Employee health and wellness are at an all-time low. As the world gets back to normal, many employees are returning to working environments untouched for the large part of 2020. Not only that, but many won’t want to return to the office, meaning that employee health and wellness are very important.
Employee health and wellness are crucial for a successful business, so what can you do? This guide explains 7 ways to encourage employee health and wellness.
1. Provide Access to Fitness Classes and Counseling
Encourage your employees to work out while they’re at the office with free fitness counseling and group classes. We’re still adjusting to a life where we’re reducing the chances of social interaction. So what better way than to engage staff in these classes on-site.
Not only that, but group classes are great for making staff feel like they’re working. Studies show that staff working together brings greater benefits than group training exercises alone.
And it’s not physical health on its own. Encourage your employees to take their mental health into consideration and see a therapist.
Of course, mental health is a sensitive subject. But by encouraging a culture of trust, honesty, and respect, you’re establishing an improved sense of mental wellbeing in the workplace so everyone can thrive.
2. Serve Healthy Lunches and Snacks
Having nutritious food available for employees will encourage them to eat healthier, reducing their risk of illness or injury.
Stock the break area with healthy snacks like fruit, granola bars, yogurt, and nuts, so employees have something to eat when they’re not on the clock. If possible, encourage employee wellbeing and encourage them to visit a healthy-stocked cafeteria for lunch instead of bringing in outside food.
If you’re encouraging your team to spend less of their wages on buying fast food on their lunch breaks and eating in the office, you’re also saving them money. Coupled with a morale boost, this results in fewer demands for a pay rise, saving you money as well.
According to one study, it only costs $1.50 per day per person more for healthy food. But if that saves the employee $5.00 per day on food bought elsewhere, the financial gains are a no-brainer.
3. Provide Ergonomic Furniture
Ergonomic furniture can help reduce stress and increase comfort, boosting workplace wellness and morale amongst your employees. There’s a whole range of chairs designed to stimulate a more productive working routine, whether they’re about easing back pain or encouraging mobility.
And you can replace other furniture besides chairs. Sit-stand desks have surged in popularity thanks to working-from-home environments. Many people find themselves more productive when stood up, as it encourages blood flow and oxygen supply throughout the whole body.
And as the cost of furniture is tax-deductible, it can boost your bottom line while providing well-being benefits to the wider workforce.
4. Make Sure Staff Have Appropriate Work Gear
If your team isn’t in an office, ensuring that they’re happy with their health and safety gear is also crucial to a safe and healthy working environment. Ask yourself if a construction worker would feel much better with the latest, safest equipment or old-hat gear that’s prone to damage at any time.
If your construction company is around for the long-haul, look at your stock of safety vests or helmets and assess how well they’re maintained. Suppose it’s not in the best possible condition. In that case, it’s a safety hazard even if they’ve never worn them, which increases the risk of injury on the job.
Companies such as ottsafetygear.com offer equipment that goes above and beyond the norm, ensuring your workforce is as safe as possible. And don’t forget staff training on how to use such equipment correctly.
Providing your staff with the right health and safety training will also give them the confidence to conduct their work without fear or stress. In turn, this is improving wellbeing in the workplace.
5. Offer Bonuses for Healthy Habits
Create an incentive plan where certain behaviors result in cash prizes or benefits packages that promote physical health. For example, you can use gym memberships or annual checks from a doctor so that employees want to be healthy.
And if you’re not offering an incentive plan, look at your benefits package because, for many employees, there are savings for staff by using their health insurance. If it’s a premium-based plan that you can change, talk to your health plan about making healthy changes to the policy. That way, employees can save money for their own well-being.
Or, if you’re a fan of left-field thinking, try something new and gamify your workforce. Get them to see how many “phone call steps” they can do while on a call. Or, if you’re in a competitive-driven workforce such as sales, turn your KPIs into games to boost mental wellbeing and staff morale.
6. Set The Bar High for Company Events
On company retreats and events like team hikes, encourage members of your workforce to get off their chairs and exercise with you rather than staying at their desks all day. The more you encourage active, healthy exercise, the more motivated your employees will be to stay fit.
Seeing other people engaging in exercise is a major part of feeling like they’re part of something bigger. Being motivated to get involved is half the battle. And with video games now providing virtual fitness experiences, you can take your team on a virtual hike!
Or, you can boost your healthy eating by using an app like MyFitnessPal. This software allows you to input what you eat, so it is trackable.
7. Focus On Workplace Language
If there’s anything COVID-19 has taught the world, it’s to be kinder to each other. Think about the way you refer to employees as individuals, as well as a business team. Inclusive language is key to making sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable in the workforce.
For example, many employers aren’t aware of the vast difference to someone who is neurodivergent between saying “He has autism” and “He is autistic.” The latter is identity-led, whereas the former gives the impression that it’s something you can or can’t have, almost like a choice.
So taking time to talk to your colleagues and get to know their personalities is vital. It ensures that your whole team feels valued and they feel you’re caring for their health.
Employee Health and Wellness Is Priceless
If we want employees to be more productive and happier, we have to take better care of them. There’s no point in motivating them to exercise more or eat healthy food if they still feel like they only belong in a seat behind a desk.
Whether you’re a small business or a large global corporation, you have to remember that employee health and wellness are on you. And if you neglect them, it won’t be long before customers head for the exits too.
For more inspiring workplace health advice, check out some more of our articles and see what inspires you to succeed!