Promoting More Employee Wellness
Part II of Elin’s Well-Being Initiatives
This is Part II, check out Part I on Elin’s Medium blog page!
SUPPORT A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE
Get People Moving
The more people get up from their desks, the better. However small, a walking break is still an exercise! So encourage people to leave their desks for lunch, have more walking meetings, or occasionally meet their team in a different office space.
Create spaces in your office that encourage people to move around, spend some time outside or sometimes have a change of scenery.
Having a break from the desk (and short break from work!) ensures people come back refreshed and more energetic.
Let’s All Eat Better
Snacks are no longer an office luxury. Nowadays we expect to find something to munch on in the office kitchen. But what sort of snacks are available?
Make sure your office offers options that keep your employees healthy! Order fruits, healthy bars, and trail mixes, instead of candy. Word of advice: regularly ask employees for feedback on what they like and what they would add, although you’d also see by what’s left at the end of the week!
If you’re offering lunch or have a cafeteria, ensure some healthy options are always available. The healthier the food, the healthier your employees are, the more energy they have!
If there is no food available in the office, at least equip a place where employees could store and reheat homemade food options, so they don’t have to pick up fast food from down the street every day. It’ll help them be more in control of their nutrition.
What About Those Fitness Goals?
You might think it’s not your place as an employer to encourage people to exercise, but it can be your place to make sure they have the time and opportunity to do so.
Here are a few options:
- Offer discounts or reimbursements for gym or fitness programs near your office. Make sure there is a variety of options, not everyone is into Crossfit!
- Create a discretionary fund that a team can spend on a fitness activity: invite an instructor to the office, rent a studio for a team class or rent bikes for a team activity.
- Run a survey and if there is enough support, invite a yoga teacher to the office once a week. Morning or lunch sessions will help those interested to be able to fit a workout without being late to work!
HELP DEAL WITH LIFE CHALLENGES
People might get distracted from work or need some extra time off because they have other things to worry about. You cannot take care of everything, but there are some common benefits that could help deal with life outside of work. Here are some ideas:
Offering flexible work hours and remote work options will make a life of parents easier to manage. However, if there is enough demand, you might want to look into options of offering on-site daycare. Another useful perk is offering reimbursement for babysitting services a few evenings a month.
Dual Career Coaching
Dual career is a reality for many families these days. Especially if you’re asking someone to relocate for a job, be ready to support their partners with career coaching or support with finding the right career opportunities in a new place.
Get Some Processes In Place
You might not be aware of certain challenges in the workplace, especially if your company has grown bigger, so be ready to provide a safe and functioning way for your employees to report certain work situations. As an example, you might need to set up an anonymous reporting channel for bullying and harassment complaints.
MAKE WELL-BEING FUN!
Well-Being Challenge, Anyone?
Some healthy competition never hurts. Come up with a challenge that people would enjoy and would boost their health at the same time. Engage more people. Add results to the weekly newsletter!
CREATE A PURPOSE
Create a Strong Culture Code
Whether you have it written down or not, your culture is what attracts and keeps the right people in. Make sure culture, values, and mission are talked about in practical terms. Avoid repeating set phrases and quotes. Make sure values are lived, not just verbally repeated. Everyone should know what your company stands for.
Show Culture In The Way You Work
Make sure culture is not just words, connect specific behaviors and habits to it. If collaboration is your value, make sure your office is designed for a collaborative culture and you have all the tools to support it.
Reflect Values In Actions
Create opportunities for your employees to give back to the community. Empower them to find the causes they are passionate about that also resonate with your company’s purpose. You’ll benefit from engaged employees that will also take ownership of programs, partnerships, and activities.
If you think it requires a lot of investment and you don’t have enough resources, it doesn’t have to be big. Smaller initiatives could include recycling, charity donation boxes, teaching computer skills in community centers. Be clear what kind of support the company is ready to provide and give space for employees to follow up.
BUILD OFFICE SPACE WITH WELL-BEING IN MIND
The office space makes a big difference in the way people work, how they feel about work and how motivated they are to show up! An office can cause headaches or inspire creativity. Which one would you rather have? Here are some ideas on how to make your office be the place people want to come to everyday:
- Different spaces where people can work, meet, discuss away from their desks.
- Improve the light in the office, set more natural light, brighter spaces. Better light helps the eyes be less tired and prevents headaches.
- Give access to fresh air spaces, maybe equip some working spaces to be outside. Oxygen helps people think better!
- Furniture with standing desk options
- Create spaces where people can hide from the noise and focus on individual work if they need to.
- Create a culture, not just a string of initiatives or actions. Build a company based on employees’ well-being as a value, where their work-life balance is an important part of your business.
- Be consistent and lead by example. Don’t be the boss who insists you leave at 5, but also “really needs you to do that thing before tomorrow morning’s meeting”. Make sure your words and actions tell the same story.
- Have an open conversation about it. What YOU think employees need, might not be what they actually need. Be ready to ask for feedback and for ideas. At the same time, openly discuss if some of the suggestions are challenging in your specific work environment.