Wellness is that quality that gives us the sense that everything is under control, which in turn allows us to focus fully on what we are doing without distraction from stress, disease, or conflict. We all know instituting a workplace wellness program improves the health of employees, decreases employee absenteeism and thus saves the company money. But how do you implement such a thing and how much money is the company going to have to spend to get it off the ground? Most wellness resources tell you that the success of a workplace wellness initiative is based on 3 to 5 basic elements and the strategy resulting from those key steps.
1. Support from senior management – this means owners, managers and team leaders need to be on board with the plan.
2. Create a Vision – should have both management and employee involvement in determining the goals of the wellness initiative. Example: improved general health, well–being & attitude, reduced turnover and competitive advantage in your industry.
3. Select your wellness Representatives – depending on the size and culture of your environment select a committee or team to promote, support and administer the program.
4. Engage Employees – find out what topics are of most interest, determine how information would best be distributed and who will participate.
5. Manage the program – get started and determine how best to keep the plan going, how well it’s being received, continue to review the success of the program and whether it is meeting the goals of the initiative.
Now that we’ve established the ideas you can use to create the initiative, let’s discuss what kind of wellness promotions can be implemented with little or no cost involved.
Encourage Healthy Eating
- Provide healthy alternatives for snacks in the office kitchen by bringing in apples, oranges and bananas to supplement or replace the vending machines. This cost can be supported by employees or shared between management.
- Start a healthy recipe cookbook file on your companies shared drives.
Promote Active Living
- Encourage employees to walk to a team member’s office instead of calling or messaging with a question.
- Allow flexible working hours to provide time for interested employees to walk, run or climb stairs during or before their work day.
Provide Resources & Education
- Get a subscription to a health magazine to keep in the break area or encourage employees to share the magazines and books they receive at home.
- Have wellness reps send out weekly hints & tips to healthy lifestyles from free wellness newsletters and brochures.
Promoting wellness in your workplace can be as simple and inexpensive as you need it to be. The best part is that it can grow and develop as your company sees “fit”.