4 Ways to Improve the Health of Your Workforce
Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of looking after the health and wellbeing of their employees. With a focus on work/life balance, corporate wellness programs aim to improve the health and happiness of all staff. In return, employers should benefit from a more productive workforce, reduced rates of illness and absenteeism, enhanced retention of employees and improved employee morale. The following initiatives are those which can be implemented in a workplace in order to increase the health of staff members.
1. Provide healthy snack options
A cost effective option is for organisations to provide healthy snacks in common areas such as the staff lunchroom. These snacks do not have to be full meals – instead there should be options such as fruit, nuts and cut up vegetables for people to snack on. This not just provides accessible healthy snacks for employees, it also encourages healthy eating within the workplace as a whole.
2. Subsidise health and wellbeing initiatives
Financial incentives in the form of discounts are appealing in a number of situations. Subsidised services such as a gym membership at a local club, half price lunches at healthy establishments and discounted services such as physiotherapy are fantastic ways to entice employees into making a healthy decision. Sometimes, all it takes is a subtle push to do something we have been putting off. Reduced costs for an item such as a gym membership may just coerce the employee to join and participate.
3. Facilitate educational workshops
In many cases, we are under informed when it comes to our health and making the best choices. The simple act of facilitating an educational workshop within work hours is a great way to contribute to a wellness program. Examples of workshops could include how to fit exercise around a busy lifestyle, which foods we should be eating on a daily basis, and how to greater reduce personal stress levels.
4. Allow for additional paid time off
Allowing employees to have an extended lunch break one or two days per week for exercise is a great opportunity to encourage an active lifestyle. Many full-time workers have difficulty finding the time to exercise during the work week. At the expense of one hour of an employee’s hourly rate, the employee can take the time to exercise without feeling guilty.
If your workplace has a corporate wellness program in place I’d love to hear from you. What are some of the initiatives that they have implemented to improve the health of staff? Alternatively, if your workplace does not promote health and wellbeing, what suggestions do you have to improve this? I welcome your thoughts or questions in the comment box below.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.