Three Easy Steps to Starting Your Workplace Wellness Program
Cindy Bjorkquist, M.S.
| 2 min read
Employees spend over a third of each day and about half their waking hours at work. While there’s a tendency to focus on health outside of the office, everyone should be conscious of their physical and mental well-being throughout the workday.
When healthy habits are integrated into job culture, it results in higher productivity, improved morale, lower health care costs and higher employee retention.
Because every workplace is different, creating a wellness program that caters to employees depends on common health goals and areas of interest. For one workplace, the focus may be on weight management, while in another, it could be exercise and diet. This guide can assist you in selecting and starting to implement the right workplace wellness initiative for your team.
- Identify the health goals and interests of your business. Workplace wellness programs are usually divided into three unique categories. By identifying your health goals and interests, you can select your program accordingly. If your goal is to help employees stay healthy, choose a health maintenance program. If your goal is to help employees self-manage a condition, choose a health management program. If your goal is to create a healthier work environment, choose a health culture program.
- Make it a team effort. To naturally integrate a workplace wellness culture, it should be perceived as a partnership with leadership rather than an obligation or ask of employees. Together, start with simple behaviors such as: Arranging a volunteer committee to organize a wellness program outline, encouraging team members to take the stairs rather than the elevator, replacing unhealthy meeting or break room snacks with more nutritional options or taking walking meetings throughout the day.
- Start smart with individualistic, specific, and realistic goals. For every individual, health goals should be specific and realistic to everyday life. If desk time is inevitable on the job site, set reminders to break up the day with standing, stretching and walking. Other small changes, such as packing a lunch and drinking water throughout the day, can be a great starting place for workplace wellness.
Taking these three simple steps can help develop a successful workplace wellness initiative for your business. As you continue to develop and participate in your specific program, remember that the goal of workplace wellness is to hold employers and their staff accountable for living healthier, happier and more productive lives—a very important value-add to any company or business.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan