Is a corporate wellness program right for your business? Small businesses are beginning to recognize the reasons a wellness program can be a smart investment. Companies invest in a wide variety of wellness initiatives – and many cite a range of benefits. Some hope to lower stress and improve employee health, which can help control benefits costs. Others are focused on reducing employee illnesses to improve absenteeism, or simply to improve employee satisfaction, health, and productivity overall. Each business should look at its employees' needs and desired wellness programs, and explore a range of options that may be right for their unique workplace environment. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Access to Workout and Health Facilities
One basic approach many companies are taking to corporate wellness programs is giving access to workout and health facilities. From creating an onsite gym to investing in landscaping that makes outside trails friendly for walking and running, there are many options available. Some businesses offer an employee discount or paid membership to a nearby gym. Another strategy is to host weekly workout sessions onsite including Zumba classes, yoga, and meditation classes.
Make it Easy to Get Healthy Food
Another popular benefit of corporate wellness programs focuses on access to healthy food. Examples include catered healthy lunches once a week, an onsite chef, or brown bag sessions that include a speaker who comes in to talk about different nutritional issues. Companies have also partnered with organizations to offer nutritional counseling, cooking classes, and other events to help employees learn how to adapt a healthier lifestyle.
Corporate Wellness Challenges
There are a variety of different focuses corporate wellness challenges can have. Some examples include weight loss challenges, fitness challenges to exercise a certain number of times in 90 days, preventing holiday weight gain, and friendly competitive sports such as soccer or baseball. Challenges get people excited to participate and help build a social aspect into promoting wellness.
Address Mental Health, Stress, and Rejuvenation
Reducing stress and achieving positive mental health can be an important part of corporate wellness. Small businesses may be unsure of how to address these issues, but the rewards for helping your employees cope with stress in and out of the office more effectively can be powerful. Examples include hosting yoga and meditation classes, sponsoring an onsite stress reduction program, offering team activities that get everyone out of the office like a team walk, or allowing employees to spend a day volunteering for a cause they care about. These are just a few of many great ways to give back and let employees recharge their batteries.
Invest in Ergonomic Designs
Do your employees spend a lot of time in the office? Just as you invest in the right tools for safety, consider investing in ergonomic and health-promoting workstations. In some cases, this is as simple as an ergonomic keyboard or specific monitor. In others, it may mean experimenting with standing desks. Employers can also help support employee wellness by thinking about office décor, plants, and taking other steps to create an environment that minimizes stress and promotes getting more done.
Offer Support for Healthier Living
Employers can further invest in employee wellness by offering support and resources for healthier living. Some employers invest in a wellness library employees can use to borrow books that interest them. Others distribute a wellness newsletter with interesting health, nutrition, and other wellness articles, either original or curated from other sources. Simple practices such as a short meeting each week where people share what they're grateful for, or to acknowledge individual contributions for the week can also help boost morale and wellness.
Many businesses are concluding that investing in employee wellness yields big returns on investment. From increased productivity to a reduction in absenteeism, these changes can have a major impact on your bottom line. Get started today and help promote a wellness-friendly environment at your company!