Employee health and wellness has become a big topic of discussion in the business world in recent years. It really started as part of efforts to attract Millennials to employers, but now it’s evolved and become much more important than that. Along with companies using wellness programs and benefits to attract new employees, they’re also an important part of productivity and having a competitive edge.
When employees are healthy and well it lowers costs related to issues such as missed work, but it also improves productivity and engagement.
So how can you promote health and wellness among your employees?
Offer Access to Health-Related Discounts
You may already offer health insurance as part of employees’ benefits packages, but you can go a step further than that. Join a healthcare discount program that provides everything from discounts on the most commonly prescribed prescriptions like Advair coupons to special discounts on prescription eyeglasses.
There are program options that are available to employers, and they’re a good way not just to help employees save money, but also become more engaged in their own healthcare in the process.
A lot of these health discount programs focus on areas not usually covered by insurance, so the majority of employees will find this appealing.
Make It a (Friendly) Competition
You never want your employee health or wellness programs to seem like something you’re forcing or that they’re a punishment. Instead, frame it as something fun.
A good way to do this is through friendly competitions, such as seeing which department can log the most miles on a Pedometer in a week.
Don’t make it cutthroat because it could discourage employees, but make it light and entertaining.
Implement Stretch Breaks
For employee wellness programs to be effective, you often want to implement them slowly, particularly when your employees might be resistant to change. One small, easy step you could make is implementing regular stretch breaks for everyone throughout the day.
Excessive sitting has been linked to very adverse outcomes, so encourage employees to get up, move around and maybe even take a quick walk every hour or so.
Provide Healthy Lunches and Snacks
You want to create wellness strategies that feel like they’re rewarding employees for making positive changes rather than making them feel like you’re punishing them.
A good way to do this is to offer weekly catered lunches with healthy foods or to provide them with free, healthy snacks. It shows you appreciate them and also moves them in the direction of healthier living.
At-Work Exercise Classes
Finally, you may be a small office and having a gym or workout facility is out the question, but you can still incorporate exercise into the workplace. Partner with local fitness professionals and host a weekly or monthly fitness class at work.
Choose options that everyone can enjoy like Zumba or yoga. It’s not only a good way to motivate your employees and let them enjoy themselves, but it may encourage them to adopt healthy exercise habits and continue attending classes like the ones hosted at work.