The work industry is constantly changing, and with that, the need for well-established wellness programs becomes necessary. In addition, it is essential for leaders to acknowledge that generational change is imminent, and with that, the needs of employees will be going through a transition as well.
As Gen Z takes over the workforce while millennials reach their 40s, employee wellness programs ideas include one of the main exigencies for workplace benefits. It isn't an arbitrary fact – statistics say that 60% of Gen Z while 65% of Millennials say that jobs that offer small "benefits" like free lunches are a big "no" for them. Instead, they prefer benefits that allow them to succeed throughout their careers while supporting their physical and mental wellness.
What is the reason behind this reasoning?
It may make no sense for you if you’re not part of this generation, but the youth is currently experiencing higher levels of debt than previous generations. Furthermore, Gen Z has been categorized as the generation with “the most mental health problems.” We could continue this article mentioning all the problems why the new generations are demanding more benefits, but we wouldn’t be able to help you solve the issue.
Wellness programs in the workplace have tons of benefits. Suppose you're not aware of them in this article. In that case, we'll describe some of the many benefits that workplaces with health and wellness programs for employees enjoy, as well as a few employee wellness program examples you can use to guide yourself while drawing the blueprints for your business’ approach to this issue. You will learn about employee benefit trends, as well as many other things you can use to create a workplace that’s suitable for you and the new generation.
4 Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs for Companies
1. Improved productivity
Poor health is listed among the main reasons for poor productivity. When someone feels sick or is in unhealthy shape, they are more likely to feel tired and with less motivation to complete their work.
Contrary to this, a study found out that employee wellness programs can be helpful for the workforce's productivity levels. But, more than that, it can make your organization save money in the long term.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate wellness challenges ideas within your business schedule at least once a week. It is important to promote good health behaviors around your coworkers. It has been proved that regular exercise has a positive impact on both productivity and performance.
2. Reduced health risk
Promoting healthy behaviors doesn’t have to be something overly complicated. You can start by recommending an easy office chair workout, for instance. However, the issue goes beyond exercising: without a proper diet, a person’s health may not improve as much as they expect.
A Wellsteps study conducted in only six weeks found out that people who engaged in healthy eating behaviors experienced lower health risks. However, the other group that didn't participate in the healthy diet increased their health risk considerably.
When a person starts adopting healthy behaviors, they're more likely to be productive. Changing a person's way of thinking and behaviors can be quite complicated, but with small steps, you can help them care for themselves a bit more than they currently do.
3. Reduced health care costs
If your company preaches healthy diets and regular exercise, employees will be less likely to suffer injuries or diseases. In addition, this will make the company save on healthcare-related costs, and we all know that millions go away every year in problems that can be solved with a simple lifestyle change.
4. Improved employee retention
We've already mentioned this employee wellness programs benefit in the introduction, but let's put a bit more emphasis on it. Wellness programs are one of the main reasons why people decide to stay at their jobs. In addition, you will also experience less absenteeism as people will feel more energetic and motivated to continue with their daily obligations.
4 Employee Wellness Program Ideas
Now you know how these programs can be beneficial for your organization. Now, how do you put them into practice?
As with any other workplace-related change, please note that the addition of employee wellness programs implies thorough planning and decision-making. What’s listed here are ideas you can contemplate, but you should always go for what suits your company better according to its culture and budget.
1. Yoga classes
Let's start with a classic: Yoga class! Many modern workplaces offer yoga classes at least once or twice weekly. This can happen in an indoor environment or outside during sunny days. It doesn't matter where it happens as long as it happens.
Yoga and meditation are known to be some of the most powerful stress relievers. Thus, you will be contributing to your workforce's physical and mental well-being.
2. Promoting and rewarding healthy eating habits
We all know that just promoting you won't make a meaningful change. Of course, it’ll impact some people, but most people struggle to add a new habit to their lives without a proper incentive. However, a nutrition challenge that includes a reward system may be a good idea for you to make sure that more than just a selected few are willing to engage in this employee wellness program.
For instance, you can offer healthy snacks or longer lunchtimes, so people don't feel like they have to take the first thing that comes to their minds when they're about to eat.
3. Standing desks!
Did you know that standing desks can do wonders for your health? Plus, they're extremely efficient and will also help your employees feel more comfortable throughout the day. So, it’s a good idea to add it in your employee wellness programs.
You can also make these products part of an employee purchase program if you’d like them to continue with the good habits at home. You can also learn more about the Autonomous employee purchase program if you’d like to emphasize further in this aspect.
4. Eyes matter too
Last but not least, please don't forget that eye strain is a serious issue that affects workers daily. As office workers spend more time in front of a screen than the average person, they may end up feeling more fatigued and may also suffer from headaches by the end of the day. Thus, you can provide them with tools like Flux, which adapts the screen's brightness based on the day hour.
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