Championing health and wellness in the workplace is key to attracting and retaining top talent. When your employees are healthy, physically and mentally, both your team and your business benefit. Employees are more productive, more engaged, and they’re less likely to call out sick.
There are some simple steps you can take to boost health and wellness in the workplace. Here are just a few of them:
Invest in a mindfulness/ meditation app
Many mindfulness/meditation apps have company plans where you can buy licenses in bulk for your employees to use.
Investing in an app like this shows employees you understand the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, and that you want to encourage them to take time out of their day to care for themselves.
Have open communication
Open communication is at the heart of any healthy relationship, and that includes working ones.
Supporting employees with open communication shows them you value their opinions and you’re not going to brush them off based on their position in the hierarchy.
Frustration is a common emotion many of us feel at work. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to express this instead of bottling it up. It’s much better for our physical and mental health and can prevent problems from getting worse.
Although it’s rarely thought of in this context, open communication is an important strategy for boosting health and wellness in the workplace.
I’ll be honest, I hate exercise. But I do it because I know it’s good for my mind and body.
If you have a fast-paced, stressful culture, encouraging employees to exercise can help them work off that stress. This way, they can think more clearly, make fewer mistakes, and get more done.
It can also reduce how much time employees take off for back pain. Chronic back pain is one of the main reasons millions of employees don’t make it into work each day. 8% of US adults experience back pain, with 83 million working days lost every year because of it.
A regular yoga practice is a cheaper, longer-term way to solve this. It can provide greater pain relief than painkillers and reduce how much time employees take off sick.
Host regular expert talks
Regular talks from experts on health and wellness in the workplace can introduce employees to new ideas and experiences they may not have considered.
New studies in this area are emerging all the time. Bringing in industry experts to share what’s new can help your employees improve their fitness, nutrition, and even sleep quality.
While we all know things like exercise, nutrition, and sleep quality are important, many of us don’t understand why. Most of us aren’t taught these things in school!
Sometimes understanding why and how something affects us can be a motivating factor for embracing it. I started exercising regularly when I discovered the significant impact it could have on my brain’s short-term productivity and long-term health, for example.
Offer wellness days
Employees in the US really don’t get much paid time off compared to employees in the EU.
Wellness days mean that if someone’s child is sick, or they’re sick themselves, or maybe they have a dentist appointment, they’re not wasting a vacation day for something that isn’t their fault.
Wellness days can also be good if you wake up one morning and just can’t face the world.
Make sure not to question too much about why someone needs a wellness day, though. If they’re feeling depressed, let them have the day and don’t try to be their therapist. Someone who’s depressed needs moral support and someone to listen. They don’t need a therapy session from someone without any formal training who’s trying to “help.”
How often do you post in Slack, Teams, or Workrowd about health and wellness in the workplace? Are you regularly sparking conversations around the topic?
Inviting conversation on these subjects shows employees it’s a priority for you.
Seeing others discuss health and wellness in the workplace also encourages employees to think about their own wellbeing. Even if they’re not an active part of the discussion, reading what others have to say could still have a positive influence on them.
Set up a wellbeing channel
Why not take things a step further and create a wellbeing channel or krowd? Everyone can share resources they’ve found useful and find new information they may not have considered before.
Seeing the discussions every day will act as a subtle reminder to do something for their own health and wellbeing. Even if that’s just checking to see what others have posted.
Offer volunteering opportunities
Allowing employees the opportunity to take a few days out of the working year to volunteer for a cause that’s important to them can improve their physical and mental health. It can also lower stress levels, improve mood, and even strengthen muscles.
92% of HR executives also believe that volunteering can improve employees’ leadership skills. In addition, it can offer a creative way to see who the next leaders within your business could be.
Set an example
In many companies, health and wellness in the workplace is just a fancy idea used to lure in new hires. So, it’s important for you to set an example.
Do you talk about your own journey? Do you talk about the things that affect you? Are you setting an example with your actions as well as your words?
There’s a difference between getting personal and getting private. You don’t have to tell your colleagues your life story, but sharing interesting articles, podcasts, or videos on relevant topics shows them it’s an area you really do care about.
The more you set an example, the more likely employees will be to follow your lead and prioritize health and wellness in the workplace.
With so much going on in the world right now, it’s important we do what we can to look after health and wellness in the workplace.
Of course, we have to prioritize our own health and wellbeing, but employees should know their employer values theirs, too. When employees know that their employer values them and their health, they’re more likely to stay and refer their network for future roles in such a positive working environment.
If you’re ready to take health and wellness in the workplace to the next level for your team, check out Workrowd. Our one-stop shop makes it easy to market, manage, and measure your initiatives, from group exercise classes to mental health employee resource groups. Drop us a note at email@example.com to learn more.