Updated: Feb 16, 2019
A growing number of businesses are shifting focus from employee wellness programs to well-being initiatives — more comprehensive health and productivity programs that tackle elements such as the workforce’s emotional and mental health, social connectivity, financial education, sense of fulfillment on the job, and many other aspects.
Workplace health and well-being programs not only have a positive impact on your employees’ wellness, they can also lead to a significant increase in your team’s engagement, cohesiveness and overall productivity. According to research, a healthy and happy workforce can reduce costs by more than $1,600 per employee, with reduced leave days caused by disability or unplanned sickness.
1. On-Site Fitness Programs
Nothing is better for life balance, joy, longevity, health, and work productivity than physical activity. Any workplace can incorporate this when options range from sit-stand desks to guided yoga classes, stress management seminars, or full-scale on-site fitness centers. When staff is expected to stay in the office, employers can give them perks that make them feel better and perform better.
2. Flexible Working Arrangements
Not everyone can work from home effectively. But for those who can, it can lead to a huge boost in productivity and provide a mental and emotional break from a long commute and being in the office. If it's appropriate for your work environment, give employees the option to work from home a day a week, and you have the potential to see a boost in productivity and morale.
3. Mindfulness Training
Mindfulness training is a great tool to help your employees relieve stress and feel balanced, but also increase productivity and focus on their day-to-day work. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, breathing, and yoga help employees be more present as well as enhance their efficiency. At the end of the day, implementing a mindfulness program is a win-win for both the employee and the company.
4. New/Working Parent Career Coaching
The challenges that dual career families face are becoming increasingly complex. Globalization and 24/7 technology take a toll on work-life balance. Companies that invest in new/working parent career coachingservices demonstrate a commitment to helping people integrate work and life in ways that can be fulfilling both at work and at home.
5. Financial Education
I would say a great employee wellbeing initiative is financial education that is based on different stages of one's life and career, as well as common situations that are faced at those stages. Money can be a huge burden that isn't fully addressed beyond retirement planning.
6. Emotional Intelligence Developmental Training
It's not enough to simply "discuss" emotional intelligence concepts to develop a mindfulness culture in the workplace. Strive to engage employees' desire to elevate their "EQ" or emotional quotient by offering lunch-and-learn courses teaching practical exercises designed to enhance this muscle within. Superior EQ will heighten employee performance and increase productivity, all while reducing stress.
7. Improv Training
Most people think of comedy when they hear "improv" and don't realize that improvisation is a form of exercising the brain that improves mindfulness, active listening, collaboration, risk taking, confidence, public speaking, sales, conflict resolution and so much more. Laughter will also result, which reduces stress while improving rapport and trust with co-workers.
8. Retirement Coaching
Retirement is a major personal and financial transition that many are unprepared to navigate. Companies offering coaching for life after the employment relationship ends stand to gain a lot. Such support can foster positive morale, encourage mindful career planning, and enhance productivity and efficiency until an employee is truly "retirement ready."
9. Access To Healthy Food
It has been said that "food is thy medicine." Corporate cafeterias should provide access to organic, processed-free foods at a moderate cost. In warmer months, farmer's markets should be on site. An integrative wellness program can teach others about how to eat healthy and provide proactive feedback on health and diet.
10. Snooze-Friendly Policies
Sleep is very important for employee well-being and productivity. Lack of sleep among the U.S. workforce costs the nation’s economy as much as $1 billion a year. Even a short 20-minute power nap can boost alertness, improve employee performance and contribute to the company's overall growth. A nap could be the answer to success or performance flop.
11. On-The-Hour Flash Walk
Implementing an "on-the-hour flash walk" in the office is a fabulous way to stimulate creativity through movement. It provides both physical and psychological benefits to all who participate and may decrease healthcare costs in the long run for the company. A "flash walk" generates collective positive energy moving forward, to combat the strain of sitting or standing for extending periods of time.
12. A Gratitude Practice
Gratitude in action. I have found that this practice yields a high level of awareness that may not have existed prior. Following awareness, actions begin to align with desired outcomes. The result is that gratitude turns into personal accountability. Move it into action so others can experience it, and organizationally, both mental and physical wellness are positively impacted.
13. Deep Sense Of Purpose And Contribution
Creating corporate social responsibility programs that engage employees in non-profit causes and educational development programs is key to experiencing well-being. Growth and success seem meaningless when there's no purpose attached to them and no one else to whom we can give back. A fulfilling and healthy life is full of purpose and opportunities to contribute to others.
14. Incentive-Based Trips
If you've explored The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White, you know that employees and managers have so many different ways of feeling appreciated. Regularly-scheduled incentive-based trips can boost the morale and well-being of the majority of employees because these trips encompass the love languages of quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and financial gifts.