It’s important for workplaces to take employee health and wellness more seriously, especially since 91% of Gen Z-ers and 73% of Millennials say that one of the primary reasons why they stay at a job is the benefits. This same study says that the younger generations are giving their personal and professional future as much importance as what's happening right now. If their current workplace doesn't allow them to improve in both areas, they're more likely to leave prematurely.
With that being said, one of the most appreciated benefits that a company can provide to its workforce is those related to employee health and wellness.
Organizations that promote health and wellness enjoy several benefits, from reduced healthcare-related costs to more productive and motivated employees. If you’d like to learn how to improve health and wellness at your organization, here we have some ways you can contemplate during your next business meeting.
8 Ideas to promote employee health and wellness at the workplace
Before starting this section, please note that you won't need to invest in an expensive program to promote employee health and wellness within your organization. There's always a place to start, regardless of your capacities. In addition, as this is a long-term plan, you can always "improve" certain aspects of it if you think that something is not working as expected or if you have better ideas.
Here you have five ways to promote a healthier lifestyle at your workplace, all of them easy to apply.
1. Wellness challenges
Wellness challenge ideas are combinable, and there are plenty of combinations to make. For instance, an uncomplicated walking challenge can be an excellent way to start the day. But, first, you set the rules, and then you can invite employees to join the challenge voluntarily.
You can schedule these challenges at different hours, not necessarily in the morning. However, scheduling it in the middle of the day can be an excellent way of making a break more entertaining and relive even more stress.
Another good idea you can include in these challenges is office chair workouts.
2. Yoga classes
Continuing with exercises, offering yoga courses at the workplace is common in this era, especially in larger enterprises. You can choose to hold these events in the conference room if there isn't a bigger space in the headquarters or outdoor open space. If neither of those is an option, perhaps office chair yoga is the answer for you.
3. Health education
It's important for people to know how to improve their health as most individuals are not actively seeking ways to do so as they're already busy with their everyday lives. However, offering a short class per month is can be a good idea to encourage your employees to care more about their health.
Classes are not the only way you can consider when it comes to promoting employee health and wellness. You can also send a newsletter to their emails, for instance. In addition, you can come up with many other simple but helpful ways to educate the personnel.
As an extra note, if you’re going for written communication, please remember to keep the language accessible for everyone. People will be more likely to engage in healthier practices if the advice they get is practical.
4. Pre-work stretch breaks
Office workers suffer from back pain more often than the average person. As you can guess, sitting for prolonged periods is the main cause for this issue, but it can be solved with enough physical activity and changes in office furniture.
As we're focusing on employee health, a good way of helping your employees feel better before starting the workday is to schedule pre-work stretch breaks so everyone can get seated for prolonged hours. Plus, physical activity is often linked to higher productivity levels.
5. Offer healthy lunches and snacks
It can be a bit difficult to change someone’s eating habits, but you can promote healthier diets at the workplace by offering healthy lunches and snacks. Eating one healthy meal a day can make a huge difference in a person’s health.
Here you have plenty of options. For instance, a salad bar can be a good idea, but there are plenty of other options you can consider.
If your organization can afford it, we recommend considering adding a nutritionist to the company. They should work together with the kitchen staff.
As an extra, please remove all the current vending machines at the headquarters. Instead of soda or fries, you can include a water cooler and fruit bowls instead.
6. Smoke-free policy
Tobacco is one of the deadliest addictions in today's world. However, it's one of the most common things to see in our everyday life, and the worst part is that a person who smokes also hurts those that surround them.
Some companies designate smoke sections where people can go for a cigarette break without harming others unintentionally. However, this may not be the greatest solution. Therefore, we recommend implementing a smoke-free policy instead of this.
As an extra, you can also offer smokers at your workplace cessation resources. Quitting an addiction is always a complicated and long journey, but it isn’t impossible.
Please note that we’re not encouraging you to force these ideas into them. You can put the resources at their disposal, and then they can choose voluntarily to engage in those programs if they wish to do so.
There are many other employee health and wellness tips that you can choose to incorporate into your workplace. We could continue mentioning ideas, but in the end, it all comes down to what you can offer as an employer. Still, please remember that small changes can make a huge difference. If you can only offer a newsletter at the moment, for instance, it's completely fine. The rest will come in due time
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