We all know how important it is to focus on wellness–good nutrition, regular exercise, effective stress management, adequate sleep–but it’s not as easy as it sounds. For one thing, most of our waking hours are spent at work, where the demands of clients, projects and deadlines keep us from taking care of our bodies and minds. From the mailroom to the executive office suite, workers need to stay mentally and physically healthy to perform at their best. That’s where employer wellness programs come in. Onsite wellness programs help companies improve performance by attracting and retaining top talent. In-house wellness programming gives employees the resources they need to take care of themselves–and to do their best work. Here are some examples of employer wellness programs that work across a variety of budgets.
- Add healthy in-house options for employee meals, from salad bars to sandwich stations featuring wholegrain breads and lean meats.
- Upgrade onsite snack options from sodas and candy bars to nut-based trail mixes, low-sugar yogurt and fresh fruit.
- Post nutrition guidelines, recipe suggestions and healthy shopping lists in break rooms.
- Make sure there is adequate refrigerator and microwave space available for employees to store healthy meals from home.
- Offer onsite fitness facilities to employees, complete with showers and scheduled classes.
- Provide discounted or free memberships to local gyms.
- Offer prizes to departments who can log the most days of exercise, most miles walked/run or the most hours of cardio in a month.
- Subsidize the cost of personal fitness equipment like treadmills, free weights, smart watches, and fitness trackers.
- Offer demonstrations of fitness activities like yoga, pilates, zumba or step aerobics.
- Offer classes in meditation and mindfulness.
- Provide training in financial management, parenting, effective communication and other issues impacting employee stress.
- Develop a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to connect employees confidentially with mental health and other supportive services.
- Promote a company culture of collaboration, transparency and mutuality.
Investing in the physical and mental health of employees has been shown to reduce health care costs, improve productivity and enhance employee satisfaction. In a lean, flexible business environment, all employees need to be performing at their highest level–which can only happen if their bodies and minds are operating at full capacity. Bringing wellness programs into the workplace helps employees reach their greatest potential, which creates a stronger, healthier organization.