Is it possible to make your workplace healthier and more productive?
As a working professional, your personal wellness and health should always be a top priority in your life. Facts are facts, healthy employees are happier, more motivated, more productive and less costly (due to decreased health insurance costs and less absenteeism — in fact, workplace illnesses and injuries cost US businesses more than $225 billion every year).
Many businesses opt to institute a formal employee wellness program to bring those costs down and improve worker health, but if your employer doesn’t have the time, money, or interest in creating a program, you might have to take some measures on your own to improve employee wellness in the office.
The good news, there’s a number of different things that you can do right now to improve the health of your workplace.
Workplace illnesses and injuries cost U.S. businesses more than $225 billion every year. Think about that for just a minute.
(1) Invest In An Employee Wellness Program
If you’re serious about reducing healthcare plan costs and creating a healthier workplace, invest in an employee wellness program. The right wellness program can be essential to creating a thriving workplace culture, engagement and productivity.
There’s a lot of planning and preparation as it pertains to launching a successful employee wellness program. This is why we recommend working within a specific framework, one we know well and that has helped other companies build and manage wellness programs that generate positive ROI.
(2) Make It Simple To Join A Gym
If you have a local gym close where employees can easily travel to and from, try reaching out to them and getting a group rate for your team members. If you have 20, 50, 100+ members ready to join, the gym would likely consider your request. Monthly gym memberships can cost upward of $30 a month or more, a group rate may lower that cost to $20 a month (example).
(3) Encourage Employees To Walk Or Bike To Work
If the majority of your employees live close to work, you should encourage your team members to walk or bike to work. Even if it’s just one day a week, that’s a start, that’s a positive step forward. You may want to consider incentives for those who participate. If you’re the boss, you can lead the charge, grab your bike and ask your employees to join you. This is a great way to start building healthy habits and it’s good for the environment too.
(4) Exercise At Work
Another great way to immediately start getting your workplace healthier is allowing time each day for exercising. That doesn’t mean you have to give everyone 30 minutes to exercise, although you could if you wanted. Rather, it could be 10 minute periods where everyone stands up from their desk and does a few stretches. You can get more serious about exercising at work, such as adding a small weight room or gym to your office.
(5) Encourage Employees To Bring Healthy Breakfast And Lunch
One of the quickest ways to get your employees healthy is by changing what they eat. While that’s easier said than done, this is a great way to have an immediate impact on your employees’ health. You can encourage team members to bring a healthy lunch or breakfast. You can also bring healthy foods and snacks yourself. Make healthy eating a habit in your company.
(6) Healthier Break Options
If you have unhealthy snacks and soda in your breakrooms, you can start implementing healthier options for your employees. If you’re breakroom is like most others in America, you likely see donuts, pastries, coffee, cakes and other unhealthy foods. Instead of buying cupcakes or donuts, try buying a veggie tray. It’s up to you to change your company culture, you can’t expect others to lead that revolution.
(7) Posture It Is
A lot of companies have many employees that sit at a desk. Thanks to a few studies, we know the majority of workers have bad posture. Over the long run, bad posture can lead to some big health problems later. While standing desks are great and make an immediate impact, you can make a big health impact by getting your employees to pay attention to their posture. It can be as simple as setting a timer that goes off every 30 minutes to remind you to use correct posture.
(8) Encourage Employees To Smoke Less
Smoking is very unhealthy for you and unfortunately, it’s also a super tough habit to break. Most employers have employees that smoke. While we don’t recommend eliminating smoking all together, we do recommend encouraging your employees to smoke less. There’s a lot of creative incentives you can use here to help your team smoke less often. For example, if an employee doesn’t smoke on their break, give them a paid 5-10 minutes. At the end of the day, this could add up to a paid 30 minutes.
(9) Test, Test, Test
Behavior change is NEVER easy. However, you can’t give up. Try new things, test it out and make adjustments based on the results. You can never go wrong with this method. If it works, continue to make it better. If it doesn’t, scratch it for now and try something else.
We have a ton of great resources to help you focus on getting your workplace healthy. If you need help building a healthier workplace, the Kadalyst team can help. Reach us directly at 503-512-5175 or you can use our online form here.
Our corporate wellness consultants have years of experience helping companies improve their wellness programs. If your program needs help, give us a call and we’ll discuss your options. We also help companies implement new corporate wellness programs. If you’d like to learn more, talk to one of our consultants.