10 strategies to boost employee wellness and mental health

Employee wellness and mental health are essential for the strength of your workplace. It’s hard to analyze the true cost of illness and absenteeism at work, but it’s safe to say that it costs companies billions annually.

As you are looking for ways to support your staff members, we will go over ten strategies that can help your organization thrive.

1. Purchase Health Insurance for Your Staff Members

First, one of the easiest ways to support employee wellness and mental health is insurance.

When picking insurance, you need to be careful about the plan and carrier you decide to go with. Unfortunately, not all companies are made the same. Some have high deductibles and confusing language that make it hard to find care.

Take your time when picking plans. Make sure that your team has plenty of options to choose from. Also make sure that you cover some of the expenses associated with insurance. Many organizations cover 70-100% of employee insurance costs.

2. Offer an HSA to Employees

Next, you could offer an HSA or Health Savings Account.

An HSA is an account that your employees can sign up for. With an HSA, employees can put a small amount of their paycheck away pre-tax, and they can spend their savings throughout the year on covered medical expenses.

As a benefit, you could offer $100+ monthly and give your team members the ability to contribute more if they’d like to do so. These contributions can then be used to cover expenses as they pop up.

Employees with HSAs are more likely to use preventive care services like flu shots and mammograms than those without one.

3. Do Group Workout Classes

Another way to improve employee wellness and mental health is to offer group workout classes in your office.

You can easily work with an employee who teaches a workout like yoga or Zumba (or you can hire a teacher to come in a few times per week.) Encourage staff members to take a break for thirty minutes and work out together.

If you have a hybrid workplace (or you work from home), you could find an easy workout on YouTube or purchase access to a workout application for your team members. From there, you could encourage your team to take 30 minutes a few times per week to work out and share the workouts they are doing with their colleagues.

4. Provide Mental Health and Sick Days

Next, companies need to provide mental health and sick days for employees. Sometimes our staff members need a few days off to take care of themselves, their mental health, or even their families.

When providing sick days, encourage your team to seek a doctor’s help, but don’t require it. Unfortunately, organizations often think requiring a doctor’s visit is essential.

For instance, your team member may call out sick because they have a bit of a fever and cough. While they could go to the doctor, chances are they have a cold. Doctor’s visits aren’t cheap, so we should trust employees if they are within their sick day limits.

Your staff should feel comfortable asking for a mental health day as well. Sometimes we have to focus on ourselves to have something to give other people.

5. Create a Monthly Wellness Challenge

People love a good challenge. Challenges encourage people to work together or make a positive impact on their own mental and/or physical health.

Here are 16 challenge ideas you can participate in as an organization:

  • Water Intake
  • Yoga
  • Healthy Eating
  • Financial Wellness
  • Journaling
  • Running/Walking
  • Reading
  • Social Media Detox
  • 10,000 Daily Steps
  • Habit Tracking
  • Getting Good Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Decluttering
  • Gratitude
  • Recognition
  • Taking Time Off

Pick a monthly challenge and let your team know how they can participate in the challenge. Then, in order to get people excited, offer an incentive for any person or team who wins the challenge.

6. Send Reminders About Important Health Activities

Health screenings like getting a mammogram, dental cleanings, eye exams, and annual physicals are essential for staff members.

Encourage your team to keep up with preventative care by including reminders in your company’s newsletter or community.

Preventative care measures are often well-covered by health insurance companies because it means you take your health and wellness seriously.

7. Create a Health-Conscious Workplace Community

Community is an important part of deciding to be healthy. We can learn so much from each other. Therefore, organizations should invest in the power of community.

For instance, you could use a tool like Workrowd to host several health-conscious workplace communities.

Your team members could create an interesting community around the type of exercise they like to do or one that focuses on mental health in the workplace. Inside those communities, your teams could plan fun events or share their favorite resources with other employees.

Encourage team members to band together to find growth opportunities.

8. Encourage Employees With an Office Stipend

Next, let’s discuss the importance of having a great office to work in. We spend hours every day inside of our offices. The office needs to feel like an excellent place to work, whether we work from home or go into a physical building.

One way to make office life appealing is by offering a stipend to get the best office supplies. For example, office furniture like a standing desk can get our staff members to stand up more throughout the day, which is great for health.

Encourage staff members to take the stipend to purchase office furniture and supplies that encourage healthy movement.

9. Talk About Your Mental and Physical Health

Employees learn what is appropriate by watching their supervisors. We can encourage our employees to look after their own mental and physical health by addressing our own issues and wins in the workplace.

If you have a bad mental health day, don’t be afraid to take the day off and share why you did it with your staff members. When they see you take time for yourself, they’ll be more likely to do it too.

10. Put Effort Into Improving Work/Life Balance

Work/life balance is essential. Are you or your team consistently taking work home or responding to emails on the weekend? Employees model your behavior, so make sure that you are taking the time to be a good example.

For instance, you can:

  • Respond to emails on the weekend, but schedule them to go out on Monday.
  • Take longer vacations where you are gone for a week or more and stay unplugged.
  • Take a mental health or sick day when you need one.

Employee Wellness and Mental Health Can Be Simple

Our employees look up to us and model our behavior. We have to make employee wellness and mental health as simple as possible so that our team members can follow our lead. Take your time and provide resources to staff members, so they know they aren’t alone.

Workrowd can be a wonderful ally to your organization as you focus on employee wellbeing. If you want to see Workrowd in action, send us an email at to see if our community-building software is right for your organization.

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