Today’s employees have elevated expectations of their workplace environments. Long gone are the days of mindlessly clocking in and out from an unsatisfying, sterile and disengaging job. Employees want more. They want to feel valued. They want to be rewarded for a job well done. But perhaps most of all, they want to work for a business that supports their overall health and wellness.
Business owners are quickly stepping up to the plate to accommodate the evolving preferences of the modern employee, and not just for altruistic reasons. Companies that embrace health and wellness initiatives are far more likely to attract top talent, retain the employees they already have, enjoy a sustained boost in productivity, and reduce costs related to employee health issues. In short, creating a culture of health and wellness is just smart business.
It is a bit of a symbiotic relationship. Employees appreciate businesses that support their professional and personal goals. And the businesses that accommodate those needs are rewarded with happier, healthier and more engaged employees. It really is a win-win.
What Does a Culture of Health and Wellness Look Like?
Employee wellbeing initiatives can take many forms, so it is important to create a health and wellness strategy that makes sense for the unique needs of your team and within a budget your business can afford.
There is no secret recipe for creating a culture of health and wellbeing, but not surprisingly, it starts with possessing the right mindset as a business owner. Having a comprehensive and honest understanding of your company culture, including both its positive attributes and deficits, is a great starting point.
The Top 5 Ways To Create a Culture of Health and Wellness in Your Business
While including comprehensive health insurance in your benefits package is certainly important to employees, fostering a healthy work environment doesn’t need to break the bank. Sometimes even small, inexpensive changes can make a substantial impact:
1. Implement Movement Breaks. Schedule regular activity breaks for your employees at least twice a day (beyond the standard mandated breaks) during which they are urged to get up from their work spaces, take a walk or stretch in a designated area. Movement and activity are endorphin boosters and can have a big impact on brain function and productivity.
2. Offer Quality Food Choices. Instead of just offering chips and candy bars, consider filling vending machines with at least a few healthier options like energy bars, nuts and squeezable or dried fruits. At the team meeting, replace donuts and cookies with vegetable and fruit platters, hummus, yogurt and low-fat cheese.
3. Support Engagement and Communication. Involve employees in the decision-making process when possible. Encourage collaboration by having employees from different departments work together on projects. Promote an environment of enhanced communication. Consider an open-door policy so employees have regular access to you and your leadership team. Be willing to listen to your employees, hear their ideas and validate their concerns.
4. Build Trust. Creating and fostering trusting relationships throughout your entire team can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of your employees. Trust provides a sense of safety, which is a crucial element of health and wellness. To build trust, model and reward honesty and transparency. Be supportive and consistent. Be accountable and expect others to be accountable as well. And just be there for your team. Trust isn’t built in a day, but the rewards can be transformative.
5. Consider a Wellness App. There is a huge selection of employee wellness apps to choose from, so do your homework to find one that is right for your business’s health and wellness initiatives. Think about including a subscription as part of your employee benefits package and encourage your team to engage with platform on a regular basis. You might even offer reduced health premiums to those who regularly interact with the wellness app.
These are just a few ways to create a culture of health and wellness in your company. The most important thing is to identify what matters to your employees and implement the initiatives that support their wellbeing.