8 Ways to Improve Employee and Workplace Health
A recent study shows that employee well-being can impact productivity by around 10%, it also reveals that about 90% of companies engage in workplace health programs.
If you aren’t taking steps to safeguard employee health, not only are you missing out on increased productivity, but you’re also falling far short of your competition.
Here’s how you can help create a healthy workplace and motivate your employees to live healthier lives.
1. Upgrade Your Offices
HEPA filters and office cleaning services are one way to ensure a safe, hygienic workplace, but there are some more things you can do.
Ergonomics are often overlooked when it comes to planning an office layout. Implement a few standing desks for those who prefer working this way, and those who like to switch between a seated or standing workspace.
You can also upgrade your employees’ office chairs to ensure they maintain a good posture while at their desks. Hunching over a computer screen for hours leads to tension, backache, and repetitive strain injuries.
Introducing natural light goes a long way toward improving mood and enhancing the overall health of employees.
2. Encourage Healthy Eating
Lunch breaks provide the perfect opportunity for introducing good eating habits. If you have a company cafeteria, get in touch with your office caterers and ask them to compile a healthy menu.
For those who like to order takeout, speak to some local healthy eating restaurants and arrange free deliveries to your office. Place menus from these outlets on your company notice board, or another strategic place, or email a copy to each employee.
The best snacks for vending machine users needn’t be boring. Modern offerings include yummy crackers, cookies, and granola bars.
When you make healthy eating easy and delicious, your employees are more likely to embrace it.
3. Get Moving on Workplace Health
Active employees are healthy employees.
People were never designed to sit at a desk for 8 or more hours a day. Encourage movement in the office by implementing walking meetings instead of gathering around the boardroom table.
Encourage employees to walk or bike to work, and offer a small reward to those who do so every day for a week or more. This could take the form of an extra lunch hour or letting them leave work early on a Friday afternoon.
Consider a little landscaping around your office building and include a walking track if you have space. That way, people can enjoy a stroll during their break instead of taking a seat in a break room or the cafeteria.
4. Take a Break
Your employees take their lead from you. If you never take breaks, work late, and send work-related emails in the middle of the night, your workers will assume they’re expected to do the same.
Instead, enforce regular breaks at work and allow your team to see you taking a few moments to catch your breath, too. Encourage them to get up from their desks and walk around regularly, and insist they take lunch breaks even during the busiest periods.
When you decide to take a break, make it known that you’re going for a walk or taking a breather. This encourages your team to do the same.
Prioritize vacation time. Most Americans don’t take enough time off.
Never contact vacationing employees with work-related queries.
5. Incorporate Wellness into Performance Metrics
Turn reviews into a time for personal growth. Instead of criticism, offer helpful and concrete suggestions for improving performance.
Provide tools to help them make improvements to their performance, like mentoring, or free online courses. By removing the fear element from appraisal time, you’ll help alleviate stress and boost performance.
Encourage team members to set personal wellness goals for themselves, no matter how small, and include these in their KPI measurements. Offer bonus points for extra wellness initiatives like signing up for a gym membership or taking up healthy outdoor hobbies.
Formalizing wellness goals shows you’re serious about their well-being.
6. Host Healthy Events
Healthy team challenges add a sense of fun and fierce competition to your wellness program. Ideas include interdepartmental soccer matches, bike races, fun runs, dog walks, or walkathons for charity.
You can also arrange for lunch break yoga or mini Zumba or aerobics classes. Make sure you’ve got facilities for participants to freshen up afterward, or you might not get many volunteers.
If you want to host weekend events, make them open for family and friends to join in, too.
7. Healthy Minds Mean Happy Teams
Anxiety fosters stress, depression, and poor performance. This applies to both in-house and remote work positions, which can lead to feelings of isolation.
Managers need to acknowledge the importance of mental health and pay attention to their employees’ mental states. Destigmatizing mental health issues is the first step toward helping those who might need it.
Create an environment where employees feel comfortable enough and empowered to ask for help, and then give them the resources to manage their mental well-being proactively.
Offer mental health workshops, free counseling, and education on stress reduction techniques to show you’re serious about good mental health.
8. Think Big and Start Small
Too many changes at once will lead to panic, stress, and resistance.
Set up a strategic plan to introduce your wellness programs slowly, and implement small changes one at a time. It helps to gather a team of wellness-minded employees and enlist their help to set your plans in motion.
Better and Better
To sum up, taking steps to improve workplace health helps increase productivity, reduce sick leave, and boost engagement. With so many options available, it’s easy to implement some changes in your workplace, regardless of your budget.
Why not get started today? If you’d like some more information on maximizing your business or career, browse some more of our articles.