Developing a healthy lifestyle and achieving overall wellness can be either hindered or helped by one’s work life, and you as an employer are able to make that decision. It should come as no surprise that happy, healthy employees are better for business, offering value within the workplace. More and more businesses today are taking advantage of this fact, introducing programs and offers that promote health and wellness for their team.
A few strategies in introducing this positive change can include healthier meal and snack options in your cafeteria or break room, offering discounted gym memberships for employees, encouraging short breaks that include physical activity, or offering a highly competitive medical benefits package.
The benefits of promoting wellness within the workplace are seemingly never-ending. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workplace programs, policies, and environments that advocate wellness can significantly benefit not only employees, but you as an employer, and eventually, families and surrounding communities.
Some of these benefits are obvious, like employees taking fewer sick days. While that may come as a standard, the effects of which are much greater. With fewer time away from work, employees are more likely to show greater productivity, and offer growth within themselves, potentially displaying themselves as assets to your company.
A healthy lifestyle that incorporates exercise and a proper diet leads to a good night’s sleep, all of which improve mental health in addition to physical. Employees that actively engage in wellness programs are more likely to show better concentration and focus when performing their standard responsibilities. These programs can also invite your team to collaborate with one another, and improve overall relationships among your workplace, directly relating to employee retention.
Workplace wellness can even benefit your company financially. Healthier employees present lower insurance risks, meaning lower costs. They may spend significantly fewer in terms of out-of-pocket expenses, allowing you to save money accordingly.
One of the greatest aspects of promoting healthy lifestyles in your office is offering support to those who may feel as though they are on a journey to wellness alone. Encouraging your team to achieve their health goals gives support, which also leads to support among all team members, creating an open environment for achieving wellness.
Beware that forcing employees to participate in any programs you’ve established could backfire. Many people attempting to improve their health wish to do so on their own terms. If you as a manager make health programs a requirement, they could be viewed as somewhat belittling for those who feel that they are unnecessary.
Be sure to take your team’s considerations into account before developing any wellness programs in the office. Encourage in small doses, but do not imply force. Even simply educating your employees on the benefits of adopting healthier lifestyles may be enough. The point is to show that you care about your staff’s well-being in a way that does not come off as an attempt to improve business. This is a mutually beneficial practice that can greatly impact your work environment.