More so now than ever, organizations are making workplace wellness programs a top priority. Establishing and maintaining these programs offers a work environment that promotes healthier habits, and develops a positive office culture where people genuinely want to be. More and more employers are concerned about the health and well-being of their employees, so it comes with no surprise that having a structured wellness program in place has become increasingly popular.
Wellness programs can range from company-paid gym memberships which employees can take advantage of during the workday, to activities such as outdoor “walking meetings”, to general social activities among all employees. Organizations can also partake in providing healthy snack options for employees.
Companies that do a great job promoting these wellness programs along with making these wellness initiatives a priority, are attracting and retaining the best talent that the workforce has to offer. Below are five benefits of creating and investing in a well-thought-out wellness program.
1) Supports Mental Health
Research has shown that employees feel that mental health support can be as important, and possibly more important, than physical health support. Given all the stress-related factors we all face daily, both work-related and outside of the office, it's important that employers allow their employees to take time to recharge during the workday. High levels of stress lead to unnecessary sick days, as well as unhealthy work environments. Allowing employees to take breaks for walks outside or to go to the gym are ways in which employers can reduce stress while keeping their mental health intact.
2) Builds Community
Wellness programs offer opportunities for employees to interact with one another, establishing a positive, healthy work environment. These programs can include team activities such as company virtual 5K'S, happy hours, or team corn hole tournaments to name a few. Many organizations are also producing their own weekly/monthly wellness letters and resources to keep their community updated and engaged. Sometimes work can be draining so these types of initiatives can help re-energize employees all while having everyone benefit from these shared experiences.
3) Enhances Confidence and Morale
Awareness of having a healthy work environment increases employee’s confidence. The more confident an employee is, the more they go about their day with greater enthusiasm. This culture allows individuals to feel comfortable in voicing and sharing ideas with coworkers while also, feeling freer to think outside the box. Healthier and confident employees are also more inclined to look at certain situations with positive attitudes while being more engaged.
4) Increases Productivity
Poor employee productivity can be described as physically being at work, but not working. Engaging in workplace wellness activities like exercise and eating well, increases employee performance, focus, and overall productivity. Having a healthier work environment will also lead to employees making better lifestyle choices both in and outside of the office. No more falling asleep at desks and feeling burned out as individuals will feel more energized and motivated to come in and accomplish their work.
5) Boosts Recruiting and Retention
Taking better care of ourselves has been a top priority. Exercising more, having a healthy mind, eating better, and reducing stress are daily goals that we want to stick to. Offering wellness programs that allow employees to achieve their health and fitness goals is becoming a must-have when it comes to attracting new hires and retaining them. Employees know there's more to life than working nonstop and taking better care of themselves can actually make them more productive and healthier to their employer.
Having a strong workplace wellness program allows the benefits of being part of an organization that promotes a positive environment. Good choices and decisions will be positively influenced because of the setting you're in. If you're an employer that has a solid wellness initiative, keep it up and keep promoting it. If you don’t have one in place, establish one as soon as possible. The benefits are endless for both employees and employers.