Are you an employer who is looking to improve the health and wellness of your employees? If so, it’s time to unleash the true potential of your workforce with the key to success – creative employee wellness activities!
Employers big, and small sometimes encourage employees through different types of initiatives to work on their physical, and mental health. That being said, many of these offerings are boring, and lack luster. This results in team members only taking part for a short amount of time, then falling off when their co workers do. No real physical health changes take place with these types of offerings because they are short lived.
Things like the home office makeovers, flexible work schedules, and mindful Mondays are great, but they don’t push real physical health, and change. With obesity levels in the U.S. on the rise, now more than ever is the time to take action when it comes to creating a healthy workforce. By focusing on teaching employees to create healthy habits that will last a life time, true change occurs.
What Is An Employee Wellness Program?
An employee wellness program is a proactive, comprehensive initiative designed by employers to prioritize, and support the overall mental and physical wellness of their workforce. It is a strategic approach aimed at fostering healthy employees by offering various wellness activities, wellness initiatives, resources, and support systems.
The primary goal of employee wellness programs should be to improve employee health.
What Are The Benefits Of Wellness Activities And Employee Wellness Programs?
There are many benefits of wellness activities offered through employee wellness programs. The problem is that many employers don’t know where to start with making wellness fun. Therefor it can be hard to motivate, and encourage employees to take part in the wellness activities offered through the wellness program.
A few of the benefits of a wellness program for employers are listed here:
Help employees improve their overall health
Create a positive work environment and improve company culture
Reduce employer medical costs and insurance premiums
Create a productive workforce with fewer illnesses
Reduce employee turnover
Enhanced recruitment opportunities
For a more detailed perspective on this employee wellness benefits list, check out our last blog post related to this topic.
Creative Wellness Activities Every Employer Can Offer Their Employees
Believe it or not, some of the best creative employee wellness activities could come from your local gym!
We help gym owners all around the world run nutrition programs, and employee wellness programs in their gyms. Finding a gym in your area with a nutrition program could help you create a workplace wellness program your employees will swoon over!
It can be hard to motivate employees to incorporate healthy behaviors into their lives. In order to create a healthy lifestyle, some sort of change has to take place. Change is hard for so many people.
That is why trying some fun, creative wellness activities is a must in order to promote employee wellness. Many workplace wellness programs offer tips to eat healthy foods, reduce stress levels, and improve well being. But most of them aren’t super fun or memorable.
Employee engagement is a must with any wellness program. If program engagement suffers, the integrity of the wellness program suffers. Fewer staff members are impacted, and not as many employees will recommend the program to their team members.
Keep reading for some creative, fun wellness activities!
Wellness Activity #1 - Employee Wellness And Nutrition Challenge
Accountability is the key to success in many situations in our lives, but especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. During the challenges that Healthy Steps Nutrition offers to employers, employees are held accountable by their co workers, and the nutrition coaches running the challenge.
Through a holistic approach, healthy behaviors are slowly learned. Each week there is an accountability meeting, and employees are getting touch points with other challengers, and their coach. We have an app which provides a weekly healthy habit employees are to incorporate into their lifestyle.
A wellness and nutrition challenge is full of mini micro wellness activities all related to focusing on a holistic approach to nutrition. So many things, such as sleep, and stress levels go into our nutrition decisions. That is why at Healthy Steps Nutrition, we feel its extremely important to use a holistic approach when it comes to nutrition coaching.
Our coaching framework addresses:
During the 6 week wellness and nutrition challenges we run, we highlight healthy habits from each of these pillars in our framework by incorporating weekly mini challenges facilitated through our app. There are fitness challenges such as step counting, challenges to create healthy meals, and also challenges to manage stress.
In addition to the accountability the initiative offers, a rewards program is often instated by the employer who will offer prizes or rewards for engagement.
Many employers choose to allow their employees to continue with our ongoing nutrition coaching program after their employee wellness challenge ends. This increases the likelihood healthy habits will stick for employees thus leading to long lasting health.
Check out what one of our employee wellness partners had to say about their experience during their latest challenge.
If you are interested in learning more about running an employee wellness challenge for your business, book a free call!
Wellness Activity #2 - Health And Wellness Seminar Series With Action Steps
Although not as life changing as a nutrition and wellness challenge, a seminar series is a great place to start. Especially when paired with action steps required after the seminars are over. So many times employers offer seminars or lunch and learns only to have a few people take part, with not much healthy change taking place afterwards. After the seminar is over, employees move about their life without implementing anything they learned in the session.
We love to see some type of memorable action take place either during or after the seminars we run. Here are some examples;
Break room overhauls
After a seminar on creating healthy snacks and meals in the workplace, staff can get together and do an overhaul of the employee break room. Removing all junk food from the fridge, and counters is a great place to start. If there are vending machines, stocking the machines with healthier snacks and low sugar beverages is also a great action step.
Lunch time workouts
Many times we will speak with employees about incorporating physical activity as well as eating healthy foods into their life. Organizing lunch time walking meetings, or mini body weight workouts is an excellent activity. They don’t have to be extremely strenuous. Getting the body moving is the ultimate goal.
One of the seminars we put out has to do with teaching people how to read food labels, and understanding how much added sugars are in their foods. Creating a space after the seminar where employees can eat lunch, and collectively evaluate their food choice for added sugar is a great hands on education tool. Multiple people can participate and each person can offer suggestions for substitutions or alternatives to reduce sugar.
Requiring some type of action in conjunction with the seminar series will help employees get more out of each of these sessions.
Wellness Activity # 3 - Team Building Day In The Gym
Gone are the days of boring employee wellness ideas! Creating an environment where employees communicate, and engage outside of work helps build camaraderie. Now this takes a bit more effort and commitment from the team than a seminar series, but the experience will definitely be memorable. I personally have provided this team building service to a couple different companies through my gym.
Employees and employers go into this knowing that the team building event will take about 1/2 of their day, and it can go down in a couple different ways. Regardless of how the day is scheduled, the three wellness activities are a team workout, nutrition seminar, and catered food.
The timing of each of these wellness activities is different for every employer. Some like a nutrition seminar, and catered lunch during the actual lunch hour in the employee break room. Employees then leave work about an hour early to attend an employee workout at the gym.
Other companies have had their employees do a team building workout and nutrition seminar onsite at the gym, and then have meals individually made by a healthy meal provider for employees to take home with them. The thought behind this is that some employees will not want to go back to work after a workout without showering. So, the meals are provided to go after the seminar so employees wanting to clean up, have time to do so.
The whole premise around this day is that there is team building, nutrition and wellness education plus implementation all in one. We’ve also provided onsite workouts at companies, then had a catered lunch and learn. We always involve our meal prep and restaurant partners in our catered lunches. Not only does doing so help our partner get more business, but it also helps employees with knowing where to go to find healthy meals. Rather than heading to a fast food joint for dinner, they can use one of these healthy food providers they met during the workplace wellness activity.
Do you love this idea as an employer but are not sure where to start? Contact your local gym or search our nutrition coach directory for gyms running nutrition programs in your area.
Discuss your idea, and if they don’t have exactly what you are looking for, find out if their services are customizable. Many of the gyms running the Healthy Steps Nutrition framework are more than happy to come up with a service suited to what you are looking for.
Remember, creative wellness activities are the bomb! As an employer, creating a memorable wellness experience that provides tools for lasting change is key. We love the nutrition and wellness challenge the best, because it provides accountability, and offers a way for employees to continue on their health journey after the challenge is over. This doesn’t mean the other options should be discounted. They are a great way to get started showing your employees that you care about their well being.
If you have questions after reading this article, and would like to chat more about this concept or services in general, please reach out! I am more than happy to help!