Most people are familiar with the concept of wellness. In a general sense, it’s the act of habitually practicing healthy behaviors to support one’s greater well-being. But did you know it has a special meaning in the working world?
Employee wellness is a term used to describe the proactive promotion of health and fitness in the workplace. It’s a holistic approach that considers both physical and mental well-being.
In recent years, it’s been formally celebrated through what’s dubbed ’employee wellness month’ – a chance for professionals and employers alike to emphasize the value of health in the workplace.
While some people aim to pass employee wellness off as a pointless, feel-good measure, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a cause worth acknowledging – both for employers and employees.
Here are just a few:
When people are physically and mentally healthy, they can work at their best. They’re more focused, have more energy, and take fewer sick days.
When an employer shows they care about their employees’ well-being, it fosters a positive working environment and increases job satisfaction.
When employees are healthy, it cuts down on health insurance costs and increases productivity.
Companies with solid employee wellness programs attract and keep the best talent.
When people feel good at work, it spills over into other areas of their life. A focus on employee wellness can lead to healthier families and communities.
There are many ways to promote employee wellness in the workplace. And while their effectiveness may vary based on the context they’re used in; each is worth considering.
One of the most direct ways to promote employee wellness is to offer health insurance benefits that lower the cost of preventive care, screenings, and vaccinations. It enables staff to take proactive measures to stay healthy rather than waiting until they’re sick to seek medical attention. If you are a small business looking for affordable options for your team, check out Honeycomb Clinic’s self-pay programs. Also, encourage employees to take “wellness days” for doctor’s appointments. Your team must understand that sick days are not only for illness.
Physical activity is crucial for both physical and mental health. Employers can support employees in this area by providing on-site gyms, fitness classes, or stipends for gym memberships. They can also create friendly competitions and offer rewards for employees who meet fitness goals. Join fitness classes on Saturdays at Honeycomb Clinic or check out our monthly walk with a doc program.
Healthy eating habits are another critical component of employee wellness. And there are several ways employers can encourage them, such as offering healthy food options in the workplace, hosting cooking classes, or giving employees access to nutritionists. For smaller teams, consider a group meal prep option that can be delivered to the office.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s an essential facet of overall well-being. Employers can help their staff lead happier, more fulfilling lives by supporting it.
There are many ways to do this, such as offering mental health benefits, promoting stress-relieving activities, and providing access to counselors or therapists. Encourage daily meditation moments at work where employees unplug for 10 minutes a day. The Calm App is a great meditation tool. Also, consider having a list of in-network therapists and psychiatrists available for your team and posted in a visible area.
Employee wellness is only possible if employees have the knowledge needed to make healthy choices. That’s why employers should invest in employee education, whether it’s through books, blog posts, articles, or in-person seminars. Honeycomb Clinic is the only clinic in the Houston area with a full kitchen in the waiting room dedicated to nutrition education. Join us for classes on diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol nutrition tips.
When employees have a healthy work-life balance, they’re more likely to be productive, engaged, and happy. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. That’s why employers should do what they can to encourage it, such as being understanding of personal commitments, offering flexible work arrangements, and discouraging employees from working excessive hours. California is one of the first states to consider a four-day workweek, but you do not need a law to change a schedule that promotes work-life balance. Survey your employee to find out if they feel stressed or overwhelmed by your current plan.
Proper sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. And while it may seem unrelated to the workplace, employers can do a lot to promote it. For example, they can discourage employees from working late hours, provide them with comfortable places to take naps during breaks, and encourage them to use their vacation days. Consider awarding a prize to employees who can document they are sleeping the recommended 8 hours per night.
As can be seen, there are tons of ways employee health, both physical and mental, can be propagated in the professional world. And while some methods may work better than others, the most important thing is that employers make a concerted effort to invest in the wellness of their staff. When this happens, everyone wins. If you need help creating a customized wellness plan for your team Honeycomb Clinic can help. Our slogan is “Happy Doctors, Healthy Patients.” We measure our success on the well-being of our doctors and the health outcomes of our patients. To learn more, visit us at www.thehoneycombclinic.com.