The benefits of building a work environment that emphasizes a healthy lifestyle far outweighs the investment. Results from the Aflac WorkForces Report showed that 66% of employees said their companies’ health and wellness programs have a positive impact on their loyalty and 63% said the programs positively affected their productivity. So, whether you’re struggling with retention or looking to boost performance, a well-defined employee wellness program may be the key to success. And the all-important first step toward building a healthier workforce is to get everyone on board by making wellness a T.E.A.M. objective.
Before putting any wellness initiative in place, you must first fully understand your goals for the program, and, most importantly, what your employees want to get out of it. Without building buy-in up front, your wellness program may be dead on arrival.
Discuss health concerns with your workforce and what they are willing to commit to in order to address them. Building support and a sense of ownership from your employees will help put you in a better position to build a program that meets everyone’s needs, and therefore have a better chance of success.
Perhaps the most effective strategy for building a healthier team is creating awareness. Many workplace health hazards are not as obvious as you might think. Sitting, for example, can be very detrimental to your health. Countless studies connect sedentary lifestyles to a wide range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with desk jobs are especially prone to experiencing the effects of inactivity.
It’s very likely your employees haven’t considered the side effects of sitting at a desk all day. The activity in and of itself seems benign, so educating your employees about the potential health hazards is an important first step toward encouraging healthier lifestyles.
One of the biggest excuses for inactivity for many working adults is simply not having enough time in the day to focus on their health. Whether it’s their mounting workloads or ongoing commitments to their life outside of the office, many people simply don’t have room for a trip to the gym.
There are a wide variety of options for giving your employees access to a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s offering free time during the day to take a walk at a nearby park or forging partnerships with local gyms to offer discounted membership rates to employees, there are solutions to fit companies of any size. From a decrease in health insurance costs to happier, more engaged employees, the ROI of an investment in providing your workforce access to opportunities to better their health can impact your business in a big way.
Accountability is not only necessary for keeping up with deadlines and projects at work, it’s also the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When left to our own devices, it’s easy to opt for the path of least resistance. So, just as you would seek out a mentor to help guide your career and challenge you to achieve success, finding someone to push you toward making better health decisions can be just as important.
Whether it’s a co-worker, friend, or personal trainer, mentors come in all shapes and sizes, so encourage your employees to find someone who understands their health goals and will be able to provide guidance and support as they work toward achieving them.
What are some ways you encourage healthy habits in your workplace? Let us know in the comments section below.