I’m very fortunate to work for a company that values wellness and recognizes the importance of employee health and wellness. Studies have shown that billions of dollars are lost each year due to illness. Obviously, workers are not productive when they are ill so it benefits both employee and company to encourage employees to be healthy.
Below are 7 ways that companies can promote wellness in the workplace:
- Encourage preventive care. Preventive care goes a long way in reducing more serious health issues and can save the company money in lost wages and increased insurance costs. Allowing employees to get annual exams at no charge and giving them time off to have the exam done encourages employees to get annual screenings.
- Encourage exercise. Exercise not only helps with obesity and the related health issues it can cause, but has been shown to increase productivity. Offering free or reduced cost gym memberships to employees encourages them to be more active. Some companies even provide on site gyms for employees to use before or after work our during lunch.
- Offer education and resources. Online classes and training can teach employees about specific health issues and educate them to take care of themselves. Some larger companies also offer health or weight loss coaching to employees to help them get to a healthy weight or manage specific conditions.
- Bring in a doctor. Sometimes it can be difficult for employees to get away from the office to get routine tests or preventive care. Bringing in a doctor for procudures such as flu shots encourages more people to get them and reduces incidents of illness.
- Offer healthy food alternatives. Replacing unhealthy options in vending machines and break rooms encourages employees to make healthier food choices. It’s just as easy to grab a banana as a candy bar.
- Offer incentives. People are motivated by different things, but offering a discount on health insurance for being at a healthy weight can encourage them to maintain a healthy weight or stop smoking. Points programs for prizes have also been shown to be extremely effective.
- Consider mental health. Mental health is a huge concern and often overlooked. Offering employees a chance to take a mental break can really help with productivity as well as employee retention. This can come in the form of break rooms, vacations or fun activities within the office.
What does your company do to encourage wellness in your workplace? Tell us in the comments below!