Corporate health and wellness is an investment in a company’s future – and one that’s worth making. Sick days and days where employees are less productive than they could be cost a business money. Healthy employees are happier and more productive and miss fewer days from work due to poor health and stress-related issues.
Keeping employees healthy is a way to lower business costs and take a proactive approach to employee health. Need some ideas for corporate health and wellness programs? Here are some ways to keep your employees in ship shape while boosting employee productivity.
Tackle obesity at the corporate level
With the rate of obesity skyrocketing, helping employees shed extra weight should be a priority. Obesity increases the risk of chronic health problems like heart disease, type 2-diabetes and some types of cancer. It also increases the risk for shorter term health problems like gall bladder disease. Here are some ways to motivate employees to change their eating habits and be more active so they can get down to a healthier body weight.
Make arrangements with a local gym to give employees a discount on membership. Have a trainer from the gym come in and talk about the role exercise plays in weight control and overall health.
Sponsor a 5 km walk/run on a weekend and give prizes to employees that complete the route the fastest. Encourage employees to train for the event ahead of time. Give everyone something for participating, and end the event with a picnic.
Arrange for a local nutritionist to come in and give a series of talks on how to cook and eat healthy.
Give each employee a pedometer to wear to record the number of steps they walk each week. Hold contests to see who can log the most steps weekly.
Publish an employee wellness newsletter where you offer tips and ideas for staying active. Include low-calorie recipes. Invite employees to share their own healthy recipes and eating tips in the newsletter.
Corporate health: Ways to help employees reduce stress
Stress not only makes it more challenging for employees to do their job, it also reduces resistance to colds and flu – and that means more days missed from work. Here are some ways to help employees reduce their stress level.
Sponsor a workshop where experts demonstrate stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.
Set up a library with books and audiotapes on stress reduction techniques that employees can access during their breaks and lunch hour.
Contract with a massage therapist who can come in once a week to give 10-minute chair massages to employees.
Offer flextime and job-sharing programs for employees that are dealing with stressful issues at home.
Other corporate health ideas
Offer health checks to help employees monitor their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar level. This helps employees be more proactive with their health and identifies health problems early. You can also sponsor hearing and visual screenings.
Offer an ergonomics course. Employees that work in front of a monitor all day are predisposed to back and neck pain. Help them make the changes they need to prevent aches and pains.
Sponsor a program to help employees quit smoking. Smoking increases the risk of a number of chronic health problems. Give employees the support, knowledge and motivation they need to quit.
Offer flu shots to protect your employees from this common cause of missed work time.
The bottom line
Corporate health programs require planning, but they ultimately save money while protecting a company’s most valuable asset – their employees.