Healthy and happy employees are far more likely to engage in their work, produce consistent results, and show greater loyalty to their employer. Many companies implement wellness programs and initiatives to help employees perform at their best. The assumption is that focusing on employees’ well-being will yield positive results for the employees and the company. Unfortunately, not all wellness programs are effective, and some initiatives come across as more beneficial to the organization than its staff.
Employees don’t want superficial benefits that they’ll rarely (if ever) use. Similarly, companies don’t want to waste money on wellness initiatives that don’t achieve their intended purpose. The following are ten workplace wellness ideas that are effective and mutually beneficial:
- Transit reimbursement. Employees always appreciate it when their employer offers to reimburse transit passes. While public transportation isn’t always readily available, transit reimbursement can come in many forms. For example, employers can provide bicycles to eco-minded employees that would like to bike to work instead of driving. Employers could also offer a weekly stipend for fuel expenses to employees that carpool to work. Transit initiatives work best for organizations with a culture that emphasizes environmental responsibility.
- On-site gym classes or fitness center memberships. Paying for a gym membership is a staple among employee wellness initiatives. Access to an on-site gym can help employees reach their wellness goals by removing financial and proximity roadblocks. If the company can’t build a gym or repurpose part of the building for one, they can still offer to pay for a gym membership at a fitness center of the employee’s choosing. Some companies take this a step further and offer cash incentives for employees who reach their fitness goals or complete various programs.
- Yoga classes. A full-scale gym may not be financially feasible, but almost any company can find space for yoga. The simplest option is to use conference or break rooms. Yoga is an effective stress reliever and can help employees release tension.
- Smoking cessation support. Smoking is undeniably bad for employees’ long-term health. Employees who smoke are also more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses and other health problems than their non-smoking peers. Frequent smoke breaks also hinder productivity and workflow between team members. Employers can offer pharmacological assistance, lifestyle coaching services, or both to help employees quit smoking.
- Financial wellness programs. Financial stress affects every aspect of an employee’s life, including their productivity and quality of work. Financial wellness programs can help employees build a realistic budget, plan for expected (and unexpected) expenses, learn about investing and retirement options, and ensure long-term financial security.
- Remote work options. Many companies switched to a remote business model during the pandemic. Although people have returned to the office, the appeal of remote work for at let part of the workweek remains high. Underscoring the point, more than half of employees (58%) would look for a new job if their employer refused to continue remote work options.
- Flexible work hours. Many employees’ lives don’t fit neatly into a traditional nine-to-five workday. Some have children to drop off at school or college courses in the evening. Shifting their schedule by an hour or two can make a huge difference in their work-life balance. Offering a four-day workweek is another popular flexible scheduling option. It greatly facilitates a better work-life balance, reduces stress, and boosts employees’ happiness with their work.
- Mental health and wellness support. Anxiety, particularly anxiety related to job performance, affects millions of adult Americans. However, less than half (43%) seek professional help to manage it. Anxiety and other mental health problems can hinder creativity and productivity. Companies that pay for coaching or therapy show their dedication to employees’ mental health and well-being. Employees also receive the support they need to manage their anxiety before it impinges on their work.
- Offer paid mental health days. If an employee has a lot of stressful things happening in their life, they’re unlikely to feel motivated to come to work. Their quality of work will also likely suffer should they force themselves to go. Offering paid time off for one mental health day per quarter gives employees an opportunity for self-care during periods of high stress. Employers should encourage employees to use their mental health days to relax or do something they love.
- Childcare and caregiver support. Caring for small children, a sick relative, or an aging parent can significantly strain employees’ finances and emotional well-being. Companies that offer childcare services or caregiver support can help relieve the financial and mental stress of caregiving.
The most effective workplace wellness programs and initiatives focus on employees’ well-being while at work and away from the office. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about implementing effective and meaningful employee wellness programs that resonate with your staff.