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September 1, 2016

5 Tips for Creating a Great Workplace Wellness Program

Maintaining a productive work environment begins with taking care of the people that make it all possible – your employees. With the ever-increasing demands of the modern workplace, many employees are feeling the negative effects to their health. A healthier workforce is a happier and more productive workforce.

Making it a policy to implement effective work wellness strategies, that go beyond just a focus on weight loss, is integral in making a difference in the overall quality of your organization. The most important thing is to ensure that policies are reinforced as actionable, instead of just words in a memo or on a poster in the break room.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when trying to create an effective workplace wellness program:

Keep Healthy Snacks and Food On Hand
Vending machines may appear to be a convenient option for grabbing a quick snack in the middle of a hectic workday, but unfortunately it is common for them to be packed with heavily processed food that do nothing to contribute to your employees’ overall health.

In order to ensure that the people who do the work are being nourished, healthier alternatives are a must. You could surely keep the vending machine, but switch out the cookies for low-calorie snack packs, the fruity candies for nuts, and the chocolate bars for granola bars. Go even further and add some gut-healthy probiotics in the form of individual yogurt packs. Fruits and veggies are great options for a quick mid-morning snack that will fill up your employees enough to work well until lunch. Pair the fruits and veggies with a miniature pack of hummus or peanut butter for an extra healthy kick.

Have Bottled Water and A Water Cooler Easily Accessible
Water is the basis of life, and none of us can survive without proper hydration. It is unfortunate that the majority of us do not drink enough water each day, despite being aware of the detrimental effects of possible dehydration.

Water has a great effect on energy levels, memory, mood, and concentration, all very important factors in productivity. Be it bottled, from the cooler, or from the vending machine, having plenty of refreshing water on hand will get your team seeing the benefits of hydration in no time.

Promote Healthy Office Competition
You’d be surprised. Even the most seemingly timid coworkers like to partake in even a small dose of competition. There are a number of ways that this can be done. One way could be gifting employees with a fitness watch, such as a Fitbit, and implementing incentives for those who arrive at a predetermined goal by the end of a specific time period.

These incentives could be anything from entrance into a company-wide raffle to win a grand prize, or even a temporary subscription for a healthy meal delivery service. Figure out what your team would be most interested in as a prize by taking a simple poll, and encourage the formation of a collaborative community between coworkers.

Provide Discounts To Local Food and Fitness Establishments
It is a common misconception that living a healthier lifestyle is significantly more expensive than the conventional. While this is not necessarily the case, one of the most efficient ways to combat the perception, is to make discounts available to employees at local food and fitness establishments. Provide a reduced-price on monthly membership fees to various local gyms and fitness studios, as well as a partnership with a local restaurant that provides discounted fresh and healthy lunch options.

Make It Easier To Incorporate Exercise
It’s no secret that regular exercise is a great source of sustained energy. In order to have an effective work wellness program, it is necessary to make it easy for employees to incorporate fitness into their daily routines. Regular exercise boosts productivity, decreases sick time, and lowers stress levels enough to avoid employee burnout. There are a number of ways that you could go about this. Try creating a walking or running group that meets a few times a week before or after work. This encourages accountability between coworkers to make exercise a habit. Also consider dedicating a fitness space inside, or close to, the office building where employees can easily take 30-minute exercise breaks.

Also, consider jumping on the standing desk bandwagon. There are numerous studies supporting the benefits of the standing desk trend, which is rooted in a concept that aims to provide an alternative to the negative health impacts to sitting all day.

Your employees will work at the most optimal levels when their health and wellness are included as an important aspect to their time working within your organization. Implementing and maintaining a work wellness program does not have to be difficult. Ensure that while implementing such a program, it is made fun and accessible for all employees, and is done in a way that encourages voluntary participation.

If your office doesn’t have a water cooler, click here to try a free 30-day trial.