Human Resources Archives - TAB Corporate

Low-Cost Ways to Promote Employee Wellness

employee wellness, employee health

Have you implemented a formal employee wellness program in your business? If not, there are compelling reasons to consider moving forward with a program that emphasizes the value of a healthier lifestyle and that offers resources for employees to pursue this admirable goal.

Above and beyond the simple fact that healthy employees are productive employees, a wellness program offers businesses these added benefits:

  • Reduced costs in terms of insurance coverage and less employee sick days
  • A key resource in retaining employees, because a company “willing to spend time and resources on employee health is a company that cares about its employees
  • A valuable tool for new employee acquisition, especially among Millennials who see corporate-sponsored health programs as a key part of their benefits package

The costs of instituting and promoting wellness in your workforce don’t have to be prohibitive. A considerable effort should first go into building awareness of healthy living, exercise and good eating habits into the company’s culture.

Here are other wellness promotion tips:

Think creatively about healthy resources. Explore local resources that employees can use to take better care of themselves (discounted memberships at a local gym, signing up with community walk-a-thons and other charitable events, etc.). Not only can these efforts generate valuable partnerships with community businesses and nonprofits, but if you give employees branded t-shirts or water bottles, they’ll help spread word of your business while taking part in community events.

Get your executive team involved. “Wellness” shouldn’t be restricted to your front-line or back-office employees only. Good health extends to the business owner, as well as his or her executive team. Promoting employee wellness will carry much more credibility if the CFO is seen at the head of the pack of a company-sponsored 5K or similar event. Leading by example is always the most persuasive strategy.

Get employees up and moving. Just getting employees away from their workstations for a few minutes every day will get them feeling better. Encourage them to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Move printers and copiers farther away from their cubicles, so a few extra steps are needed to finish a task. Explore opportunities for “walking meetings” with one or two employees, rather than sitting in a conference room. Stretching and walking is good for everyone!

Encourage the use of wearables. Small wearable devices like smartwatches, headphones, fitness wristbands, etc., are increasingly being incorporated into employees’ daily lives. They’re often used to monitor physical activity, stress management and sleep patterns—and because the device are linked to easy-to-use apps, employees quickly adapt to having wearables be a part of normal life.

A report by the Health Enhancement Research Organization offers specific best practices for employers considering the use of wearables, such as:

  • Provide devices to employees (or subsidize their purchase), instead of mandating individual purchases.
  • Develop health-related goals and offer incentives for employees to reach those goals.
  • Get spouses and domestic partners involved to boost participation and offer an off-site support system.
  • Start with a pilot program to assess the value of wearables for your company.
  • Be prepared to refine the program in order to keep employee interest high.

Promote smarter eating habits. What nutritional options are available in your workplace? Employees with better choices will likely make better decisions about what to consume during the workday. Get rid of junk-food vending machines. Sponsor ongoing potlucks and encourage employees to contribute healthy dishes. When celebrating birthdays or work anniversaries, offer fruit bouquets or power bars instead of cake. Offer nutritious drinks and snacks at weekly meetings. All of these options will help employees cut back on poor food choices, both at the office and in their personal lives.

Finally, survey employees themselves for ideas on how to improve wellness in the workplace. They might come up with low-cost ideas that are ideal for your company culture. By doing so, you’ll likely increase their appreciation for the effort you’re making on their behalf.

Want more advice on making your business more productive? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

5 Ways to Motivate Your Remote Employees

remote team

Working offsite is no longer the revolutionary business idea it once was. These days, many businesses oversee a workforce that—at least to some degree—rarely or almost never actually sets foot in the office or workplace. These remote employees work from home or even in another state or country, seeing to their job responsibilities just as efficiently as if they were located in a cubicle outside their manager’s door.

At the same time, certain challenges persist where remote workers are concerned. How can you be sure an offsite employee is being as productive as possible? What can be done to motivate him or her in much the same way that onsite employees are inspired to do their best?

In reality, notes employee productivity specialist Dave Nevogt, “the only things keeping remote employees from taking their foot off the gas pedal is their own discipline and their motivation.” It’s the employer’s responsibility “to provide this motivation across many miles, sometimes continents.”

Here are five practical ways to ensure your offsite workforce remains focused and motivated:

1. Maintain regular communications. Given the available technology (email, Skype, numerous other web-based platforms), there’s no reason you can’t stay in touch with offsite employees on a regular basis. The key is remembering to contact them on an agreed-upon schedule (once or twice a week, for example) to see if they’re on target to complete a project, need help with additional resources or simply have problems you can address. When these employees don’t hear from the main office, their sense of dislocation can grow.

2. Think of remote employees as a key element of the team. Feeling like they’re part of a team effort helps bolster a remote worker’s sense of belonging. Always make sure any contact you have with your onsite staff (new announcements, email newsletters, etc.) also includes those working from home or elsewhere. Encourage employees in the office to stay in touch with their offsite counterparts, as well.

3. Hold virtual meetings, when needed. Just as it’s important to convene internal meetings when there’s something important to communicate, you can schedule virtual meetings with remote staff as a way to track their progress, foster contact between these employees and keep them abreast of events within the organization. Video-conferencing is an excellent resource for these meetings, as even digital face-to-face contact is better than rushed, impersonal phone calls.

4. Extend recognition to your offsite team. By and large, businesses understand that “employee recognition not only improves company culture, boosts morale, prevents costly turnover [and] increases your bottom line.” If you have a robust employee recognition and reward program in place, always remember to include your remote team as well. Highlighting their efforts, when appropriate, will bolster their sense of inclusiveness and motivate them to continue to excel at what they do. At the same time, it only takes a few minutes to compose a “Great job!” email and send it on when the time is right. Any communication that underscores your appreciation for their efforts can work wonders.

5. Offer opportunities for professional growth. Again, as with employees who work in the office, the remote team should benefit from training and development programs sponsored by the business. Just remember that these employees “already have flexibility in their jobs, so they expect the same flexibility when it comes to training.” This includes online learning programs offered in a range of formats, so offsite workers can choose the ones that are most convenient and effective for them. In exchange, you’ll benefit from their enhanced skills and knowledge.

Your employees, whether based offsite or in the workplace, are among your business’s key assets. Keeping them motivated is well worth the time and effort involved.

Want more advice on motivating employees or general advice from other business owners like you? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!