By| Published: July 18th, 2016
Workplace wellness programs are one of the most effective ways in which companies can help their employees become healthier, fitter and more productive. It also reduces an employer’s health-related costs dramatically.
Even if organizations lack the necessary resources to introduce and implement a comprehensive wellness program, there are several ways to ensure that improving employee health remains top priority.
Promote Preventive Care:
Workplace wellness programs that focus on lifestyle modification and preventive health encourage employees to consider key health behaviours like improving eating habits, increasing physical activity, reducing stress and stopping the use of tobacco. Providing on-site vaccination during the flu season prevents employees from missing workdays. Even if employee health insurance does not cover it already, employers can consider reimbursing the vaccination fees. Funding employee vaccination has one of the most obvious returns on investment (ROI).
Structural changes like provide showering facilities for employees who wish to workout at lunch or securing walking space help convert the workplace into an active campus. If this is not possible, companies can encourage walking meetings, using the stairs, and offer discounts or subsidized memberships to a local gym. If there is space, they should consider bringing in yoga, tai chi or aerobics instructors for lunchtime sessions that are entertaining and informative.
Have an On-Site Health Clinic:
On-site health clinics where employees can schedule office visits for routine care without taking time off work is one of the most intelligent and innovative trends in workplace wellness. These reduce medical costs, increase productivity and also show employees that their company cares about their health and wellbeing. It is also the best way for a company to promote itself as a desirable place to work.
Offer Healthy Meal & Snack Options:
Food that fuels employee performance while also meeting their nutritional needs is one of the essential components of any workplace wellness initiative. Organizations must replace sodas with fresh fruit juice and milk and deep fried snacks and chips with nuts, dried fruit, and other healthy options. Stocking the office cafeteria with fresh fruit once a week is a great way to encourage healthy eating.
Prioritise Mental Health Management:
Unmanaged stress at the workplace can lead to absenteeism, job dissatisfaction and inefficiency. Organizations should consider offering an employee assistance program for stress management and depression control as a part of promoting workplace wellness. Encourage your employees to take regular breaks, go for a walk, step outside for a breath of fresh air or talk to a co-worker.
Workplace wellness programs are a win-win situation for both employers as well as employees. They promote higher productivity, lower absenteeism, improve employee morale, increase employee retention and also lead to a drastic reduction of long-term healthcare costs. Encouraging healthy habits at the workplace not only prevents but also lowers the risk of serious health conditions. Even those with an existing health condition can manage it by adopting the same habits. Healthy employees take fewer sick days and are more productive at work.