Survey after survey shows that healthy employees are more productive and cost their employers less. Higher job performance, increased engagement, fewer sick days and compensation claims and reduced, total healthcare costs are all benefits of having healthier employees. So it’s easy to see why companies are striving to make health a priority in the workplace. But inspiring employees to embrace a healthier lifestyle can be a challenge.
Here are a few ways to inspire them:
1. Bring it on-site
Convenience is paramount if you want employees to get engaged. Everyone is busy and stressed, so providing access to health initiatives in the office is beneficial for everyone. Amenities like on-site gyms, yoga or meditation spaces to reduce stress, health coaches for encouragement, education and motivation, and on-site screening for preventative measures are all examples of bringing wellness initiatives to employees in the most convenient way possible.
2. Provide healthy food
Nutrition is the foundation of health, so providing healthier office snacks, carefully curated vending machines and even upgraded cafeterias options will go a long way to making improved nutrition accessible for everyone.
3. Make it a team effort
Group outings that include physical activity, a team weight loss challenge, lunch-time walking groups or even in-house fitness classes are all great ways to bring the office together around the goal of improving everyone’s health. It can also foster enthusiasm and camaraderie.
4. Provide ongoing education
Creating an ongoing wellness education program is another great way to inspire employees to take control of their health. Bringing focus to key health issues such as nutrition, stress, and physical activity in the form of quick, informative and concise weekly emails or periodically bringing in a nutritionist for talks will keep improved health at the forefront of employees’ minds. Quick tips and ideas for easily implemented behavioral changes are great ways to inspire subtle ongoing improvement for even the busiest of employees. Small changes can make a big impact.
5. Allow flexible scheduling
The lack of time to eat healthy or hit the gym is a big challenge for most people today. Allowing employees the flexibility in their schedule to focus on their health might be the most important (and cost-effective) way to encourage them. If they have time to take that yoga class at lunch time three days a week or work from home once a week to avoid their long commute, it could greatly increase their focus, productivity and engagement in the long run.
6. Invest in health-promoting office furniture
Sitting is the new smoking, and more and more alternative office setups are popping up because of that. Standing desks, balance ball chairs and even treadmill offices are becoming popular as the negative effects of sitting still all day are becoming more apparent. Offering employees alternatives to traditional office furniture could go a long way to keep them in good form.
A healthier workforce is a more productive workforce, but inspiring employees to make their health a priority is not always easy. Proactively making it a key corporate value, combined with providing easy, convenient and accessible ways to focus on it, are the best ways to inspire them.