When you embark on an effort to improve the health of your workplace, you face the challenge of finding ways to implement wellness initiatives that are both practical in the workplace and attractive enough to your employees to get them involved. Finding ways to promote good health that aren't disruptive and don't come across as lecturing your employees about healthy habits can be a delicate balancing act, but it can be done. Take a look at a few wellness ideas that will work in your workplace.
Make Healthy Food Available and Appealing
Who could resist this inviting spread in the break room?
Let's face it - workplace eating habits are not always the best. It's way too easy to order in pizza or Chinese food, or to hit the junk-filled snack machines in the break room when you're in a hurry. Make it just as easy to grab something healthy by filling the break room fridge and pantry with bottled water, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, granola, and other healthy munchies.
Worried about the cost of providing free healthy food to a building full of hungry workers? There are ways to make it more affordable. Buy in bulk and let employees pay the wholesale price for the snacks they eat - that way, a bottle of water from the break room fridge will be significantly more affordable than a 20-ounce bottle of soda from the machine. You can also start an on-site garden and have interested employees take turns tending it during their breaks. Seeds are far less expensive than produce, and it's not hard to grow things like lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and carrots. That way, your employees will always have the components of a salad on hand.
Have Fun Getting Physical
Paintball is a fun and physical way for coworkers to connect.
Nobody wants to come to work and do calisthenics on top of their regular work duties. If you want to encourage employees to move more, it's not enough to just tell them they should, and it's certainly not enough to suggest that they do lunges or sit-ups. You need to make it fun or offer them something they aren't getting elsewhere, so that they want to participate.
Consider organizing a weekend paintball tournament - it's part exercise, part team-building activity. Organize a softball or kickball team and get together with another local business for a weekly game. Bring in a professional trainer to give expert tips and pointers on an individual basis so that employees can work on their own with health advice that meets their personal needs.
Get Involved in Charity Challenges
There is a reason why charity challenges are all the rage - most people really want to find accessible ways to do something good for their community or a cause that they care about. Instead of posting a status on their social media pages or making videos of themselves dumping ice on their heads, get your employees involved in walks or marathons for causes that your company and your employees support.
You can even create your own challenges. Issue pedometers to your employees, and offer to donate money to a cause if they clock over a certain amount of steps, collectively, within a month. These kinds of collective challenges are fun, because they allow everyone to participate at their own level. If one employee can only walk an additional 500 steps in a month and another employee walks 5000 steps more than usual, they've still both made contributions to the collective effort.
Finding ways to encourage your employees to get fit can be tricky, but when you do it right, you can have a big impact. Your employees spend a large chunk of their waking hours at work, and workplace attitudes toward fitness can have great influence on their lives. To find out more about making your workplace a healthier place, contact us.
[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 8, 2016 2:00:00 PM / by Mike Rucker
Written by Mike Rucker
Michael Rucker’s passion is to help organizations positively develop the well-being of their employees. When Mike is not hard at work helping businesses improve their workplace wellness program, you can find him blogging about the topic of corporate wellness and digital health for Active Wellness, his personal blog and for About Health.