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How Company Leaders Can Empower Employees to Prioritize Wellness in the Workplace

It’s been proven that healthy employees perform their jobs better. When employee wellness is taken care of, workers can spend more of their time and energy on their performance. This is why, as an employer, it’s in your best interest to prioritize and encourage wellness practices in the workplace. Wellness encompasses several areas, including physical health, mental health, social fulfillment, and more. Both remote and in-person companies can create an atmosphere of wellness for their employees through incentives, minor policy changes, and open communication. 

The Five Elements of Employee Wellbeing

Wellbeing is a concept that represents several aspects of healthy living. These aspects are typically categorized as: 

  1. Physical: This includes maintaining physical health through things like diet, exercise, and proper hygiene habits. 
  2. Mental: Mental health has a huge effect on physical health, meaning it’s important to maintain it through proper work/life balance, relaxation, and self-care.
  3. Social: This refers to the ability for someone to feel socially stimulated and fulfilled. Making time for friends, family, and forming connections at work can be ways of cultivating social wellness. 
  4. Financial: Financial stability contributes to many aspects of overall health. Financial stability refers to your ability to live comfortably, without worrying about being able to afford basic needs like food, rent, or medical care. 
  5. Community: This refers to feeling a sense of belonging and meaningful contribution to your community. For example, feeling as though you belong in your workplace can promote feelings of wellness. 

How to Promote Wellness in the Workplace

There are some simple ways that you can promote wellness practices in the workplace for your employees. Simply communicating upfront and often to your employees that you care about their wellness is a great first start to reducing work-related stress. Below are other ways you can further incentivize and encourage an atmosphere of wellness in the workplace. 

Incorporate Wellness Into Your Company Mission

Companies that value wellness and employee experiences are becoming very attractive to the new generation of professionals. By incorporating employee wellness into your company mission, you can improve your hiring process by attracting more competitive candidates. Making wellness a part of your company’s mission also benefits long-term employees, as it’s been shown to increase productivity as well as job satisfaction. 

Support Your Employees With Healthy Opportunities

Incorporating health-oriented opportunities into your company culture is a great way to incentivize employees to look after their health. This is also another way to communicate that employee wellness is a company priority. Some healthy opportunities your company can support can include:

  • Fitness challenges; 
  • Scheduled potlucks;
  • Charity work;
  • Group meditation;
  • Gym reimbursements or compensated memberships. 

These are just a few options that you could do, both as an in-person and remote company. Another way that you can show your employees you prioritize their wellness is to offer special services in times of crisis, such as offering COVID testing

Check-In on Your Team to Show You Care

Checking in on your employees can take many different forms, and each has its benefits. For example, offering on-site drug and alcohol testing, rather than offsite, can be more convenient for employees, and make it easy for them to quickly complete any necessary screening. Additionally, offering clinical testing as part of an annual checkup or wellness program can make it easy for staff to keep up with their health without having to take time away from work for a doctor’s appointment. Keeping any results private is another way to care for and respect your employees. If you’re working remotely, scheduling time to check in on both work and personal matters is incredibly important. This can foster better relationships between management and employees, and make employees feel heard and valued. 

Offer a Positive Life/Work Balance

As a manager or company leader, there are ways you can set your expectations to foster a good work/life balance. Some ways that you can do this include:

  • Encouraging employees to use paid time off;
  • Discouraging working weekends and other off-hours;
  • Being flexible with deadlines where possible;
  • Including paid breaks as part of employee contracts. 

Encouraging a good work/life balance can be particularly hard if you’re running a remote company, where the lines between work life and home life can be less clear. Offering your employees resources of what healthy remote work/life balance looks like, and checking in can be a good place to start. 

Set a Good Example

Leading by example is a powerful way to improve employee buy-in on wellness programs. Participating in health opportunities like fitness challenges, setting firm working hours, and being active and engaged with employees are all ways to model wellness behaviors. This will not only benefit your employees but yourself. 

Communicate With Employees

Communication is crucial for both remote and in-person workplaces. Communication is how you connect with your employees, find out their current satisfaction with wellness initiatives, and get new ideas for future programs or incentives.

Taking employee feedback and implementing it is another way to care for employee wellness, as it can make them feel valued and heard. Scheduling group and one-on-one meetings are important so that everyone feels as though they have a chance to express their feelings. 

Prioritizing employee wellness isn’t just beneficial for production outcomes. It can create a positive working culture that can make employees feel valued and satisfied with their job. These feelings can encourage people to perform better, attract higher quality candidates for open positions, and improve employee loyalty. Instituting wellness programs for in-person and remote companies is as easy as starting a new routine or opening a line of communication.