Employees are your organization’s most valuable asset, but they can only get work done if they’re healthy and happy. This fact means it’s critical to invest in their skills and wellbeing.
From a practical standpoint, creating an employee experience that prioritizes mental and physical health reduces high turnover costs. The happier and well-compensated employees are, the longer they’ll want to stay. The longer they stay, the more their skills develop, and the more they’re able to contribute to your company. From a moral standpoint, taking care of your employees is something you need to do.
But what can you do to make sure your employees’ experiences in the workplace are positive? One of the best ways is to make it easy for each worker to live a healthy lifestyle. Read on for our advice, including effective employee engagement strategies that make workers feel valued and help them live healthy lives inside and outside of work.
1. Check-In With Employees Regularly
Check-in with your employees to make sure they’re doing well mentally. Are they overstressed? Do they feel overworked? Asking these questions communicates how much you care about your employees as people, and it lets them know that you appreciate the work they do. Engaged employees like this are more invested in a company’s success.
Plus, checking in one-on-one builds a connected and open-minded company culture where people feel comfortable talking about important subjects that are traditionally taboo in order to appear resilient.
2. Reduce Sources of Stress at Work
Identify pain points in your team’s operations that cause undue stress. It might be a mentally taxing relationship between two employees that you could mediate or an issue with your communication system that interrupts workflow.
You’re in a position to make a difference, so use available tools to make life easier for everyone. In the case of less-than-perfect communication, take advantage of digital workspaces like Slack that make getting in touch with people simple. You can also use digital signage to relay messages to your employees that they won’t miss and integrate health and safety apps to communicate relevant reminders.
3. Cater Healthy Lunches
Your employees are busy people and may not have time to pack nutritious lunches. Well-nourished employees have more energy to engage and create better work, so consider catering healthy lunches that everyone can partake in. It’s a time of day everyone will look forward to.
4. Offer Gym Memberships and Wellness Activities
Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many people struggle to find time for exercise or a place to do it.
Give your employees enough time in the afternoon to hit the gym and provide a membership as part of their benefits package if there isn’t one on site. Offering wellness activities, like yoga, is another excellent option. Providing people opportunities to workout encourages them to exercise and keeps their bodies and minds in top shape.
5. Provide Robust Health Benefits
One of the best things you can do to ensure your employees live a healthy lifestyle is to provide robust health benefits. Expensive doctor visits deter many people from taking care of potentially dangerous medical problems, but they are more likely to obtain necessary medication and treatment if they don’t fear high out-of-pocket costs.
A study from Glassdoor found that health insurance is the most important benefit to employee satisfaction. If you want to optimize employee retention and help them recover from illnesses quickly, make sure they can afford to do so.
6. Promote Mental Health Resources
We’ve established that mental health is just as important as physical, but it’s rare to talk about mental health in the workplace. Employees who lead well-balanced lives, however, are able to produce better work and are generally happier. You are in a position to change the culture surrounding mental health in your company, so provide and promote mental health resources, such as therapy, so your workers are more well-adjusted and confident in their abilities.
7. Allow Lots of Flexibility & PTO
People live healthier lifestyles when they have more space to. Optimize your company’s employee experience by allowing plenty of flexibility and PTO, so people have time to devote to their loved ones and hobbies. Not only is this practice beneficial for employee retention, but it’s also advantageous for productivity: Harvard Business Review even made a case for a six-hour workday because a sense of urgency forces teams to prioritize and waste less time on-the-job. Don’t ask employees to choose between life and work when they conflict.
8. Optimize Your Workplace for Healthy Living
Something else you have power over is your physical workspace. If your employees aren’t remote, then make sure your office, building, or other space is well-ventilated, well-lit, prohibits smoking, and has green spaces for workers to retreat to. A workspace people look forward to going to every day is one that inspires productivity, creativity, and company loyalty.
People want to live healthy lifestyles but often don’t know how or don’t have the right opportunities. As an employer, you can, and should, optimize your company’s employee experience by prioritizing wellness. Everyone will reap the benefits, including your organization as a whole.