My friends and family like to joke with me about my career in HR... lovingly of course. They'll call met the “work police” or Toby from The Office who, if you aren't familiar with the show, is portrayed as not letting anyone at work be themselves (personally I see myself as more of a Holly). What I've learned throughout my career in HR is that the “work police” stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the things I love most about my job is that I get to create a space where employees are able and encouraged to incorporate their true selves and passions into their jobs. Over the past few years, as workplace wellness has become a big part of HR strategy, I also work to ensure that employees are bringing the healthiest versions of themselves to their jobs.
What’s important to remember as you work to build your own culture of wellness is that you have to stay true to who you and your employees are. There’s a reason companies across the US spend $8 billion a year on these programs, health care and associated costs are expensive. While it's yet unclear whether wellness programs actually lower these costs for companies1, it is clear that showing current and prospective employees that you care personally about their well being can be a huge selling point in this tight labor market. Below are a few tips that don’t require much time, effort or money but can make a world of difference in empowering your employees to be the best and healthiest versions of themselves!
- Provide a space where employees can share their workouts. Most people want to be more active, they just don’t know where to start. If you have an onsite workout facility, bring in a trainer for a day to provide tutorials on each machine, or demonstrate targeted workouts. Private Facebook groups can be a great way to share workouts, motivations, and health tips.
- Partner with a local grocery store or dietician to share healthy recipes or bring them onsite for a cooking demonstration.
- Educate employees on the physical and financial cost of ordering fast food for lunch. Meal prep can be a lifesaver for those looking to lose a few pounds or save up for a big expense.
- Offer incentives for being active throughout the day. Our company offers bonuses on our rewards platform for employees who are active 30 minutes each day and the points earned can be redeemed for rewards!
- Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is your best friend when it comes to supporting your employees' mental health. This benefit is often underutilized but can be a great resource for those struggling with stress, depression, relationships, or just finding someone to talk to. Some EAP providers also offer legal/financial services which can be great piece of mind for a workforce dealing with aging parents, estate planning, etc.
- If you have a stressed out team, ask your employees what might help! I've seen companies plan extravagant days out, re-organize entire departments, even bring in massage therapists or therapy dogs to help their employees de-stress when all they really wanted was an extra day off or the opportunity to work from home!
- Maybe you have employees approaching retirement who aren't ready, or you have a younger workforce who think they don't need to plan right now, or you have both! Either way, you should consider how you can support and prepare your team for life after work. Talk with your retirement plan administrator about the education resources available for members. I had our plan education specialist come onsite for one on ones with employees once and it was the highlight of the year.
- Look at your existing benefits for cost savings programs! Does your health carrier offer gym discounts? If you have a company cell phone plan, would your carrier partner be willing to extend a phone discount to all employees? Ever thought about pet insurance? It's typically no cost to the employer and a huge benefit for those with furry family members. There are often many ways that HR can optimize existing programs to offer cost saving solutions for the employees!
Our agents are well-versed in workplace wellness and can help you create a program to suit your employees' unique needs! Get in touch today!