Employee Health and Wellness At Work: Ideas For a Happy Team

employees exercising for wellness at work

Do your employee health and wellness programs need a refresh? Perhaps you’re looking to start new ways to promote wellness at work for the first time! Whether it’s breathing new life into antiquated programs or starting from scratch, there’s no doubt that prioritizing health and wellness programs for employee members improves company culture and overall productivity.

Today, we’re looking at the benefits of employee health and wellness programs as well as ways to promote wellness at work. Consider these ideas to make for a happy team and a more productive company.

What Are Employee Health and Wellness Programs?

Before we dive into different employee health and wellness ideas, what exactly are these programs? Employee health and wellness programs are initiatives implemented by companies to support and promote the well-being of their employees. On first inspection, you may think these programs focus solely on physical and mental health aspects. However, in today’s world, there has been a significant shift to include a more holistic approach to wellness at work.

Recognizing that overall well-being encompasses multiple aspects of life in and out of the workplace, today’s ideas for promoting wellness at work include financial, social, emotional, physical, occupational, environmental, and mental health. These expanded programs often include activities such as financial information workshops, stress management programs and equipment, social events, flexible work arrangements, and more. Initiatives to encourage wellness at work also support a favorable work-life balance for employees.

Benefits of Employee Health and Wellness Programs

Promoting wellness at work isn’t just something that impacts workers while they’re doing their jobs, however it can have a noticeable positive effect on both the employees and the company as a whole.

Employee Benefits of Wellness Programs

For workers, these employee health and wellness programs promote better physical and mental health, leading to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. The expanded scope of consideration for today’s programs for wellness at work may also improve overall life situations in terms of financial, social, and emotional health.

The programs enhance employee satisfaction, engagement, and overall quality of life. Additionally, employee health and wellness ideas help workers develop healthy habits, manage stress, and improve work-life balance. All of this comes together for a happy team and a positive company culture.

Company Benefits of Wellness Programs

For the company, investing in programs to promote wellness at work can result in lower healthcare costs, decreased turnover rates, and increased employee retention. This will also attract higher-quality talent for future hires. Furthermore, these programs contribute to a positive company culture by demonstrating a genuine commitment to employee well-being.

Health and wellness programs for employee members facilitate a supportive and inclusive work environment, boost morale, and enhance employee loyalty and commitment. Ultimately, employee health and wellness programs create a win-win situation, benefiting both employees and the company by promoting overall well-being and contributing to a positive and productive work environment.

Ways to Promote Wellness at Work

There are many options for promoting employee health and wellness at work. To help you get started, we’ve curated a selection of ideas to consider. These employee health and wellness ideas cover a well-rounded approach to workers’ well-being and may yield incredible results for them and the company as a whole.

Some effective ways to promote wellness at work include:

  • Team building games
  • Employee health challenges
  • Alternative meeting styles (such as walking meetings)
  • Offering mental health resources
  • Creating a relaxing employee break area
  • In-office gym area for employees
  • Birthdays off for boosted morale
  • Employee recognition initiatives

1. Team Building Games

A fun and engaging way to promote wellness at work is with organized team-building activities or games that encourage collaboration, communication, and build positive relationships between employees. These activities can range from outdoor sports events to interactive indoor games. There’s no set curriculum. In fact, for smaller teams, it may be beneficial to include the employees in the planning so you’re setting up an event they’re more excited to participate in.

Having these programs consistently throughout the year keeps up their effects and is a great way to stay connected to employees. Some companies opt to do these events monthly, while others prefer quarterly. Whichever you decide, it will have a  positive impact on your business.

2. Employee Health Challenges

Launch health challenges to motivate employees to engage in healthy behaviors and achieve specific wellness goals. Oftentimes people enjoy coming up with spring wellness challenge ideas to take advantage of the better weather and shake off the colder, dreary winter months. 

Examples of different challenges you might suggest as part of employee health and wellness programs include step challenges, fitness competitions, or nutrition programs. Make sure they’re not compulsory, but invite everyone to attend. Creating a bit of competition keeps the challenges fun and encourages support between employees.

3. Alternative Meeting Styles

Another method to promote wellness at work that employees may appreciate is to break the monotony of traditional meetings and embrace alternative meeting styles. Instead of another hour-long meeting in a boardroom, consider doing a walking meeting where employees are able to get up and about while discussing the subject at hand.

This approach to wellness at work promotes physical activity, getting fresh air, and shakes things up a little, which could lead to increased creativity and productivity.

4. Mental Health Resources

Just because the parameters of employee health and wellness programs have expanded doesn't mean there isn’t still a focus on physical and mental well-being. Support mental health improvements at work by offering resources such as mental health counseling, stress management workshops, or mindfulness training.

This empowers employees to address and manage their mental well-being effectively at work and beyond, promoting better overall health and work-life balance. 

5. Creating an Employee Break Area

Not all employee health and wellness programs are single-event activities. Sometimes the best way to promote wellness at work is to consider what your employees need and provide it. One of the ways to do this is to create a dedicated space within the workplace for employees to relax and rejuvenate. Outfit the area with comfortable seating options like zero gravity chairs, calming decor, and calming natural elements like plants.

Zero gravity chairs elevate the reclining experience, providing a wide array of potential health benefits ranging from better circulation and faster bodily healing to mental health improvements and stress reduction. Additional features found on luxury zero gravity chairs for your employee lounge may include heat therapy and massage functions. These come together to enhance the overall relaxation experience and show employees you care for their well-being.

6. In-Office Gym Area for Employees

To look after physical health, you might consider adding an in-office gym area to improve employee health and wellness at work. Equip the area with a well-rounded supply of home gym equipment and ensure you have safety and instruction manuals available for those new to working out.

An in-office gym promotes regular physical activity, boosts energy levels, and contributes to employees' overall health and well-being. It is also a way to potentially cut down on missed days of work due to sickness and increase company productivity.

7. Birthdays Off for Boosted Morale

Nobody likes to work on their birthday. Consider giving employees a day off on their birthdays as a special perk. This simple act shows appreciation for employees and fosters a positive work environment. It allows them to relax, celebrate, and enjoy their special day, enhancing overall morale and job satisfaction.

Note: To keep things fair for all employees, provide an alternative day off for those whose birthdays fall on their normal off days to allow them to still benefit from this program.

8. Remote or Hybrid Work

If recent years have shown anything, it’s that employees enjoy the ability to work from home at least part of the time. It has also been shown time and again to have positive overall effects on overall productivity and employee satisfaction. As part of your employee health and wellness programs, incorporate flexible work options such as remote work or hybrid work models.

These options allow employees to achieve better work-life balance, reduce stress from commuting, and increase their productivity. Remote or hybrid work arrangements support employees' overall well-being by providing more flexibility and autonomy.

Bonus: Discover how to stay motivated working from home with a few tips and habits to incorporate into your work days!

9. Employee Recognition Initiatives

Last, but not least, as we discuss ideas for promoting employee health and wellness at work, consider starting recognition programs to acknowledge and celebrate employees' achievements and contributions. This can include regular awards, employee appreciation events, or a peer-to-peer recognition system. Recognizing and valuing employees' efforts facilitates a positive and motivating company culture.

There are many ways to create new employee health and wellness programs at work that will have a positive impact on workers and the company as a whole. Use the ideas we’ve provided and consider what your employees need to foster better wellness at work. Remember that employee wellness doesn’t end when they step out the door, so consider ideas that will better their lives as a whole such as financial literacy programs and choosing zero gravity chairs for relaxation stations. They’ll appreciate the efforts made and it will contribute towards a positive company culture.

Learn More: Companies aren’t built on employee health and wellness alone. Learn about the importance of self-care for business owners next.