Health and Wellness in the workplace is on the rise. Employers are learning the value of healthy & happy employees and how it impacts the running of their business. But it is more than asking team members to walk to work and giving them a stress ball. Embracing a holistic approach in promoting health and wellness is the way forward. This results in well-rounded employees who report higher job satisfaction and miss less days of work. Here are 7 attitudes to get you on the right track:
1. Physical Health & Exercise
One does not have to go far to find evidence linking exercise to living longer and avoiding a myriad of illnesses. Employers should strive to be aware of their employees need to move. Fresh air breaks are a beneficial way to get up and moving, and if allowable, try out walking meetings. Providing staff with gym memberships and/or fitness trackers are a positive reward, and can aide them in maintaining a healthy weight. Office wide fitness challenges can enhance sense of community.
2. Mental Health & Well-being
Constant fatigue, sleeplessness, and high anxiety are among the top symptoms resulting in missed work days. The workplace should not add to one’s mental health challenges. Encourage employees to take time off, allow them an appropriate number of paid vacation days, and afford them flexibility should they need time off to improve their mental health. Confirm that employees are aware of services available through their benefits plan. Psychologists & Social Workers are often covered, and Employee Assistance Programs can offer avenues for counselling services.
3. An Inclusive Workspace
Make your workspace an area where employees feel at ease and productive. Ensure they have access to fresh drinking water and healthy snacks. Natural light and plants will help improve mood and creativity. Consider designating a safe space where staff can go to relax and decompress – a room with minimal distractions and an absence of technology. Furthermore, games rooms can help build camaraderie and boost morale. Consider allowing employees to bring pets to work one day a week and/or month.
4. Professional & Personal Development
When an organization invests in employee professional development, employees feel valued, appreciated, and more loyal. Career specific training and continuing education pushes your business forward. Tackling a specific skill together as a group can promote collaboration and team building. Brainstorm with employees to guide their personal development as well. Public speaking is a skill that is dually useful. Volunteer days, cooking classes, pet training & yoga classes are all initiatives that can boost wellbeing.
5. Financial Wellness
Taxes. Budgeting. Student Loans. Investing. Just listing these financial considerations is stressful. It is no secret that financial issues are a significant stressor to most. Stressed employees are not going to be at their best. Take initiative to help them mitigate any problem areas and improve their financial wellness. Bringing in specialists on the above mentioned topics over lunch is an excellent start. Ensure they have access to online resources and articles. If you offer a group benefits plan and/or retirement savings plan, make sure your team knows how to take advantage of these offerings.
Dwight D. Eisenhower claimed: “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.” Promoting humor in the workplace helps enhance productivity, morale and creative thinking. It is a stress-buster, and helps ease relationships between different organizational levels. Try introducing a humour board in the workplace, or including a joke in your daily/weekly office newsletter. Improvisation classes are a fun bonding exercise. Promote the sharing of each other’s favorite comedy show and/or podcast.
7. Rewards & Celebrations
Do not be afraid to celebrate your team’s accomplishments. Work related successes are superb, but extend the observations to personal achievements as well. Birthdays, marriages and births are worthy causes for an office get together. Whether it’s a party or lunch, these celebrations will enhance camaraderie and build trust. Distribute gift cards for hitting a deadline; consider holding an Office Olympics; enhance the company’s benefits or savings plan for a job well done.