Often referred to as the obesity epidemic, it's believed that children today will not live as long as their parents. One of the paramount causes for this epidemic is sitting at a desk all day. Failing to move around all day at work, a lack of daily exercise, and stress can cause employees to gain weight. A culture that promotes employee wellness can counteract some of the consequences of working in an office.
You already invest in your employees: picking the best talent, giving benefits, pay, and time off, so are you ready to invest in their health?
Where to Start
Swap out unhealthy snacks and lunch options that are available for employees. By making healthy alternatives available in vending machines or the cafeteria at a discounted rate, employees may choose those instead.
HR can ask employees via survey what they are looking for in a wellness program. This can go beyond encouraging a healthy lifestyle. In wellness programs, your company can decide to try and implement programs that promote a smoke-free worksite, free or discounted flu vaccines, and try other ways to encourage employee health.
With the current wearable technology it’s easy to start with incentives. It can be as basic as offering an incentive when an employee reaches X amount of steps.
How a Wellness Program Could Benefit
Workplace wellness programs can help a company stand out to applicants. Google was one of the first to get rid of the monochromatic cubicles and start a wellness program, allowing them to stand out to highly qualified applicants. It is a benefit that attracts talent.
Employees who have participated in workplace wellness report that they are more productive and more likely to stay with their employer as well as refer someone to the company. Linking the company culture and benefits with a wellness program involves the employees and their interest in not only the program but the company. Just make sure you aren’t being invasive of an employee’s personal information and they know of any data you might be collecting from fitness trackers or personal logs.
Exercise can actually help prevent illness. So instead
of having a meeting in a conference room, suggest a
walk and talk! Less illness means less time missed by
employees! Not only will employees be physically
healthier, but mentally as well. No one likes to stress,
but a lot of people will tell you that they are. Through
exercising and a feeling of wellbeing employees will be
less stressed and more productive.
Keep it going!
If you keep your wellness program relatively simple and easy, employees will be more likely to participate. If you want to incentivize your program, it might be more likely to garner interest and long-term participation.
There are programs that can help your company achieve goals, and inspire people to join in, like Couch to 5K, a simple running program that lets employees work their way up to run a 5K.
Sit/stand desks promote constant company well-being. It can help employees get up, and at least give them the option to do so.
Tips and Tricks to an A+ Program
When it comes to working up a wellness plan incentivize employees rather than penalize them. People should want to participate, not feel forced to.
Promote social challenges. With wearable technology growing in popularity, employees can easily track their heart beat, steps, and sleep patterns, all while seeing what their friends are doing too. The wearable technology is hard to cheat, so challenges will be seen as fair and fun, especially if they’re incentivized with gift cards, days off, or even small bonuses.
Finally, ask employees for input. See what they are looking for in their personal health growth, or even just finding out how many people would be willing to get involved with a new idea. Gauge their interest before investing any money.