Healthy employees are happy employees. Moreover, healthy employees are productive employees. By looking after your workers’ wellbeing, you can reduce the amount of sick time they need. Not only that, you can make them feel better, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well, which leads to harder, more dedicated workers. Here are a few programs you can adopt to help improve employee health in the workplace.
Healthy Food Options
Simply improving the fare in the employee cafeteria can go a long way towards looking after employee health. First, make sure there are plenty of fruits and vegetables and options that embrace the entire food pyramid. Consider hiring a nutritionist to work with the kitchen staff to plan healthier dishes.
Second, you need to make sure you accommodate everyone’s dietary needs. Have vegetarian and vegan options available, as well as gluten free dishes, and foods that avoid nuts, berries, and other common allergens. Keep a detailed record of your employees’ dietary needs and find ways to cater to them in healthy, innovative, and delicious ways
Finally, keep the break room and other communal areas stocked with healthy snacks. Instead of doughnuts, offer fruit, bran muffins, granola bars, or yogurt cups. For an afternoon pick me up, have nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and other protein-rich foods.
Many companies have an employee gym on site, where workers can go to exercise before or after work, or on breaks. However, not every organization can afford to do this. If building a gym is a little out of your price range, consider partnering with a nearby gym to offer employees free or discounted memberships.
You can also offer a variety of fitness classes on site. Hire an aerobics instructor to provide 7am classes on the lawn in front of your building. Clear out an unused office and offer yoga at lunch. And even if you can’t build a whole gym, consider adding a treadmill or two, for people to use at their leisure.
There’s nothing like regular massages to reduce employee stress and improve overall health in a number of ways. Some companies have an in-house masseuse on staff to cater to their employees and relieve muscle tension. This is another luxury that many smaller companies can’t afford. But again, you can partner with local businesses to offer stress relief on a budget. Offer employees monthly vouchers to visit a local masseuse. It will not only help reduce stress and improve health, it will also improve overall employee morale and go a long way towards showing them that you care about their wellbeing.
Offering your employees healthcare through your company is one thing. Taking an active interest in their healthcare is quite another. Telemedicine allows you to consult with doctors and receive diagnoses, prescriptions, and more, through your computer or mobile device.
Rather than waiting for an appointment, you can message a medical professional, talk to them on webcam, and get at least an idea of what the problem is and what to do about it. You can also schedule in-person appointments online, have prescriptions e-mailed directly to your local pharmacy, and much more. By offering access to telemedicine, you can help your employees with their medical problems more quickly and get them back to full health sooner.
Promoting health in the workplace is only the start. It’s important to help your employees maintain a healthy lifestyle outside of work as well. To that end, it can be quite beneficial to provide an array of wellness classes throughout the year. We’ve covered exercise and aerobics classes already, but there are plenty of other options as well.
A nutrition class can help employees prepare better meals. You can have a class to help people quit smoking. You can even have classes focused on emotional health: better relationships, dealing with stress or depression, improving interpersonal communication… the possibilities are endless. Take a poll of your employees and find out what kind of classes they’d like to see offered, and look into providing them.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve employee health and wellness in the workplace. If you can keep your employees healthy and happy, not only will you improve productivity, you’ll turn your company into a better, more enjoyable place to work for everybody.