitter, monitoring their weight, and improving other critical physical indicators. Employee wellness programs are dedicated to dealing with concepts such as disease management and nutrition. Most wellness programs are limited to the physical health of your employees and include one-time endeavours like health screenings. Management can increase the frequency of such programs based on specific needs and requirements.
On the other hand, employee wellbeing is a broader term. It is not limited to maintaining the physical health of your employees. Programs catering to the wellbeing of your employees take into consideration a broader perspective of health. It includes the physical, mental, and emotional health of the employees. Employee wellbeing is a term commonly used to describe health holistically, depicting the overall happiness of your employees. Some employee wellbeing initiatives also include the financial health of your employees.
Major Benefits Of Employee Wellness
Here are some of the key benefits of employee wellness:
- Reducing Absenteeism
Employee wellness allows you to work towards improving the health of your employees. When your employees are healthy, they will steer away from absenteeism and the loss of productivity caused by the same.
- Higher Morale And Confidence
Health experts say that regular exercise leads to the release of endorphins, commonly known as the "feel good" chemicals. As employee wellness keeps your employees fit, the release of endorphins improves the overall morale and confidence of the employees. This motivates them to give their best, increasing the productivity of your organization.
- Better Employee Retention
Dedicated employee wellness programs make your employees feel that they are valued by the organization they work for. This makes them want to stay associated with the company for a more extended period.
Here are some of the most effective ways of promoting employee wellness at work if you are willing to inculcate the habit of staying fit within your employees:
- Provide Healthy Dining Options To Employees Eating Out
Employees often resort to eating at diners located in the close vicinity of their offices. If you are willing to make the eating habits of your employees healthy, it is advisable to provide them with healthy dining options around the office. Especially in the case of new employees to the city or the locality, this would help them locate places near the office where they can enjoy healthy meals.
As a thumb rule, managers can list all restaurants providing healthy dining options within a 2-mile radius of the office and provide the same to their employees. This will promote healthy eating habits within the employees and explore new places to eat around the office! Further, managers can also provide information about healthy food options available at the listed locations. When your employees believe that management is taking dedicated initiatives to keep them healthy, they will check these options out.
- Provide Discounts On Healthy Food
Another effective way of promoting employee wellness at work is to offer discounts on healthy food items available at the workplace. It is often believed that people steer away from consuming healthy food items due to their prices. Offering discounts would provide your employees with an incentive to eat healthily and stay fit.
Moreover, this would prevent your employees from eating every day and encourage them to have their meals within the premises. Even if an employee is willing to grab a snack while working, they can choose discounted healthy options instead of unhealthy snacks.
- Monitor The Catering Menu And Keep It Healthy
If the cafeteria within your office prepares meals for your employees every day, it is advisable to monitor the catering menu and ensure that it is healthy. Helping your employees to consume a balanced diet is essential to promote employee wellness. For this, it is crucial to make sure that your cafeteria has provisions for all necessary food items that constitute an ideal meal.
However, make sure that you do not compromise with the taste of the food to make it healthy. This would make your employees skip cafeteria food and resort to other potentially unhealthy options. Try finding a balance between tasty and healthy food items.
- Ask Your Vendor To Send Healthy Holiday Gifts
During the holiday seasons, vendors send gifts to companies that often consist of unhealthy and decadent food items such as chocolates, cakes, sweets, and other sugary or fried foods. This should be discouraged if you are willing to promote employee wellness at work. You can always contact your vendors and persuade them to send healthier food items as holiday gifts. For example, if your employees receive an exotic fruit basket, it would make for an elegant, aesthetic, and healthy gift.
- Get Fresh Fruits And Vegetables Delivered To The Break Room
When your employees gather to eat packed meals and snacks during the break, it is always advisable to have healthy fruits and vegetables at their disposal. Instead of buying unhealthy snacks from the vending machines, your employees are likely to have fresh fruits and vegetables along with their meals for free.
The management can get a supermarket or a dedicated fruits/vegetable vendor to get healthy food items delivered to the break room. If you are not willing to spend a lot on this initiative, you can start a healthy food fund where every employee can contribute a specific amount in exchange for healthy fruits and vegetables available in the break room at all times.
- Organize Events That Promote Healthy Diet
Irrespective of their nature, events are often welcomed by employees as they give them a break from their daily grind. To promote employee wellness within your organization, you can organize events around the preparation and consumption of healthy food. Potluck lunches are fairly popular at workplaces around the world. Organize a healthy potluck lunch where employees must prepare healthy (and tasty) meals at home and bring them to work for everyone to eat.
You can also organize a healthy recipe exchange event where one employee prepares a recipe written by their peers. Have all your employees write healthy dishes on pieces of paper and put them anonymously in a bowl or a bag. Make them pick up chits at random and prepare the dishes mentioned therein. This makes for a fun office activity and an attempt to promote employee wellness.
- Serve New Healthy Snacks Every Month
People are often put off by the idea of eating the same healthy snacks all the time. You can promote a healthy diet within your team by providing them with new healthy snacks every month. Coordinate with your employees and set up a list of snacks to be served every month.
Based on this list, your employees can be served a different healthy snack every month. You can have your employees contribute to the initiative where they would get to eat a variety of healthy snacks every month.
- Encourage The Use Of Stairs
Unless your office is located on a higher floor of a building, it is always advisable to encourage stairs. Put up posters at strategic locations to remind your employees that taking the stairs is always a healthier option.
- Provide Discounts On Health Club Memberships
Like offering discounted meals, you can tie up with health clubs and provide discounted memberships to your employees. This would add to the incentives provided by your organization to its employees, promoting the physical wellbeing of your employees.
- Organize Walking And Running Clubs
Sitting at their desks for several hours without exercising tends to get unhealthy over time. It is, therefore, advisable to organize walking and running clubs. Have regular meetups during weekends and have a schedule for the club members to join each other for a healthy walk or a run.
Read More: Mental health-friendly work cultures are a necessity: In what way?
The Final Word
These were some of the most effective ideas to promote employee wellness at your workplace. Implementing these ideas would help your employees get fitter, ultimately leading to more focus and productivity.