Adding wellness to the way you do business can increase employee engagement and productivity. Wellness is a way for people to bring their “whole selves” to work, integrating their personality and feeling better about showing up at work. Wellness is an amazing leadership development opportunity, especially for quieter leaders who may not always step out in front in classic workplace settings. And, healthy people are just better able to show up and be productive.
Did You Know? Implementing a workforce health program has been shown to reduce absenteeism by as much as 28 percent.
Ideas for Bringing Wellness to Your Team
- Move the Meeting – Did you know it takes just about 2000 steps to walk a mile? Implement “moving meetings” when you have a 1:1 or small group gathering. Consider whether you truly need your notepads, tables, or electronic devices – or is an open conversation what’s called for? Depending on time and mobility constraints, take a turn around the parking lot or go for a longer sojourn. Sunshine and movement help blood and creativity get to the brain!
- Reward with Health – Do you occasionally provide a well-deserved reward to a star employee? What if you make it a reusable water bottle? A lunch out at a healthy restaurant like The Natural Café or Panera Bread? How about a National Parks pass? Make your rewards healthy and active.
- Break It Down: Reinforce that staff should take their mandatory and scheduled breaks – typically 10 or 15 minute breaks every 4 hours — and encourage them to get up and move if they have sedentary jobs. Depending on the work environment, consider ringing a chime, setting up a recurring calendar reminder, or walking the work area to remind people to take a break. Set an example by leading a walk outside during your break.
Making the Workday Healthier
- Wet Your Whistle: Did you know that a lack of hydration is the #1 cause of daytime fatigue? Encourage staff to fill up water bottles and water glasses before meetings. Go even further and set up a flavored spa water dispenser or distribute reusable canteens at a meeting. Check out “Spa Water” days that are happening throughout our organization.
- Stretch It Out : Develop a routine of simple stretches you can do right at your desk or work station. Even if you are busy in a clinic, many can be done standing up. Ankle and wrist rolls, foot flexes, neck rotations, calf stretches, and knee bends are all great. Share these stretches with your staff.
- MayoClinic.com has some great slideshows and videos of office stretches
- Decompress: Learn and share the most basic of stress reduction techniques, conscious breathing. Take 3-5 deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Start practicing this at least once a day for yourself, and share it at least once a week with your team!
- Take the Stairs: Choosing the stairs instead of the elevator is a quick way for people to add physical activity to their day. One of the reasons employees may not use the stairs as work is because they perceive them as unattractive and/or unsafe. You can decorate with posters, place signs by the elevator pointing to stairs, and run a stair-climbing competition. This CDC page, StairWELL to Health, based on their own controlled study, includes messaging ideas, information on installing music and beautifying the stairwell, and a bunch more creative ideas.
Visit the Resource Library for a complete collection of our experiences and tools for rolling out and maintaining a great wellness program.