The growing focus on holistic employee wellness is more than a trend; it’s necessary. Naturally, the health and well-being of your employees play a significant role in their productivity. In addition, investing in health and wellness beyond your insurance policies can land you more efficient, loyal employees. So in celebration of World Health Day, let’s consider how employers can contribute to a healthier workforce.
When we talk about holistic employee wellness, we’re not talking about a pantry full of vitamins and supplements. Rather, we’re talking about looking at the complete picture of what constitutes a healthy person. Of course, many factors contribute to health, but for this article, we’ll focus on physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being.
Employers have numerous options at their disposal to address those four health categories. In this blog, we’ll break down the benefits of a healthy workforce and offer a few health initiative ideas for your employees.
Benefits of a healthy workforce
Healthy employees are productive employees. Gympass found that employees with healthy eating habits perform 25% better at work, and those who exercise regularly perform 15% better. Therefore, helping and encouraging your employees to lead physically healthier lives is critical for them and your business. Additionally, physical activity and healthier eating habits contribute to mental health and overall employee wellness.
However, they’re not a cure-all. Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and burnout lead to lower motivation, productivity, and increased stress. When someone’s mental health suffers, the repercussions radiate throughout their lives. Therefore, providing mental health resources to your employees is critical to long-term well-being and productivity.
Financial wellness is also a hot topic, especially given the economic constraints employees have faced as of late. When employers offer financial wellness programs, 91% believe they improve employee satisfaction, 84% see greater retention, and 81% attract better employees.
Physical health ideas
Physical health initiatives are a bit more straightforward to approach as an employer. There are so many fun and engaging ways to get your employees up and active. For example, some companies organize fitness challenges. Walking challenges are a popular option in which employees track their steps over a week or a month, and you hand out prizes to the most prolific walkers. Furthermore, you could encourage employees to ride their bikes to work and start a biking social club.
You can also offer a stipend for fitness activities. This small monthly or quarterly sum could cover a gym membership, fitness classes, or upgrade an employee’s home gym setup. Memberships and equipment are expensive, so this would greatly help your team.
Diet is also a crucial part of employee wellness. Weight loss and dieting challenges may seem like a good idea, but they can be problematic for employees with eating disorders. Instead, look into initiatives that foster a healthy relationship with food. For example, meal kit subscriptions are a great way to get people used to cooking regularly. You can also look into educational resources about healthy eating or bring in a dietician to speak with your team about building better eating habits.
Emotional health ideas
Emotional and mental health overlap, but emotional health focuses on how employees respond to situations. Are they resilient in the face of tough news? Are they quick to anger or despair? When emotional health suffers, it’s challenging to keep reactions in check. It’s also simply harder to feel happy.
Loneliness is a big issue here. To improve employee wellness, invest in more team-building events. Whether virtual or in-person, these give your team some much-needed social time and have the added benefit of boosting camaraderie.
One virtual event for remote workers could be a team sip-and-paint happy hour. Ship painting supplies to your people, and have fun working through a guided class or some freewheeling art experimentation.
Volunteer outings are another great way to boost morale. Your team can work together and contribute to a positive cause. Everyone feels better knowing they’ve done a good deed for the day.
Mental health ideas
Conversations about mental health are more normalized than ever before, and that’s translated into the workplace. 68% of HR leaders prioritize employee mental health. After the spike in mental health-related conditions during the pandemic, that’s a welcome and essential approach.
One extremely powerful employee wellness resource is a paid subscription to therapy apps. If your business can afford this, services like Ginger get your employees the support they need from actual mental health professionals. However, only some employers have the budget for this kind of resource.
Still, there are plenty of other tools at your disposal. For example, meditation apps like Calm and Headspace could improve mental health. So providing subscriptions to those platforms could be a real win for your team.
Additionally, as everyone has heard by now, burnout is a massive problem in the workplace. To combat burnout, consider unique perks like summer half-day Fridays. A little bit of extra time off on the weekends goes a long way for your employees.
Finally, look into options to support employees with substance abuse issues. Provide educational resources, professional services recommendations, or allow them to attend meetings during the day if needed. Of course, being discreet is necessary here. Though, if you have these resources available, make sure your team is at least aware of the option.
Financial health ideas
Poor financial health has a domino effect across every category of employee wellness. That could come from the stress associated with financial struggles or the inability to afford things like gym memberships or healthy food options. Even if you can’t afford to give everyone a raise today, you can still take steps to improve your workers’ financial well-being.
Of course, some form of retirement benefits is a prominent piece of this puzzle. Offering your employees a 401k, for example, gives them peace of mind and a sense of long-term stability as they move through their careers. But companies can go further.
Many employees, especially younger ones, would benefit from financial education resources such as how-to guides and speakers. A lunch-and-learn about personal finance habits could be productive. Employers can also invite someone in to teach their team about investing fundamentals.
Finally, look at ways to ease financial burdens for your employees. Relaxing your dress code could help your people save on expensive work clothes. You could also look into commuter benefits if your business is in-person or hybrid.
ADDA cares about the well-being of your employees and your business
We understand that you care about employee wellness and want to create a positive environment for your team. However, not every business has the time, resources, or expertise to make that happen. If you work with ADDA, you’ll receive HR expertise at a reasonable rate. Contact us today to learn how we can improve your culture and the well-being of your employees.