Group of employees in an office sitting on the floor participating in a yoga class.
Practicing yoga in the office can decrease employee burnout, improve turnover rates, help employees relax, and keep their spirits high. — Getty Images/LuckyBusiness

Providing a wellness program can be an excellent way to attract top talent and keep your current employees happy and engaged. If you’re considering a wellness program but aren’t sure where to start, here are 12 options you can consider.

Provide healthy snacks

A 2021 survey reported that globally, 64% of consumers prefer to snack on several smaller meals throughout the day instead of larger ones. That’s why one of the easiest ways to encourage wellness is by providing healthy snack options at the office. That way, your employees won’t be snacking on items loaded with sugar and sodium throughout the day.

Of course, there are dietary and allergy concerns to take into account. One option you can consider is providing snack boxes from a company like SnackPerk. You can sign up for a subscription on the company’s website and choose the types of packages you want to provide, and SnackPerk takes care of the rest.

Implement employee assistance programs

From interns to CEOs, every employee is susceptible to mental health challenges — in fact, over one-quarter of surveyed business and HR leaders reported being extremely or very stressed.

Mental health challenges can impact work performance as employees struggle to get sleep or experience difficulties with substance use disorder. Often, accessing treatment for these challenges can feel out of reach, which is why an employee assistance program can be so beneficial. This program helps employees identify and resolve personal issues by providing referrals and access to short-term counseling.

An employee assistance program is entirely voluntary, so none of your employees have to participate. But if someone decides they could benefit from it, the entire process is confidential.

[Read more: Remote Workers Drive Need to Rethink Employee Benefits]

Create a health and wellness challenge

Creating a wellness challenge can be a great way to encourage employees to adopt healthy habits, and a platform like Wellable makes it easy to get started.

Your employees can use Wellable to track their meals and snacks, log how much sleep they’re getting each night, and count their total steps. They can also use the app to check in at the gym or record their annual flu shot. For each completed activity, your employees earn points that go toward rewards like Amazon gift cards.

Once a quarter, organize a community service activity for your employees with a nonprofit cause you care about.

Provide standing desks

If you’re concerned about your employees’ health and well-being, then providing them with standing desks can be a good option. Using a standing desk can burn calories; lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, and back pain; and increase your metabolism. One study showed that those who use a standing desk at work burn an average of 170 more calories per day than employees who sit.

Of course, some employees may not want to stand at their desks all day. Companies like Varidesk offer adjustable desks so employees can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.

Host a virtual wellness workshop

Many people want to adopt new healthy habits but aren’t sure where to start. That’s why it can be very beneficial to host a virtual wellness workshop for your employees.

When you use a company like Remote Team Wellness, you’ll have access to expert teachers who can teach subjects like emotional intelligence, nutrition, and healthy movement. And employees can participate and enjoy the seminar from the comfort of their own homes.

Offer community service activities

Giving back to the community is one of the best ways to connect with other people and improve your own mental and physical well-being. Once a quarter, organize a community service activity for your employees with a nonprofit cause you care about.

This activity could be something like a community car wash to raise money for a charity or a community cleanup project. Get a sense of the type of volunteer project your employees would find meaningful and put it on the calendar.

Encourage social activities

Social activities, such as group outings, retreats, game nights, happy hours, or coffee meetups, are important for employees to relieve stress and develop bonds with their coworkers. Regularly encouraging meetups, be it virtual or in person, can help employees feel more connected to each other and reduce feelings of stress, loneliness, or isolation in the workplace.

Organizing social events also benefits businesses by fostering better collaboration, creativity, and closer relationships among employees — all of which create a more productive workplace environment.

[Read More: Mental Wellness Benefits That Could Help Employee Retention]

Offer yoga classes

Incorporating self-care practices, such as yoga classes, into the workplace is a great way to demonstrate your concern for employees’ well-being. Yoga is beneficial for your health — it alleviates stress and reduces anxiety. Practicing yoga in the office can decrease employee burnout, improve turnover rates, help employees relax, and keep their spirits high.

When offering in-office yoga classes during the workweek, ensure you have enough space — perhaps by using a break or conference room — to accommodate all employees. Ensure classes are doable for every fitness level so all staff members feel welcomed.

Provide transit incentives

Improve employees’ mental and physical health and encourage environmentally friendly practices by offering transit incentives. These incentives could include providing discounts or prepaid cards to employees who use public transportation, rewarding employees who bike or use a motorless form of transportation to get to work, or reimbursing employees who carpool together.

Larger-scale businesses could offer a shuttle from one building to another or develop widespread programs that allow employees to easily use alternate modes of transportation, such as scooters or bicycles, that are better for the environment — however, ensure you provide storage options for employees’ transportation alternatives.

Offer on-site fitness accommodations

It can be difficult to find time to work out when you’re stuck at the office all day. Therefore, by investing in on-site fitness accommodations for use during working hours — particularly for companies that require their staff to work in person — you encourage employees to use their downtime to improve their health. If space allows, encourage employees to get moving by investing in some exercise equipment, a weight room, a walking track, a pool, or a rock wall. In doing so, employees can return to their desks feeling energized, motivated, and fulfilled, leading to increased productivity and happier employees.

Provide financial education

Financial education is beneficial for every employee, regardless of their position or age. Consider establishing well-rounded classes for employees that focus on everything from retirement planning to budgeting to investing. Doing so can help workers better understand how to manage their money and provide relief to those who are overwhelmed by financial issues in their personal lives.

Implementing these programs can benefit a company, as employees who are less stressed about their financial situation are likely to produce better results, be more productive, and have a better attitude in the workplace.

Offer remote working arrangements

For many employees, getting the job done doesn't require being in the office anymore. Though some employers still insist on working in person, many workers have sought autonomy in the workplace, turning to remote work options.

Remote work provides countless benefits, from a better work-life balance for employees to a decrease in turnover rates for employers and a boost in company morale. By offering remote working options to those whose jobs can be conducted outside of the workplace, employees are less likely to call out sick, be late due to traffic, or miss work due to inclement weather, leading to increased productivity both in their personal lives and the workplace.

[Read More: 7 Health and Wellness Benefits You Can Offer Part-Time Employees]

This story was originally written by Jamie Johnson and updated by Miranda Fraraccio.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners' stories.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Apply for the CO—100!

The CO—100 is an exclusive list of the 100 best and brightest small and mid-sized businesses in America. Enter today to share your story and get recognized.



Published