Are you an employer looking to reduce health-related absenteeism and increase productivity? Successful employers know the importance of promoting employee wellness.
In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that full-time employed persons averaged 8.5 hours of work on weekdays and 5.4 hours on weekend days. According to Forbes magazine, the average American spends 90,000 hours of their life at work.
With the workplace consuming a significant fraction of an employee’s time and energy, business leaders are paying heed to the wellness needs of their staff. It’s no secret that the United States has a progressing health and healthcare issue, only highlighting the importance of incorporating wellness programs into companies. But what does a good wellness program look like?
The National Wellness Institute defines the six dimensions of wellness as: emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual and spiritual. A good wellness program recognizes these dimensions and does its best to cover all bases for its employees.
An effective corporate wellness program…
- Is practical and accessible
When long hours at the office are a commonality, healthy lifestyles are often put on the back-burner. Businesses can help prevent this by encouraging healthy practices at work — this can be something as small as putting a ping-pong table in the break room to allow employees to get moving after long hours of sitting or as large-scale as installing a workout room in the office building. When the resources create good habits, practicing wellness becomes a reflex.
- Integrates health into the company culture
Employees should know from the get-go that their health is a priority and important to their role in the larger mission of the company they work for. This could mean providing resources for mental and spiritual health, such as counseling, yoga, or meditation. It could also look like replacing typical office swivel chairs with engaging exercise balls. Flexible scheduling to aid work-sourced stress is also part of wellness integration.
- Highlights nutrition and healthy eating choices
As a key factor of overall wellness, nutrition often presents itself as a personal challenge that must be overcome on one’s own. Despite this, folding healthy eating into the focuses of a company as a whole can be simple and impactful — start with providing fresh fruit and protein bars in place of vending machine junk food or emphasizing use of water stations (and reusable bottles, of course) over sodas/sugary drinks.
- Incorporates community building
The push to establish strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within companies continues to grow. Customers and employees alike are focusing today not only on quality of product and high salaries, but on the larger impact of corporations. Two integral parts of wellness are the social and occupational aspects — the first focuses on interdependence within community while the latter highlights enrichment through one’s work.
Why wellness in business?
Individuals in the workforce end up spending hours upon hours of their daily lives at work. Busy work schedules and deadlines can take over an employee’s life, leaving personal fitness and wellness as an afterthought. Company wellness programs can improve productivity (thereby decreasing employee turnover), elevate overall office culture and even lower healthcare costs. If you don’t have one of these programs in place at your business, what are you waiting for?