What is workplace wellness?
Workplace wellness is another set of buzzwords being used a lot these days. And with all of today’s pandemic-related stress and uncertainty, it’s no wonder that it is top-of-mind among both employees and organizations.
What is workplace wellness?
Workplace wellness is any workplace activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behaviours and practices in the workplace with the goal of improving health outcomes.
Wellness, or well-being, as promoted within the workplace often includes activities such as:
- Physical and mental health education
- Campaigns promoting an active lifestyle
- Nutritional programs
- On-site fitness programs or facilities
- Access to information and physical resources
Why do workplaces focus on wellness?
A happy, healthy workforce is proven to be a more effective one. Employees who have a strong sense of well-being are often:
- More productive
- More likely to stay in their jobs
- More likely to recommend their organization as a good place to work
- More engaged in their work/organization
- Healthier, with improved disease management and prevention
All of these reasons contribute to lower healthcare costs for the employer as well. While all of the above is good for business, more and more organizations today are invested in wellness because they care about the well-being of their people.
Plus, a greater focus on having a top-notch employer brand has also made organizations keen to develop employee benefits outside of the usual earnings and time off to help attract and retain top talent. Organizations want to be
perceived as modern, adaptive, and attractive. To employees and potential employees, an investment in employee wellness is a contributing factor and often influences their decision to join — or stay with — an organization.
Tips for incorporating wellness initiatives in your organization:
- On-site fitness center or classes
If you have space, consider investing in an on-site gym. If space is limited, think about how best you can use and transform areas like meeting rooms into a space for lunchtime yoga or meditation classes.
Tip: Outsource your fitness initiatives to a professional who can run your programs, manage sign-ups, ensure that your people are exercising safely, etc.
- Create just-for-fun fitness challenges
Generate some friendly competition among staff with a step-challenge or similar initiative that gets people moving (both at work and at home).
Tip: Offer a prize to the top performers so that people have something to strive to achieve and to keep them motivated.
- Offer on-site paramedical services
Many offices have monthly on-site services such as massage which allows employees to take advantage of their benefits without having to take time off of work.
Tip: Survey your staff to see what they’re most interested in, then remember to promote the service and encourage employees to sign-up.
- Offer healthy snacks
Stock the kitchen or cafeteria with healthy snack options. Not only does this help to keep your team healthier and boost energy levels, it also means that they won’t have to leave the building in search of snacks mid-day.
Tip: If possible, offer access to free snacks like fresh fruit, granola bars, healthy cereals, and other low-cost but high-impact healthy treats.
- Offer employee assistance programs
Wellness is about mind, body, and soul. Offering support and practical resources for things like stress management, depression and anxiety, family support services, financial planning services, etc. can go a long way to supporting your employees’ overall well-being.
Tip: Research EAP providers to find the fit that’s right for your employee base and organization.
At The West Egg Group, we encourage workplace wellness and support organizations that strive for a better employee experience.