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5 Key Components to Include in Your Workplace Health and Wellbeing Programme
Promoting better health in the workplace is an important goal and the notion that a healthy employee is a happy one is not new. Done well, a work health programme can lead to higher productivity and performance and less time off due to sickness. It can also ensure employees feel more engaged and positive about the company they work for.
While many business owners see the relevance of a healthy workforce, however, only a few have in place complete corporate health and wellbeing programmes. For some, that could be partly down to budget constraints. For others, it may result from a lack of adequate planning as well as unclear ideas of what needs to be achieved.
1. Accessibility and Communication
Recent research in America by Gallup showed that while 85% of large employers had a wellness programme in place, only 60% of staff were aware of it and just 24% of all employees used the service.
Any successful health and wellbeing programme needs to be accessible to all staff. What is available also needs to be communicated properly. Businesses should, for instance, have information readily available online and in-house, train managers to better engage with staff and active measures taken to convince everyone of the benefits of the programme.
Importantly, effective communication means engaging with employees themselves to find out what kind of health and wellbeing services they really want to see.
Health and wellbeing measures also need to be practical for them to be accessible. According to Fortune.com:
“These might include yoga classes; lunchtime stress management seminars that address everything from sleep to work-life balance to financial health; programs to help employees quit smoking; cooking classes; healthy recipe exchanges; fitness challenges; or weight loss initiatives and competitions.”
2. Health Screening
One of the first services that businesses generally bring on board when they are promoting a health and wellbeing programme is free health screening checks. This involves a medical professional coming to the company and providing checks for key indicators such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helping to identify potential health risks that need to be addressed. This is also a good an opportunity for employees to discuss any physical or mental health issues they currently have.
It’s important for staff to understand they are getting an impartial and, above all, confidential service and that is there to benefit them, not their employer.
3. Health Education
Screening makes employees aware of any health problems or their potential risk for certain conditions. Knowing this information can easily be combined with better education and advice. That can involve:
- Producing information that is useful for a specified condition.
- Creating groups who can tackle a problem together such as losing weight, de-stressing or stopping smoking.
- Arranging seminars or include exercise classes to promote better health.
4. Employee Support
The backbone for any corporate health and wellbeing programme is the support given to employees. This can be an area that small and medium size businesses struggle with. Creating the right culture and training managers effectively, along with clear health initiatives, is one way to do this. Another option is to hire a professional team of occupational health experts who can provide the support needed. That support may include one to one mentoring, advice on physically changing the work environment so that it is less stressful or arranging discussion groups according to demand to name just a few.
5. Rewarding Healthy Wins
Gamification is beginning to be used more widely in the workplace and can be a real catalyst for health changes. If employees are working towards a specific health goal, you reward their success and provide positive reinforcement at the same time. It doesn’t have to be complex or costly either. One of the best incentives can be created using simple competitions between members of staff and awarding points for success.
Promoting health in the workplace deserves needs to be planned effectively. It has to be a process that has the potential to benefit all members of staff, whatever their level, providing this chance to make changes and get the support they need. At the heart of a successful health and wellbeing programme is clear communication and inclusiveness that encourages better worker health and greater engagement by those involved.