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How To Promote Employee Wellness - Without Overshooting Your Budget!

Corporates today are becoming more aware of the need to incorporate employee wellness. They are taking a more positive approach to improving the health and well-being of an organization and its employees.

Companies are trying to figure out the right solution to combat rising health issues and healthcare costs by creating awareness, providing information and creating supportive environments to make the office a healthy and happy place to work.

Office Yoga Class

Why Has Employee Wellness Suddenly Become So Important?

Employees spend most of their day at work, and hence, are most reachable in their workplaces. An employee’s health impacts how he does his job and therefore affects workplace productivity. Factor in costs related to employee absenteeism, replacement costs and health insurance expenses - and it becomes imperative for organisations to promote a good and healthy lifestyle among its employees.

Benefits Of Having A Wellness Program

  • Having a healthy workforce means fewer employees reporting sick leading to reduced absenteeism. An Assocham study that came out a few days back says that corporate wellness programs, if implemented effectively, can save India Inc. nearly $20 billion by the end of 2018, by just bringing down the rate of absenteeism by 1%.
  • Organisations investing in their employees' health and well being has a positive effect on employees morale, leading to reductions in staff turnover.
  • There is a positive impact on employee satisfaction as a result of wellness program intervention and participation.
  • Undertaking employee wellness programs will boost your company’s reputation in the market, adding immense value to your brand name.
  • In addition to improved diet, exercise and general well-being, wellness programs promote engagement, communication, and camaraderie among employees.
  • Studies indicate that companies with good wellness programs decrease healthcare costs by 20% to 55% and lowered short-term sickness by 6% to 32%.

All this is very well, I can hear you say. What if I am a small to a mid-sized organisation and don’t have the millions to spend on a state-of-the-art gym? Or provide subsidized health food to my employees?

The good news is, a wellness program that doesn't have to cost you the moon! We show you how in 2 easy steps!

1. Your HR personnel could conduct a small survey

  • What do your employees want?
  • What are the health issues they are facing currently?
  • What are their current mindsets, issues, and obstacles where health and fitness are concerned?

This will provide you with a good understanding of what your audience wants and give you the direction to start.

2. Make changes in your internal set up to

  • promote healthy and conscious eating!
  • discourage sedentary behavior!
  • Make your office environment a calm and fun place to work!

We bring you some do-able and budget-friendly ways to make this possible!

Employee Wellness Without Leaving A Hole In Your Pockets

Here are some ways you can ensure a fit workforce without emptying the coffers!

1. Encourage Employees To Eat Well

Small changes often yield the best results. Encourage employees to opt for healthier food. Here are some ideas.

  • Bring fresh fruit or other wholesome snacks to office meetings.
  • Facilitate a healthy recipe exchange and potluck lunch.
  • Provide energy-beverages instead of fizzy drinks or colas.
  • If you provide subsidized meals at the office, encourage your caterer to supply fresh and healthy options!

Staying hydrated enough is also necessary for employee fitness! Thanks to stressful schedules, employees can often forget to take the much-needed sips of water between work.

2. Walk The Talk

  • Offer flexible work hours to allow for physical activity during the day.
  • Choose ergonomic furniture like sit-stand desks!
  • Start employee activity clubs (e.g., walking, bicycling).
  • Post motivational signs at elevators and escalators to encourage riding a cycle to work or taking the stairs!
  • Host “walking meetings” as a way to switch up regular seated meetings.
  • If you have the premises you could offer on-site fitness classes like yoga, pilates, Zumba etc. Interested employees could pay for the instructor. Depending on the number of interested employees, it would be more affordable.

3. It's In The Mind Too

Wellness is not always only about the body. It is important to promote emotional well-being too!

  • Encourage employees to relax, unwind and de-stress even on a normal work-day.
  • A quiet area within your premises could be used by employees to relax, meditate, read or even take a nap.
  • Organize match-watching or movie watching on lean days where your entire staff could assemble and unwind.
  • Many companies have a small indoor games space where employees can take a break.

4. Fitness For A Cause

You could organize volunteer days, where the entire office comes together for a cause, like a beach clean-up or a charity marathon. Find out what causes interest your employees and this could also work as a team-building experience.

5. Organize A Family Fiesta

Many companies organize an annual “Family Day” or “Kids@work” day on a regular working day to break the monotony of a typical work week.

6. Furry’s Day Out

Allow your employees to bring their pets to work. It is a well-known fact that spending time with four-legged friends reduces stress and brings joy.

7. Go A Step Ahead

  • Encourage employees to follow a healthy lifestyle even at home by starting a wellness newsletter, with weekly tips on how to reduce stress and improve health.
  • If it is possible for your business, give your employees a work-from-home option or flexible work days. Just avoiding the daily commute and traffic can do wonders for your employee’s mental health.
  • If you have space within your workspace grounds, you could allocate a patch for growing fruit, vegetables or herbs. Gardening is a good form of exercise and sparks an interest in healthy eating. Fruit and vegetables grown could be distributed among the volunteers.

Commitment to wellness should start at the top and trickle down to the lower levels of the organization. Incorporate health and well-being into every activity or decision that the company makes.

Implementing employee wellness need not mean allocating a big budget, but should be simple and effective. Employee wellness is more to do with your intent and less about swanky facilities. Some simple changes in your office routine could do wonders! All on a shoestring budget!

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