Five Essential Characteristics of a Good Wellness Initiative
1st March 2019
Companies all throughout the country are beginning to implement wellness initiatives in the workplace. This is in an effort to avoid rising healthcare costs, lower absenteeism and improve employee satisfaction rates. Especially when absenteeism and presenteeism is costing the UK economy as much as £77 billion every year.
Wellness initiatives are not just about helping others lead healthier lives, it is about being the face of the future, when it comes to recruiting, taking on and attracting all types of employees. Healthier employees have more energy, are more motivated and stay focused for longer.
Large companies including Google, Facebook and Pixar are famous for implementing wellness initiatives in the workplace. But, it doesn’t have to be a costly process. Minimal investment can produce effective results.
Here are just some ways you can make a positive difference in the workplace.
Be flexible and accessible
The first aspect of your strategy is to ensure that it is inclusive and flexible of everyone’s needs. You will need to be able to communicate across all media channels, before implementing the plan. Be sure to be inclusive, of everyone, across the board, especially those with physical, mental or emotional disabilities that need extra guidance, or more flexibility in their role, to help them feel more comfortable.
Health comes first
Always remember to assess the workplace culture, and create a checklist. Identify any areas that need improvement. Send out a survey to your employees to find out how you can better support them. Conduct a health assessment, and use a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA). The purpose of health strategies is to raise awareness, provide more information. Encourage healthy eating plans, offer to provide your employees with healthy lunch alternatives, or give them a free gym membership.
Be more responsible
Reinforcing positive behaviour change is the key to any successful wellness initiative. The best wellness programs help focus on ways to help employees adopt and maintain healthy behaviours. Studies suggest that people prefer to work for a socially responsible company. This will make your employees more willing to participate, also, in social activities, or work-related challenges, knowing they can trust their employer. Take account for the fact that need to reinforce positive change, and that to do that, you have to put energy into everything you do when managing your employees.
Give your employees the motivation to change. Employees spend more waking hours at work than anyone else. It makes sense to change the environment or culture of the organisation which can support the individual in the process. Encourage behaviours that will enable an individual to think, behave, take action and control their decision making efforts. Allow them to feel self-empowered and more engaged in their daily activities. Give them space to perform their tasks efficiently and without feeling as though they are waiting for direction or permission to act.
Introducing new incentives to encourage smart working, like new bonus schemes, or health schemes and a walk to work scheme, to refrain employees from having to sit at their desk all day. Incentives like this will take your wellness initiative that extra step further, by showcasing to your employees that you are willing to do whatever it takes to keep them happy.
What are the Eight Dimensions of Wellness?
The Eight Dimensions of Wellness are:
Examples of Successful Wellbeing Initiatives
Investing in new collaboration spaces
Collaboration and teamwork are an essential component of carrying out work tasks effectively, and is part of office culture. Create new open plan areas, to encourage idea sharing which increase the flow of information, and allows for easier interactions. Aside from this, provide quiet working spaces too, so those who need to work quietly, without any distractions can and have the option to take some time away from the busy office environment. Check out some office design ideas for inspiration here.
Flexible working hours
Not everyone will necessarily benefit from working from home, in fact, some may prefer to or find it easier to concentrate without distractions, by coming into work. But, for others, it may lead to a huge boost in productivity levels, especially for employees that have wild spirits and always longing to be on the move. Giving your employees the option to work from home, will more than likely prove popular in the workplace. You will be showing that you trust and have faith in them, to get the job done no matter where they are.
Providing healthy office snacks
Like some people often say, food is medicine. What you eat, determines your emotional, psychological and physical performance. But, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t indulge in a slice of cake every now and then. It is about pacing yourself. Leaving bowls of fruit in the staff kitchen, or tasty low calorie snacks, will encourage your employees to eat more healthily, and will be less likely to pop to Tesco, for a high calorie alternative, like a pack of donuts, for a quick sugar rush. Do you provide any vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free snacks? If not, now just might be the time to do so.
Offering development and training courses
Development and training is always essential, for any given job role, from Teaching Assistant to coffee Barista, to Marketing Manager. These courses may require travel, so make sure you cover any travel costs, and make your employees feel valued by putting them up for new opportunities.
Emotional and De-stressing Techniques
Mindfulness training is a great tool to help your employees relieve stress and feel more balanced and self-sufficient. Mindfulness includes practices such as meditation, breathing and yoga which can help with efficiency and productivity levels.
Looking for more inspiration on building a wellness initiative and improving business performance?