4 Easy Tips for Creating a Healthy Workplace
A corporate wellness program is not just about health insurance and an employee assistance program. Wellness programs are a strategic and holistic approach to employee wellbeing that help companies combat absenteeism and improve employee productivity. An effective wellness program considers the physical, environmental, and emotional health of employees, it identifies concerns, and it presents solutions. Creating a healthy workplace doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive if you keep some basic principles in mind.
Think Preventative: An effective wellness program shouldn’t be focused on how you’re going to deal with sick employees and the related absences. You should consider how you can include preventative measures in your wellness program to stop stress and illness from occurring, and keep your employees healthy and productive. Preventative care can be delivered through initiatives like offering seasonal flu shots, or providing information and education to employees on health and wellness. Bringing in health experts for lunch and learns, or creating an email newsletter on health topics are a couple ways that you can educate employees and engage them in wellness.
Be Flexible: Achieving work-life balance is essential for employee health and productivity. A huge amount of emotional stress can result if your employees’ work is not structured so that they can achieve their personal objectives outside of work. Offering a set number of flex days, or flex hours, per year is one way that you can give employees a little extra time off that will allow them to balance their personal life. If you have employees who don’t necessarily need to be at work during regular business hours, working from home may be an option to allow them to better manage their life outside of work. Working from home may not necessarily work for all employees though, so it should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Some employees will be happier and even more productive with the option to work from home, while others may not work as well outside their normal routine and office environment. Flexible work arrangements can be adaptable to suit the needs of you and your team.
Create an Active Workplace: Exercise and physical activity is one of the best ways to stave off illness and improve mental and physical health. There are many ways to make your workplace more active depending on your space and budget. A workplace fitness centre is an excellent way to keep employees active during and outside of work hours. If a fitness centre isn’t feasible, you can make your workplace more conducive to physical activity through things like bike racks, showers, and change rooms. Simple changes like walking meetings can also have a huge impact on employee activity levels.
Offer Healthy Options: When most companies bring in lunch for meetings or cater a large event, it’s always the same old menu. Heavy, calorie rich foods like pastas and meaty sandwiches are not always the healthiest option and can also stunt afternoon productivity as everyone falls into the ‘carb coma’. Many employees prefer lighter options for lunch and will likely be relieved to see a healthy alternative on the menu. If you’re concerned about keeping everyone happy, take a quick poll and see what choices your employees opt for - you may be surprised.
Employees are looking for more than just a job – they want a company that cares about them. A great wellness program is something that shows your employees you care and will keep them committed and happy.