It’s that time of year when people everywhere resolve to get healthier. That means it's the perfect time for employers to capitalize on resolutions that put employee wellness on top. The reward? Higher productivity, lower health insurance claims, fewer sick days, better employee engagement, fewer workers’ comp claims, lower turnover, and higher retention. If that's not enough to motivate you, Harvard Business Review reported that workplace wellness initiatives can net a 6x ROI ($6 for every $1 wellness program investment).
Ready to take advantage of your own staff's willingness to make a few positive changes? Try these seven easy -- and cost-effective -- workplace wellness ideas.
1. Start a competition to track employee fitness goals
Employees concerned about fitness may already tracking steps, calories consumed, calories burned, or other fitness goals on their mobile or fitness tracking device. Now encourage employee wellness throughout the workplace through a competition. Prizes go to top achievers... or everyone who achieves a specific goal. Allow employees to have flexible hours to make room for exercise and offer free items like gym bags, water bottles, sweat towels and t-shirts to further motivate them!
2. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to the company breakroom
Cut the donuts and pastries. Healthy snacks provide good energy, help with weight control, and improve mood. If your company is unable to provide these for employees each day, have a sign-up sheet for employees to take turns bringing them in, perhaps with a small allotted budget to help sponsor the program. You might also want to consider offering a food diary to help employees track cravings, triggers, and caloric intake.
3. Sponsor after-hours fitness classes at work
Employees who exercise together, bond together. Not only will they be getting healthier, they’ll be building relationships that carry over to the workplace for enhanced employee morale.
4. Encourage employees to take an active role in break time
Employee wellness can be fun! Bring in some footballs, hula hoops, hacky sacks, and volleyballs to make break time fun. Have a 30-second wall sitting challenge or see who can do a 60-second plank. Taking a mental break is rejuvenating, especially if it gets the blood flowing again.
5. Hold a walking meeting
Office workers spend most of the day sitting - and meetings are no exception. Get everyone off their feet with walking meetings, which also enhance creativity and brainstorming. Bring along mobile devices to take notes verbally.
6. Provide a gym membership for employees
Depending on your budget, you can decide to cover the cost fully, partially, or based on participation. Imagine the difference between an employee coming into work after just rolling out of bed, versus an employee coming from the gym. Exercising creates endorphins that increase energy and carry over to enhance mood, positivity, and overall wellness. Which kind of staff member would you prefer to work next to or have customers interact with each day
7. Set water-drinking goals
Wellness isn't just about moving around -- it's also about staying properly hydrated. Encourage employees to bring water bottles to work and have each person track how many total ounces of water they drink each day. At the end of the week, provide small incentives for everyone who drank an average of 64 ounces of water each day.
Wellness isn't just a new year's thing, so keep the motivation high year-round through monthly or quarterly contests and goals, paired with immediate and annual awards. For more ideas on how to improve your team’s mental and physical wellbeing, please contact your certified HR expert.
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