Better workplace health and wellness leads to happier employees and improved business outcomes. Here are 19 ways to encourage better health for your employees.
Americans spend the vast majority of our waking hours at work. More and more, we look to our co-workers and workplaces to help us develop and practice better personal health and wellness. As employers, it is important to encourage our employees to make healthier life choices. It’s true: healthier employees are happier employees…but they’re also more productive employees. As one of the nation’s leading onsite healthcare clinic providers, Proactive MD offers this list of 19 ideas that are easy, inexpensive, and effective ways to help your team members find better health outcomes.
1. Onsite Fitness Bootcamp Many businesses pay for their employees’ gym memberships, but have you ever considered bringing the gym to work? Bring in a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) to run a weekly bootcamp-style group fitness class at the office. Or, if you have the space, ask your trainer to help you set up an inexpensive onsite exercise room using weighted bands, BOSU balls or other body weight-focused routines.
2. Unplugged Summer The first step to a healthier life is to move more, sit less. But that’s so hard for employees who work in front of screens all day…then go home to families who “unplug” by scrolling social media or playing video games. Incentivising employees with an internal contest to “unplug” for the summer months is one way to encourage better screen habits.
3. Standing Meetings Many workplaces offer employees standing desk options, so why not try “standing meetings?” Standing meetings are proven to keep employees more engaged and creative. Plus, they usually run about 60-70% shorter!
4. Healthy Snacks Supplement onsite vending machines with no-charge healthy options in the breakroom. Sure, it takes a little more effort to make sure the fridge is stocked and the bananas stay fresh, but your employees with thank you for the difference in both their wallets and their waistlines.
5. Community Walk/Run Sponsorships Incentivise participation in a couple of community fun runs/walks every year by covering entry fees for employees and their families who want to participate. Most local events waive all fees with a corporate sponsorship, not to mention these donations are almost always tax deductible.
6. Live Healthy Giveaway Items Looking to do new promotional items this fall? Ask your ad specialties company if they can put your company logo on water bottles or cups, lunch bags, or dry-tech exercise Ts. Even a cool-tech cap for the summer or toboggan for the winter can be an encouragement to employees (and customers!) to get out and exercise.
7. Onsite Bike Shop Encourage cycling to work by offering employees a safe place to park their bikes (inside if possible). Make sure there’s a pump for flat tires, an adjustable wrench and a hex tool, too. Offer free/reimbursable Lyft or Uber rides home on rainy days, too.
8. Winter Fitness Contest Incentivise healthy lifestyles with a company-wide fitness contest during the winter months. But don’t just make it a weight-loss competition. Give prizes for % BMI lost, 12-minute run, or other standardized fitness tests. Break the company into teams led by senior leadership to make things interesting!
9. Lunch and Learn Healthcare Edition Invite a registered dietician, athletic trainer, or chiropractor to speak at your next lunch and learn event. You’d be amazed how much helpful information these folks can provide in a ten to fifteen minute talk.
10. Soup & Salad Bar vs. Burgers & Dogs Company picnic or special onsite lunch? Keep your grills cold and set up a soup and salad bar! Your caterers can handle this request without breaking the bank, or potluck your bar with team member offerings.
11. Share Spotify Playlist If you have younger employees, don’t assume they live any healthier than older employees. Engage younger employee participation by sharing exercise playlists via a company Spotify list.
12. Doc-n-Dine Inspire employees to take well-visits to their family doctor each year by suggesting that if people schedule their doc visits during their birthday month, the company will not only make sure the absence is excused, but will celebrate their health with a $50 gift card to a nearby restaurant.
13. Spectators to Players Most of us are far more avid spectators of sports than participants. Encourage healthy lifestyles by connecting a fall chilli cook-off with tickets to a big game…or signing up for the company softball team with a drawing for two tickets to a sporting event.
14. If the shoe fits… Bring in a local running shop vendor to do athletic shoe fittings for all employees. It’s amazing what a good exercise shoe can do to make you want to work out. See if the company can work out a significant price discount when employees buy shoes.
15. Puttering around the office? Bring in a local golf pro to offer swing and putting tips for golfers and would-be golfers. Have an onsite putting contest for a free round of golf at a local course.
16. Country Comes to Town Invite a few vendors from a local farmers’ market to set up in the office parking lot on a Friday afternoon. This is a fun and festive way to get employees talking about healthy food choices…while also saving money.
17. Work-Seat Balance Exercise stability balls aren’t just for the gym. Many desk-bound workers are using them for office chairs. A wide variety of colors exists that can match any office decor, and they’re cheaper than task chairs!
18. Going away? Be sure to play! Offer vacationing employees free or reduced price recreation options.
19. Take your sick day…PLEASE! Make sure all employees take their sick days when they’re sick. Studies show that the greatest cause of employee illness is catching something from another employee who thought it wise to come in sick.
It’s not enough to celebrate healthy outcomes with your employees. Employers need to give their people regular opportunities to find success. Any of these ideas—or your own—can help you do just that. Proactive MD leads these and other similar initiatives for our clients, and we could be a great resource for your company as well. Learn more about the Proactive MD model.