Improving your employee health and wellness is a win-win for everyone. They get to live their best life and you reduce the rates of employee absenteeism. Everyone benefits. And the best bit? It doesn’t need to cost your business a fortune.
Employees are your biggest asset, so it makes sense to look after them. If you run a fleet of company cars, you probably spend considerable time and effort in maintaining those vehicles because it makes good business sense. Employees are no different.
Paying close attention to their health and wellness is a smart investment. Here are some simple ways to do this which won’t cost you too much money.
Healthy Eating in the Workplace
Providing snacks is commonplace in many businesses. Employees appreciate having a break room where they can relax, eat their lunch, and chat to colleagues away from their desk. If you have a break room in your workplace, you probably also provide a selection of snacks, but are these healthy?
Cookies, donuts, and other baked goods are tasty, but not necessarily healthy. We all eat too many starchy goods these days, which is why US obesity rates are through the roof. With this in mind, it is a good idea to try to promote healthy eating in the workplace.
Instead of turning a blind eye when employees slope off to the golden arches for a lunchtime fix of trans fats and sugar, provide a selection of healthy snacks and encourage workers to bring healthy packed lunches to the office.
There are some excellent office snacks services out there, that provide a range of healthy foods for workers to graze on all day. This article on Bevi.co gives you a good introduction to the different office snack service companies operating today. Use the Bevi article as a useful starting point if you are investigating the merits of snack services for the office.
Encourage Fitness and Exercise
Fitness and exercise are just as important as healthy eating. The average US adult only does 17 minutes of exercise per day, which is significantly less than the levels recommended by the CDC. People working desk jobs don’t do anywhere near enough exercise. In fact, most of us spend all day staring at a screen and barely moving a muscle.
You can improve employee wellness in the workplace by encouraging everyone to do more exercise. There are many ways to do this.
- Offer subsidized gym memberships or club together with other businesses in your area to set up an employee gym.
- Run fitness classes at lunchtimes, such as aerobics or yoga.
- Make it easier for employees to cycle to work, by installing workplace showers and locker rooms.
- Have standing meetings where attendees stand instead of sit.
- Invest in standing desks and small weights, so employees can do simple exercises at their desks.
- Sign everyone up for a charity 5K. This should encourage people to get fit for a good cause.
When it comes to exercise in the workplace, every little helps. It is also a good idea to lead by example. Instead of driving to work, start jogging or walking the final few blocks. If your employees see you setting a good example, they are more likely to follow suit.
Focus on Employee Mental Health
Mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact, arguably more so. Stressed and anxious employees are rarely very productive. Therefore, it is a good idea to create the type of company culture where employees feel safe admitting they are having issues.
- Operate an open-door policy where employees can come to you (or another designated member of staff) if they are having mental health issues.
- Encourage people to share their problems with the team and don’t stigmatize mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
- Operate a company-wide mental health care plan and offer reduced rates if employees could benefit from seeing a counselor.
- Have systems in place to eradicate bullying in the workplace.
- Run weekly meditation sessions.
Pay close attention to staff morale, as this is a useful barometer of your employees’ mental health status. If you spot any issues, or you become aware that a team member is going through a personal crisis, make it easy for them to talk to a professional therapist.
Promote a Responsible Drinking Culture
Always implement a safe drinking culture. Encourage employees not to drink to excess at work functions. To this end, don’t provide alcoholic beverages in the workplace, unless it’s a special occasion, such as an employee’s leaving party. Watch out for employees who may have a drinking problem. If you do suspect anyone has an issue with alcohol, refer them to counseling and make it clear that you have their best interests at heart.
If you have any more helpful suggestions, please let us know in the comments section!