5 Employee Wellness Programs Your Business Can Easily Adopt
Employee wellness programs are popular. Nine out of 10 employers offer at least one wellness benefit, and businesses that provide them find their employees experience better overall health and increased productivity on the job.
Despite their popularity, it is important to note that wellness programs can also be expensive and potentially complicated to implement. According to the National Business Group on Health, large employers spend an average of $3.6 million annually on wellness programs, an average cost of $762 per employee.
The Wellness Council of American recommends companies spend $100-$150 per employee to promote wellness and another $300 per worker if leadership wants to add incentives and health coaching. Costs like these can present an obstacle, especially for small businesses.
Since not every business has the budget and an HR office to implement a wellness program, there are plenty of alternative options. Here are five alternative wellness programs for the workplace.
1. Create a Stress-Free Zone
Wellness programs can help employees deal with stress. Creating a designated area where workers can “de-stress” is an easy way to enhance employee wellness. This could be a private space for meditation, stretching, or listening to soothing music.
One alternative is to create called a stress circle. Employees can show up and discuss relevant topics whether in their personal lives, as part of an Employee Resource Group, or a specific workplace issue. It’s best to establish ground rules, but people should be encouraged to speak freely without being judged. After someone speaks, the rest of the group can weigh in with their own experiences.
2. Community Service
When people think of wellness programs, they often think of fitness. But helping others and making a difference in the community can also make people feel good about themselves. Setting up a community service day or an ongoing volunteer program is an excellent way to launch or enhance a wellness program.
There are multiple options to creating a day of service in your community. You can provide employees time off to participate or your team can schedule optional time on a weekend. You can also let your employees decide if they would rather help one program throughout the year or switch between charities. No matter what you choose, community service is an excellent team-building exercise with benefits that extend outside the office.
3. Nap Time
Napping is proven to allow employees recharge and be more productive. A 30-minute nap can also reduce stress and strengthen memories, among several benefits. With the sleep deficit many Americans state they deal with, napping may be the perfect addition to your employee wellness program.
This idea may seem strange at first, but approximately 34% of companies, including Facebook and Zappos, allow employees to nap after lunch.
4. Walking Programs
Living a healthier lifestyle and exercise is a major component of wellness programs. Set up a walking or jogging program to create a healthy culture at your company. If you have your own building, you can set up a course inside or out. Even if you lease your office space, you can easily map an area where employees can walk safely.
You can also make it fun and competitive for your employees by having them track their mileage or steps as they get fit. Set up a fitness challenge to get people interested.
5. Healthy Eating
Fast food is a tempting lunchtime meal for many employees because it’s quick and convenient. Offering healthy snacks and meal options for your workers is a great way to start or improve your employee wellness program.
Whether you do it every day or once a week, providing healthy meals for your employees allows both physical and emotional benefits. If everyone eats healthy food together, it provides an excellent opportunity for improved health and social interaction.
Easy Employee Wellness Programs
Employee wellness programs don’t need to be expensive and complicated to be effective. Community service and lunchtime walks are easy to set up and affordable. So, if you need ideas for your company’s wellness program, try one of the suggestions listed above. You might be surprised at how unifying it is for your employees and how easy it is to implement.