Building a wellness culture takes more than healthy snacks and a memo about walking during lunch breaks. Helping your employees become more healthy needs to become part of the company mission. As you empower your employees to make healthier choices in and out of the workplace, your business will benefit from a happier, more productive workforce.
What is Wellness Culture?
A wellness culture is one where “every component of your office environment is contributing to the development and reinforcement of a healthy lifestyle.”. Some of the benefits of cultivating a wellness culture are employees who are happier and feel more valued. This in turn will result in your employees working with more enthusiasm and capacity.
Eight Ways to Build a Wellness Culture in the Workplace
Movement is key for healthy employees. Breaking up the workday with healthy movement increases blood flow, gives the brain a break, and encourages productivity. Consider doing a raffle with an electronic step counter as the prize. Have a friendly competition to see who can get the most steps in during the workday. Or, better yet a monthly competition to see who can get the most steps in overall. Support movement from the top down; encourage team leaders and supervisors to take walks on their lunch breaks, so they model daily movement for the rest of your employees. Set the standard of taking short walks throughout the day, whether around the office or outside, as acceptable behavior. Consider trying “walking meetings”, with the whole team taking a walk outside together. Support employees standing up and walking over to co-workers to ask questions rather than simply emailing.
Have Healthy Choices.
It’s hard to support a wellness culture at work when the office snacks are sugary and high in fat and sodium. Or when any company-sponsored meals are pizza or other junk foods. Also if your office has traditional vending machines, then they are likely full of sugary foods and other junk food. To support employee wellness, switch over any company offerings to healthy foods or at least healthier. For example, if every Friday is pizza Friday, keep the tradition going, but include offerings of fresh fruits and a salad. Give everyone notice, and switch out vending machine options with healthy choices like mixed nuts and granola bars. Include or improve your tea options at the coffee bar. Also, make sure you have filtered water available. Staying well-hydrated is important for overall health and especially for brain function, and it is difficult to encourage drinking water when tap water is the only option.
Support Healthy Habits.
Consider a reward system for healthy habits, to encourage healthy lifestyles among your employees. Encourage healthy choices like taking walks or runs, eating salads, or getting enough sleep. Make the rewards things that also support healthy choices, like a discounted gym membership or a gift card to an outdoor activities store.
Include Opportunities for Socializing with Coworkers.
Social engagement not only supports mental health but a sense of camaraderie and trust between co-workers. Try having alternatives to going to the bar for drinks. Instead, gather everyone together at a local juice bar or healthy coffee shop. Not only will activities like this foster general wellness, but a workforce that knows and trusts each other will be able to work better together.
Encourage employees to create healthier lifestyles in and outside of the office by providing educational resources. These can range from reading material to office-sponsored classes. Consider doing a series of classes on everything from physical fitness, mental health, stress reduction, financial wellness, and good communication. Not only will these courses educate your employees, but your business will benefit in the long run as your employees become more healthy in all areas of their lives.
Consider changing over to flex time, where employees can adjust their work schedule to better meet their needs. Everyone will still be working their 8 or 9 hours a day, but giving them the leeway to come in an hour or two later or earlier may help improve their overall quality of life, and create a sense of loyalty to the company.
Many hands make light work, so encourage your employees to work together on their fitness goals. Perhaps a walking group, or joining a sports league will encourage your employees to move more. Consider hosting a weekly, healthy team meal; the company that eats together plays and works well together too.
If your employees seem stressed, or even if they don’t, try to reduce their stress by sending out an anonymous survey about stress levels. This can help you pinpoint problem areas that can be fixed or eliminated.
Biofunctional Health Solutions for Your Office
If you’re ready to get your office started on its journey towards having a wellness culture, then Biofunctional Health Solutions is here to help. From assessments to registered nurses, to massage, to ergonomic solutions, Biofunctional Health Solutions is your one-stop-shop for all things related to office wellness. Reach out to them today for a customized plan for creating wellness in your office!
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