12-11-2017 10:00 AM | Aastha Dogra
Wellness programs increase the morale of the employees.
There are no two ways to the fact that if an employee is healthy, he will be happier and much more productive. As we all know health is wealth, it is the right time to introduce a wellness program in your office.
Whatever happens in an employee’s life, be it his health, marriage, financial condition or stress, it affects his work. That’s why taking care of an employee’s physical and mental health should be a top priority of the management. Moreover, hiring and training new employees wastes a lot of time and resources. If the employees feel taken care of, they feel bonded with the organization. They remain loyal and seldom leave. Loyal employees are more committed and thus, can contribute a lot to the company’s success. A Wellness Program can prove to be highly beneficial to the organization in the long run.
Introducing Wellness in your Office
Each one of us spends at least eight to nine hours in the office every day. If we imbibe healthy eating and living habits in our office hours, in no time the habits will become a part of our daily routine. In addition to this, it is generally seen that people feel motivated to make lifestyle changes if they have company or they have the challenge to step up to. A well-designed Wellness Program provides all these opportunities to the employees.
Introduce a fitness challenge every week. Start with small goals like walking fifteen minutes in the morning before coming to office. Increase the duration every week. You may ask employees to exchange selfies taken while walking with each other to keep them motivated.
Another idea is to have a “Take the stairs, ditch the elevator” week once in three months. You can even have a “Weight-loss challenge”, on the lines of the TV show “Biggest Loser”. Don’t force all employees to participate in this. Only those who are willing should register. At the end of three months, whoever loses the maximum weight is rewarded. Prizes and appreciation make the wellness challenges competitive and fun.
Stock the office canteen with healthy snacks and foods. Make healthier food choices accessible and a bit cheaper for your employees. For instance, keep coconut juice and lassi handy in the canteen and that too at reasonable price so that the employees avoid soft drinks. Keep cut fruits and salads as snacks instead of biscuits, namkeens and the usual fried fare. You can even introduce a healthy lunch day. On that day, employees are asked to eat only fruits, salads and other low-calorie foods for lunch.
Encourage the employees to participate in marathons, join a gym, yoga classes, dance classes or any other fitness activity of their choice. Reimburse some percentage of the fees to encourage the employee. If you are having a weight-loss challenge, award the winner with wellness allowance by partly contributing financially to his food and exercise regimen.
Wellness in Kind
Mental wellness is equally important. Encourage employees to do kind things for each other. Organize a “Make a co-worker happy” week. During this week, employees write thank you notes to one another. They help each other in every possible way and appreciate acts of kindness done by others. Organize a “Happy Hour” at the end of the week, wherein employees narrate acts of kindness done by their colleagues.
Select a wellness team who is responsible for this entire Wellness Program. Besides organizing activities, they research and give a lecture once a month on foods providing nutrition, easy to make healthy food recipes, etc. The team should send weekly emails to employees, listing tips on healthy eating.
Conduct guest lectures and demonstrations for the employees. For instance, call a local health store manager as a guest to give a lecture on the health foods they have and their benefits. Arrange a cooking class by a renowned chef on healthy eating. Call insurance companies to advertise their health policies so that employees can take an informed decision for themselves as well as their families.
Keep on improvising the program. Don’t conduct so many activities that the employees feel overwhelmed. They should enjoy the whole program. It should not in any way add to their stress, otherwise, the entire idea behind the program is lost. Keep a suggestion box and take ideas from employees on a regular basis.
Ensure that all wellness activities are conducted during the office hours so that everyone participates. Make it so much fun that employees feel their work stress melting away and they look forward to be a part of this program.
Wellness programs increase the morale of the employees and build camaraderie.