Improving the Mental and Physical Health of Your Workforce

The Health of Your Workforce

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic truly put into perspective how important employee health is, both mental and physical. As leaders, your team’s well-being and your own should come first above every other measure, especially in times of a crisis. If it was not before, it is now clear that physical and mental health support are no longer “perks” to consider adding, but are absolute must-haves.

May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month and May 19 is National Employee Health and Fitness Day. This means that the entire month of May is the perfect time to evaluate and update your workplace wellness program, or begin incorporating a workplace wellness program if you haven’t already!

The Benefits of a Workplace Wellness Program

The overall goal of workplace wellness programs is to create long-lasting, healthy behavior change, something we at Health Designs pride ourselves in instilling. Listed below are additional benefits of incorporating a workplace wellness program as outlined by Entrepreneur:

  • Wellness programs that create healthy behavior change will see a significant improved employee well-being as well as lowered health risks.
  • Comprehensive employee wellness programs that improve employee behavior will see a downward shift in the healthcare cost trend.
  • Organizations with a good wellness program can experience reduced absenteeism and improved productivity.
  • As we mentioned above, a wellness program is no longer a perk, but a must have. Therefore, a solid wellness program will improve employee retention and recruitment.

Tips to Consider

A recent Gallup survey interviewed more than 200 Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) to learn best practices for improving the mental and physical health of employees. The highlights are listed below:

  • Offer Employee Assistance Programs or expand on the offerings you already have. This could include yoga classes, meditation, individual consultation and other services that contribute to physical and mental health assistance. Make sure you are promoting these services regularly as well!
  • Utilize pulse surveys to help you identify when teams, departments, or specific  locations are experiencing increased levels of stress, anxiety, or burnout so you can take action. These surveys can also provide useful information for the employee and give them a sense that someone is taking care of them.
  • Consider using more resources you might have within your organization. Some employees may be natural leaders, emotional supports, peer coaches or experts in yoga or mindfulness sessions. Reach out and see if these employees would be interested in being volunteer “wellbeing advocates,” who can organically connect better with other employees.
  • Stay on top of events and observances related to mental and physical health to drive the promotion of your wellness offerings. This month is a perfect example! Use Global Employee Health and Fitness Month to promote your offerings and reiterate the importance of healthy habits in the workplace.

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“Health Designs has exceeded our expectations, particularly in the personal coaching portion of our wellness program. Employees have met with the same coach since the first day and have formed an important, trusting relationship to help employees determine their goals and achieve results.”
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