Companies looking to reduce turnover, boost morale, and improve productivity are integrating health and wellness concepts into the workplace. While not every company has the resources to splurge on some of the lavish benefits that bigger companies can pull off, integrating a few health and wellness programs can go a long way to showing your employees that you care. Here are four creative ideas designed to make employees happier, healthier, and harder-working.
1. Plenty of Ways to Break a Sweat
Healthy employees are happy employees, so it’s no surprise that savvy employers want to invest in keeping workers physically fit.
If your company has room (and the budget!) to spare, then build an on-location gym for employees. Or provide free or subsidized gym memberships to traditional fitness centers nearby. Some companies even offer a stipend that can be used towards various physical activities, such as race fees, ski lift passes, or personal training sessions -- whatever excites your employees.
If a year-round subsidy doesn’t make sense, an occasional reward could work. Fitness studios such as SoulCycle and the Bar Method offer corporate subscriptions and class buyouts, so your whole team can enjoy a workout together.
2. Healthy Snacks for the 3 O'clock Slump
If you really want to show your employees how much you value them, then get rid of their beloved Cheez-Its supply. Just kidding! Many employers want to encourage healthy snacking, but don’t want to upset employees who have grown accustomed to their sugary, salty afternoon snacks.
One emerging solution: fun snack boxes full of ever-changing, all-natural products. Companies such as Snack Nation and NatureBox boast fancy client lists that include Apple, Visa, and ElectronicArts. Employers are turning to these snack boxes because they’re easy to serve and reasonably priced.
If you don’t want to spend any more money, consider asking your vending machine provider about stocking healthy snacks, too. They often have healthier options available for clients who request them.
3. Paid, No-Questions-Asked Mental Health Days
A recent report by the National Business Group on Health estimates that mental illness and substance abuse disorders are costing American employers dearly. The estimated damage comes in at $17 billion a year -- plus 217 million lost workdays.
Is your company doing enough to help its employees get the help they need? If you’re not convinced, then consider offering judgement-free mental health days to your employees. Tack on a few extra days to employees’ annual sick pay, and let employees know why this time is being made available to them.
Says Susan Taylor, an executive at Generon International, to Forbes: “Companies that offer mental health days are thinking strategically about their employees and the value they bring to the organization.”
4. Quiet, Private Rooms for Peace and Quiet
Napping isn’t just for kindergartners. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a twenty-minute nap can improve performance, focus, and mood. Your employees, like most Americans, are probably exhausted. A nice afternoon nap could help them work better, faster.
You don’t need to invest in a $16,000, energy-boosting napping pod to show employees how much you value them. But you might want to do a little redecorating to give them a quiet place to rest and unwind. Turn a neglected copy room or storage closet into a quiet room with a fresh coat of paint and a reclining chair.
Even if your employees don’t need a nap, the space can be used to decompress.