Employers know that healthy, happy, and engaged workers are more productive throughout the day. That knowledge has encouraged the development and implementation of workplace wellness programs, an increasingly important way to increase productivity, promote a healthy workplace, and build a positive culture. Some of these programs are fairly straightforward and include things such as corporate-sponsored exercise programs, while others reach further to address chronic issues that can cause stress in the workplace. Look out for continued changes to the corporate approach to wellness, starting with these six trends.
1. Holistic Approach Gains Ground
Holistic medicine has become increasingly popular and with it, a growth in a more holistic approach to wellness. There is no singular cause of health care issues, and therefore, no singular solution. While offering a gym membership or installing a fitness center at the office can help, physical fitness is only a part of total wellness. For employees, wellness actually encompasses physical, mental, nutritional, and even financial segments. By offering programs that help in each of these areas, from nutritional counseling to educational assistance, employers create a more holistic approach that can help lure top talent in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
2. Personalized Plans Increase Engagement
No single solution also means that employees want more direct control over their wellness programs. One employee might already have a great workout routine but could use a little help building a meal plan. Another employee might have food all worked out but stumble when it comes to dealing with stress. Creating and offering customizable workplace wellness plans is the next logical step when looking at wellness from a holistic perspective. It also encourages greater levels of both participation and accountability from employees in furthering their own health and wellness.
3. Sleep Habits for a Better Work Day
A good night’s sleep is one of the foundations for a productive day. Sleep deprivation leads to mistakes and sloppy thinking, and costs the United States $63B annually in lost productivity. Encouraging a full night of sleep and providing education about sleep hygiene can go a long way toward bumping productivity without installing a nap station at work. Though, some companies have chosen to do exactly that, from Ben & Jerry’s to Zappos, believing that offering a space for employees to grab a 20-minute “power nap” is worth the gain in productivity and employee wellness.
4. Improved Access to Mental Health Services
Burnout, stress, attention issues, memory problems, and a host of other mental health issues can affect today’s workers. Streamlined and available access to mental health care can help reduce these issues and empower employees to seek help when needed.
5. Consumer Technology Takes Center Stage
One of the biggest changes that make these expansions to wellness programs possible is the addition of technologies focused on the same niche. From digital platforms providing detailed nutrition information to fitness bands and sleep trackers, the availability of wellness devices makes it possible for employers to offer programs that cover more areas of holistic wellness and makes it easier for employees to participate.
6. Incentivized Wellness Programs Go a Long Way
Getting employees to buy into these programs has been one of the toughest challenges. Even when the benefits are clear, employees may not see a reason to participate. For some, these programs are just another point of stress (more work!) until they commit and begin to realize the benefits. Adding incentives to encourage participation can be a way to turn a negative view into a positive one. Incentives can range from a free lunch to a bonus or even include some extra time off. How employers structure the incentives and how frequently they offer them is individual to the company. The point is simply to show employees how much employers actually value their participation. Do you have a corporate wellness program at your company? How does it work and what does it include? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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