Improving the health and wellness of employees can lead to better productivity and overall output. Healthier employees are also more likely to be happier in the workplace, resulting in a more positive work culture where employees can communicate and better collaborate with each other. In 2020, an online survey from Statista found that 52% of employers in the US offered wellness programs and events for their employees to meet this need.
Aside from keeping employees healthy, establishing workplace wellness programs can also help reduce absenteeism, as well as prevent injuries in the workplace. In this post, we’ll go through the ways that business leaders can inspire their employees to be healthy:
Motivating your team
Staying healthy requires establishing habits and routines to achieve your goals — and maintaining those good results. For many people, this means changing certain aspects of their lifestyle that they may not be used to, or might not see the importance of. This is where leaders step in, as they can identify what will help employees motivate themselves to pursue good physical health. Leaders who are not attuned to their employees’ well-being may find it harder to motivate them, but it’s never too late to start.
Consider someone’s motivation for losing weight: they may want to drop a dress size or feel better in their own skin. Once they reach their goal weight, however, they may not feel incentivized to keep up with those new, healthy lifestyle habits. Rather than framing weight loss through this lens, you may want to encourage employees to think of their broader wellness journey instead — like longevity or staying active into their senior years — so they stick to these good habits. An effective incentive to support this mindset, for example, can be in the form of company outings that promote physical activity away from their homes and the workplace.
Leading by example
Like other workplace initiatives, promoting wellness in the company starts with the people in leadership roles, trickling down to lower-level employees. Leading by example is crucial to showing employees visible reasons to participate in company wellness initiatives and programs. Doing this can also help cultivate better means of communication and interaction throughout an organization, allowing employees to better socialize and network in the workplace.
As leaders, remember that you set the tone at work. To inspire employee participation in these programs, you need to walk the talk and demonstrate to your team that these programs do work.
Reducing stress at work
Even with the shifts in the way we work due to the pandemic, stress levels are present in the workplace — whether at the office or working from home. One factor of workplace wellness that is often overlooked is the mental and emotional wellness of employees. Keep in mind that mental wellness is just as important as physical health, and can often impact the way people approach physical activities, such as workplace tasks. Reducing stress levels at work by improving employee interactions to prevent workplace conflict is a good start to promoting positive emotions. Our previous post on vitality highlights the importance of regular contact with the natural environment to heighten mental energy and help people to feel good.
Ultimately, keeping your employees feeling well and content at work should be a priority, and with a little push from their leaders, good physical health will follow. Great productivity stems from a healthy workforce, and in a post-pandemic world, a health-first approach won’t hurt.