The migration from a nice perk concept to a must-have employee wellness program has been widely discussed and followed in recent years. Not surprisingly, there isn’t an option left but to make appropriate investments when it comes to planning, designing and implementing wellness initiatives in order to retain your key performers and attract top talent to join your organization. In the constant battle of turnover with employee disengagement and employee health with retention, wellness programs have now expanded to encompass what employee exactly need and value the most. However, there are still many organizations where due to lack of budget or perhaps owing to limited resources, employees are deprived of many wellness initiatives. For such companies, here’s a list of some fundamental and equally beneficial ideas that can be implemented with a zero financial investment from employer’s side.
1. Walking meetings
Being seated for minimum eight hours a day is the story for most of us. If you find yourself distracted by your own energy at certain times, a small walk around the office may release just enough of it to allow you to concentrate again. When your legs or hips feel uncomfortable, it’s time to stand up. The general consensus is that you should alternate standing and sitting at roughly 30- to 60-minute intervals. In fact the concept of Walking Meetings too has originated because of this wherein a meeting happens during a walk instead of in a closed cubicle or boardroom. Such meetings increases creative thinking and are more productive than the traditional ones. Post reminders, create posters and keep sensitizing on the benefits of walking meetings. This is one of the most helpful and least expensive health promotion ideas you can try ever. Restrict only highly sensitive and confidential agendas to boardroom meetings.
Consuming healthy snacks has become a rare phenomenon as people love to thrive on junk food. The idea of eating fruits or healthy snacks every day gets monotonous, tedious and boring for a lot of people. This causes employees to stick to unhealthy eating habits while snacking. Therefore, by being inventive you can try adding more variety to the healthy eating choices in your workplace by starting a “Snackathon”. This is a self coined word derived from the concept of Hackathon. Employees need to participate in it wherein a tracker can be maintained on the frequency and the quantity of healthy snacks consumption during breaks at workplaces.
3. New hire exploration exercise
Familiarity with office premises and surroundings is important to making new hires feel comfortable and happy. This includes the area outside of the office, not just inside. Highlight the importance of wellness from the beginning of the Induction program and develop creative challenges which entail more of walking and moving when it comes to familiarity with new office. Have the participants group into teams and go to specific locations nearby that have some meaning to the company's culture. Gamify the new hire exploration process and instill good habits from the very beginning.
4. Start a healthy recipe exchange and potluck lunch program
Special events are always welcomed by employees specially anything that distracts them from the daily grind of their everyday jobs. Take this opportunity to integrate a few special events that will make them healthier. Arrange a potluck lunch where employees are divided into teams. Participating employees have to cook healthy party-sized meal and bring it for other team members. Employees can even submit a healthy recipe booklet post the program that can be circulated to all employees. This makes it fun and exciting for the employees while giving them an incentive to eat healthily.
5. The stair challenge
So, what you’ll want to do is train your workforce on how to use stairs instead of elevators. Of course, you don’t want to pressurize employees when there are immediate deliverables to be met or if some employees have a physical limitation. The best way to instill the cause is to arrange a challenge centered around it for a month. The winner at the end of the month will get a day off as an incentive. You don’t even have to emphasize the health value of using stairs that much as it’s quite ingrained. Just attach non cash rewards and encourage by creating success stories based on this challenge.
Consider these steps as a foundation to a new beginning. Irrespective of how much an employer’s pocket can allow these creative health campaigns can bring a lot of credibility. It is never how much an organization can spend for employee wellness programs. It is how you inculcate the concept of living and creating a better life for your employees. You just need to brand, communicate and implementation these simple and useful strategies righteously.
Know more about employee wellness at the upcoming People Matters Total Rewards & Wellness Conclave 2019 on 16th January 2019 in New Delhi. Register here.