Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
Ask any CEO about their secrets for business success, and it’s likely that retention of stellar employees ranks high on the list. One way to invest in your team’s happiness is to promote wellness.
Conduct health “wish list” assessments. Create surveys that let employees anonymously share their health “wish list.” Such polls can include questions on topics like nutrition and exercise while also asking how the company can support employees’ health goals. “This is critical to building a wellness program that is tailored to your small business,” Zerner says. “If 60 percent of the employees in your company smoke, for example, then that’s where you put the focus.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Opens in a new tab) provides guidance on designing your own employee health surveys. “The more feedback you receive, the better you can plan your year around the employees’ needs, whether it’s sleep and stress management or healthy cooking and eating,” she adds.
Establish a healthy environment. Consider offering healthy food and beverage choices as a standard part of the workplace environment. “Have water at eye level, keep fresh fruit in a bowl and offer nutritious drinks,” Zerner says. “The key is to offer healthy options and nothing else, because who wouldn’t go for the brownies? We all would.”
Select wellness champions. Sometimes, all it takes is one inspiring, supportive person to positively influence others. “Elect a peer who leads by example,” Zerner suggests. “They are taking their vacations, bringing water to work, and walking with their families after work.” These wellness champions can encourage coworkers, lead programming and promote wellness tips that have gotten results. Their success will motivate the team to participate and stick with it.
Encourage a “stretch start” at every meeting. “Studies show that you get better blood flow to your muscles during stretching, and everyone can do that no matter what age they are or their physical capability,” Zerner says. This gives your team the chance to take a minute and breathe. “Not only will the meeting be more efficient, but you’ve also set the tone that we value your health,” Zerner adds.
Be healthy and “appy.” Many businesses support employees’ healthy aspirations by encouraging them to use mobile apps like MapMyFitness (Opens in a new tab) or MyFitnessPal (Opens in a new tab), and even sponsoring business-wide challenges to measure progress and achieve fitness goals. It’s a fun way to build a culture of workplace wellness!
Reward what matters. When employees take a voluntary 15-minute group walk, incentivize that. “People aren’t always motivated by money,” Zerner says. “Recognition can come in many forms, such as the special parking spot, a free pedometer, a vacation day, a personalized water bottle or a company discount on a new walking shoe.” It’s more about the acknowledgment than the prize.
Once healthy behaviors have been implemented throughout the workplace, the boss’s buy-in is critical. “If employees see you drinking water, talking about health goals, and taking stretch breaks, it signals to them that we’re in this together,” Zerner says.
Want to learn more savvy business strategies? Take a look at our business resource center. And, one of the smartest business decisions you can make is being proactive about protection. Connect with an agent (Opens in a new tab) today to learn about customized coverage for your business.