Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.
Engaging with employees helps make the office a more welcoming and friendly environment. People who feel welcomed and cared for will stick around longer and give more of an effort at their job, which is why many businesses are now focusing on employee wellness. In trying to take care of their people, businesses find they the people then take care of the business.
The idea of employee wellness may seem too broad, but there are many ways that bosses can encourage and support employee wellness without breaking the bank. By taking a few simple steps, wellness can become a focus of any business and office culture. Read on for more ideas that will show exactly how any boss can support employee wellness. After following a tip or two, people in the office will see everyone take a new interest in their personal wellness and the office will become more of a home for the people who work there.
1. Encourage Mental Health Days
Employees often feel bad asking for days off, even when they’ve earned the PTO. They don’t want to seem lazy or ungrateful for their position. Everyone’s been there at one point, and when that happens, it adds an extra level of stress for the employee wanting time off. Whether that time will be spent resting and recovering from an illness or just spending time with family, there shouldn’t be any kind of shame surrounding earned PTO.
Instead, encourage employees to take a mental health day every now and then. Suggesting per month or every few months will encourage them to take the time they need to refresh themselves and their spirits. They’ll feel lighter going back to work and they’ll be more appreciative of the position they have.
2. Host Office Fitness Challenges
Employee wellness also means encouraging people to get active. One way to do that without cutting into their personal time once they’re off the clock is to have an office fitness challenge. Come up with an event where for one week, everyone counts their steps.
At the end of the week, anyone who beats the required number of steps wins a prize. Prizes can be something they can hang at their desk or a gift card to a local store. Friendly competition will get people moving and let them do something fun while they’re at work.
3. Start a Wellness Workshop
People who struggle with their personal wellness might do so because they haven’t learned any wellness tips or tricks. Starting a wellness workshop that people can take once a quarter or biannually will help them learn things they might not have known before. Studies show that 77 percent of Americans experience physical symptoms caused by stress. Learning about how stressors can affect them will benefit employees by teaching them how to avoid these stressors and improve their mental and physical health.
4. Provide Healthy Snacks
Employees bring their lunches from home all the time, and some prefer to eat out. Everyone has to make their own choices when it comes to their diet, but bosses can help by offering healthy snacks for free. Fruit cups or packages of veggies are a much better alternative to the vending machine down the hall. Throw in a fridge with free waters, health drinks and sparkling waters so they have better options to drink too.
5. Offer Loyalty Programs
It’s been shown that one reason people don’t join gyms is because they’re too expensive. In addition to spending valuable free time driving to and from the gym and the gas money it takes to do that, people just don’t see any incentive. Speak with local gyms to see if there’s a way to partner up and offer loyalty programs for employees. Discounted or free gym memberships will encourage people to go more often and potentially bring family and friends with them.
6. Set Up Flu Clinics
Another way a partnership can help employee wellness is if a business works together with a drug store or local doctor’s office to set up a flu clinic. Most adults get their flu shots only if they have the time and money. A partnership will help both of these factors by offering shots in the office or down the hall at little to no charge. Keeping employees healthy will make them feel more valued and cared for in their job.
7. Talk About Available Benefits
Unless someone is a brand new employee who’s just gone through their full benefits package with an HR representative, people may forget what their health benefits are. Once a month, have everyone sit down at a lunch together. Provide sandwiches and chips so no one has to worry about bringing their own food and talk about the recent successes of the company.
They’ll enjoy hearing about what’s being done in the world, and at the end they can hear from someone in HR about wellness benefits they can take advantage of, like flu shots in the fall or vision wellness checks in the spring.
8. Create a Community Goal Board
One of the best ways to get people on board with the idea of getting on top of their health and wellness is to get everyone to start together. Put up a board somewhere in the office where everyone will see it and have them write a pledge to better one aspect of their personal wellness. Writing goals down and having them up for everyone to see will make it exciting, and then in a month, there can be a community lunch or break to discuss how those efforts are going.
Supporting employee wellness doesn’t have to be a challenge. Make it a fun and exciting thing for everyone to do by getting the whole office involved. Set up fun step challenges with prizes for winners to make it a game. Discuss available benefits with everyone in case people forgot, and then look to the future by partnering with local businesses to provide discounted gym membership rates and free flu shots. Whatever the final plan is, employees will enjoy feeling more valued by having more options available so they can take care of their wellness with ease.
PSECU, a credit union in Pennsylvania, put together this helpful graphic on the benefits employers and employees can get out of corporate wellness programs.
Click to view the full-size version and explanation