4 Highly Effective Ways to Create a Sustainable Culture of Wellness
Workplace wellness programs have now been around for a couple of decades in one form or another. Whether it’s simple breathing exercises you can do at your desk or wellness seminars and retreats for the staff, companies are taking note of the extraordinary benefits of the wellness culture. But is your company’s wellness culture sustainable?
Companies with sustainable wellness initiatives have happier and less stressed employees who are more likely to take control of their health. Make health your focus for the long term with these four tips for a sustainable workplace wellness program.
1. Create the right culture.
There’s no one size fits all for wellness programs. What works for another company may not work for the unique needs and personalities of your employees. So instead of following the beaten path, create your own program to complement your company culture. Consider these factors while building your wellness program:
- How much do you want to prioritize the program? For some companies, wellness programs are optional, while other companies incorporate them into the staff’s day to day routine. Decide how much of a focus you’d like to place on employee wellness before you implement the program.
- How can you encourage and motivate your staff? For smaller companies, a daily or weekly team meeting can help keep your staff on track. Larger companies, however, might opt for regular email updates and encouragement. You might also consider a motivational bulletin board in the break room or incentive programs for those participating.
- How will your employees share their progress? If your company has a competitive spirit, you may want to find a way for your employees to track and share their progress. Sign up for social fitness apps or establish a forum where your staff can share their achievements. If you’d like participation to be more anonymous, you can look at your company’s progress towards a wellness initiative as a whole.
- How will the program affect the company? Consider your budget before you commit to a wellness program. Do you have the capabilities to bring in outside speakers or offer discounted gym memberships? If so, you might integrate these motivational tactics into your program. If you have a smaller budget, focus on how a wellness program will affect your company in the long term. You may lose man hours, but the return on your investment can be extraordinary.
- Can you offer on-site amenities? Larger businesses may have the space and the resources to establish an on-site fitness center or offer healthy food options in the cafeteria or break room. If you don’t have the facilities for a full fitness center, you might set aside an office or conference room for yoga or private meditation practices.
2. Develop wellness initiatives.
You want to keep your staff motivated as they progress through your wellness program, and one way of accomplishing this is through incentives and initiatives. Establish a company-wide rewards program, or offer discounted memberships at a local fitness center.
You can also set goals along the way, whether it’s in miles walked or run or pounds lost. If you’re focusing on a blend of mental and physical wellness, you might create a theme each week or month that has initiatives like meditation, stretching, mindfulness or other wellness practices.
3. Focus on atmosphere.
No matter the age of your office, chances are it isn’t optimized towards wellness practices. Does it have harsh overhead lighting? Does it have plenty of plants for improved air quality? How about automated sit-to-stand desks? Have you established the right feng shui for a calming atmosphere?
Bring in a commercial interior design firm to give the place an update, or poll your staff to see which improvements they feel will most impact their comfort.
As you critique your office set-up, also consider how "active" the current design actually is. Proponents of the Active Design movement argue that you can have a major impact on your employees' overall wellness by simply overhauling the physical design of your workplace.
To make your office active, create a floor plan that creates more occasion to get up and move.
For example, instead of giving each employee a printer at his or her desk, use a centralized printer, forcing employees to take a stroll to pick up their documents. Opting for a more open floorplan, rich in communal spaces, can accomplish the same goal as these set-ups naturally encourage employees to move about and collaborate throughout the day.
If your office has rarely-used stairs, take advantage of this pre-installed work-out space. Hang signs encouraging employees to choose the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. This simple choice, when repeated day after day, can make a major difference.
And remember: You don’t simply focus on large-scale change. Implementing small improvements to your office’s atmosphere by keeping it clean and changing the décor to be more visually pleasing. If you can’t make an office-wide change, create a small relaxation room that can be tailored to your staff’s needs.
4. Invest in technology.
Having a fitness center on-site is viewed as a desirable perk—and even getting a discount on a gym membership off-site provides some value to employees. But working out a few times a week isn’t enough to offset all the hours office workers spend sitting each day. Fortunately, tech is changing the way we think about our daily routines.
Most wearable tech has idle alerts that can get your staff moving when they’ve been sitting too long. Additionally, there are smart computer monitors and desks that can alert your employees when their posture is beginning to deteriorate. By investing in this technology, you can increase the productivity, comfort and happiness of your staff in the long run.
Once you establish a sustainable wellness program in your company, you and your staff will begin to see improvements in mood, work performance, and general well-being. Keep your focus on health, and you’ll be able to maintain these healthy practices for years to come.
Would you like to learn more about creating an office environment designed to support a culture of wellness? Dial 844.235.3636 or use this form to send us an email.