Workplace wellness is a hot term that’s been floating around the corporate world for well over a decade. The concept behind workplace wellness has changed over time, but the goal remains the same: help employees feel–and subsequently do–better.
Implementing workplace wellness programs such as group activities, healthy snacks, stress management techniques, health challenges, and life management skills for your employees can increase productivity for your business.
What Is Workplace Wellness?
By definition, workplace wellness is a simple concept:
Wikipedia tells us that workplace wellness is “any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior and improve health outcomes in the workplace.”
In other words, a workplace wellness plan should make your workplace a healthier and happier place to be.
Why Is Workplace Wellness Important?
Workplace wellness is essential to your business for several reasons. A happy and healthy workspace is vital to increasing productivity in your business.
In addition, happy, healthy employees take less time off and are less likely to leave for another job. A third benefit of having the right workplace wellness program is that health care costs can decrease.
As a business owner, you want your team members to thrive–both in the workplace and out of the workplace. You can help ensure that happens by implementing the right kind of workplace wellness programs.
What Are Some Popular Wellness Concepts For The Workplace?
Workplace wellness programs can come in a variety of concepts. Some companies focus on giving incentives when employees take charge of their own health.
For example, they’ll give reductions in health care costs for employees who don’t smoke. Or, they’ll offer discounts on a gym membership for employees who visit the gym regularly.
These types of “on your own” wellness plans can be helpful, but some studies have shown them to have little effect on workplace wellness.
So, how can you as a business owner implement workplace wellness programs that really work? Here are some wellness concepts you can try.
Incorporate Group Work Time Wellness Activities
One option for encouraging workplace wellness is to plan (or have employees plan) wellness activities on the company’s dollar. For instance, you could take a half-day off each quarter, shut down and go hiking.
Or visit a mini-golf course. Take a walking tour of your city’s historical sites. Just plan something that is fun, healthy and gets your team moving.
Provide Healthy Snack Options
Another way to incorporate workplace wellness is to provide healthy snack options for employees. That might mean having a healthy snack vending machine, leaving a basket of fresh fruit in the breakroom or providing a salad bar for lunch one Friday per month.
The goal is to make healthy foods more available to your employees and work to get them accustomed to eating better.
Create Friendly Workplace Health Challenges
Creating positive-focused health challenges within your team could work as well. For instance, you could do a challenge that rewards the team members that incorporate the biggest increase in exercise sessions.
Or you could plan a two-week or month-long whole or healthy food eating challenge. Encourage your team members to eat whole foods every day for lunch and at home too.
Each team member that follows through gets a half-day off at the end of the quarter. Or they get to participate in a group outing experience at company expense.
Incorporate Stress Reducing Activities
Life gets stressful. Work gets stressful too. One idea for workplace wellness is to incorporate stress-reducing activities in the office.
For example, you could have a massage therapist come into the office monthly and do neck and shoulder massages on a massage chair. Or, you could have a yoga or meditation instructor come in and teach a monthly or weekly class.
Teach Team Members Life Management Skills
Another option for encouraging workplace wellness is to hold classes or have a newsletter that helps employees manage life better. The class or newsletter could help team members learn to:
- Avoid procrastination
- Better manage their time and schedule
- Learn how to set boundaries in relationships
- Incorporate stress-reducing moves such as deep breathing or meditation
- Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk
- Practice gratitude
- Create a more organized work and life space
And so on. The goal? To help team members have a healthier life as a whole. This will, in turn, help them learn how to be happier and more productive at work.
The end goal is to provide workplace wellness ideas that don’t leave your employees on their own. Instead, make them feel a part of the team and lead the team in a way that promotes unity and health.
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Encourage Team Members To Use Workplace Wellness Apps
There are several workplace wellness apps your team members can use to help create a healthier and happier workday. Here is a summary of some popular workplace wellness apps.
Hotseat is an app that lets employees choose friendly challenges to get them up and around. In addition, the app reminds users to take two-minute activity breaks. The goal is to get them out of their chairs for a few minutes each day, completing healthy activities.
The Hotseat app is free.
Meditation Studio is an app that has over 200 meditation ideas to help employees take a few minutes to relax and refocus. The app features over 40 different meditation instructors and has collections of meditations for different needs.
You can choose meditation techniques to help you be your best self, boost creativity, reduce stress and more.
Meditation Studio has a free app option for iOS ($3.99 for Android) and a premium subscription that costs $7.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
The Elevate app helps people take a break to exercise their brains. It features over 35 games that will help users train their brains to be more effective.
The games help users with skills such as improving recall, comprehension, focus, pronunciation and more. The app will track your personal improvement for you as well. The Elevate app costs roughly $5 per month.
Pzizz is a nap app that can help employees take short power naps at work. Ideally, you as an employer would have one or two small nap rooms or areas that would encourage the use of the Pzizz app.
The Pzizz app helps you fall asleep fast and wake up refreshed by creating audio dreamscapes geared toward relaxation.
Pzizz has a free basic membership and also a pro membership that costs $9.99 or $69.99 per year. There’s a 7-day free trial on the pro membership.
Encourage Healthy Relationships Within The Workplace
Another idea for encouraging workplace wellness is to foster healthy relationships within the workplace. Start with your own interaction with employees. Work to create a positive environment by meeting with each employee once per quarter.
In the meeting, ask your employee questions like:
- How do you feel about your job and what would you like to change?
- In what ways can I (as the boss or supervisor) be more helpful and supportive to you?
- What would make your job less stressful and more enjoyable?
- Where do you see yourself in five years and how can I help you get there?
- Is there another position in the company you feel you’re a better fit for?
Encourage healthy relationships between team members as well. Ask team members what their gifts are and find ways for them to use those gifts to help their team members.
For example, do you have an employee that is great at teaching others? Ask them if they’d like to host a quarterly meeting where they can share new procedures or technology updates.
The goal? Help your employees to feel needed, valued and a necessary part of the company. When employees feel valued and appreciated you’ll likely see an increase in productivity and overall happiness.
How Can You Improve Workplace Wellness In Your Company?
As the business owner or manager, it’s up to you to improve workplace wellness in the company. You can do this by using the ideas mentioned above to create a healthier work environment.
Or, you can search out your own ideas for improving workplace wellness. You may want to start by asking team members to take an anonymous survey. Ask them questions such as:
- How do you feel about your workplace environment?
- What are some ways management can foster a healthier workplace?
- What are some ideas that would make your job more enjoyable?
- How do you feel about your current relationship with management?
- What can management do to make you feel more supported?
By gaining input from employees and researching, you can design a workplace wellness plan that fits the specific desires of your team.
Having a healthy workplace is important to your business’s success. Take the time to incorporate a workplace wellness plan that will fit your team’s needs and wants.
The right workplace wellness plan will not only improve employee morale, but it will also help team members create a healthier work/life balance. Employees who have a healthy work/life balance will, in turn, be more productive team members.