Healthy and engaged employees are the reason modern businesses thrive. According to Gallup, employees with high well-being in all five elements – purpose, social, financial, community, physical – spend fewer days away from their desk, have higher customer ratings, solve problems more readily, adapt to change more quickly, and are 81% less likely to seek out a new employer.
A focus on health and wellness took on a new meaning in 2020. With this newfound focus on well-being, we learned a lot about its effect on a company’s level of productivity, employee engagement, and even profit.
Instead of the typical employee wellness program route, it’s time to explore a unique roadmap for leaders to create a culture of well-being for companies of any size, remotely or in-office. Here are 4 ways leaders like you can empower your employees to prioritize their health and wellness.
1. Bake wellness into your company’s mission
You want your team to take care of their health and wellness. Well then, it needs to be entrenched in the mission and culture of your company. The mission is the essence of the company. It dictates what the business stands for while the culture is the actions and behaviors of your employees.
Each employee is a special piece in this puzzle. Make it clear to your team that caring for their mental, physical, and emotional health is part of your company’s mission so it’s easy to empower them to prioritize it. When your team understands the role of their individual wellness, they can see how it contributes to the health of the company as a whole.
Another way to connect your employees to the company mission and boost their health is by opening them up to opportunities to live out the culture of wellness at work.
2. Connect your team with healthy opportunities
The trend of remote work in 2020 means many in-office perks are no longer available to your employees. With dispersed teams, it also means employees may not be unaware of programs, perks, or activities available to them virtually.
If you want your employees to be their best selves inside and outside of work, focus on what you can offer them despite the distance. Be open and clearly communicate about current and upcoming opportunities to improve their health and wellness. Need some ideas? Here are a few:
- Tasty and healthy snacks
- Workplace wellness challenges
- Gym and massage stipends
- On-site fitness programs
- Professional development groups
- Mental health and vacation days
Your employees are looking to you for direction. As a leader, it’s up to you to bridge the gap between offering employee wellness programs and setting the expectation for employees to actively engage in them.
3. Lead by example
Don’t just tell your team it’s important to adopt a healthy lifestyle… lead by example. As a leader in your company, you’re not responsible for being in perfect health. You’re in charge of setting expectations.
Out of ideas for how to do this remotely? In weekly team meetings, snack on real foods like trail mix or dried fruit slices instead of opting for a convenient treat. Take a midday break away from your desk and create the expectation for employees to eat a real lunch rather than munching from behind their screen.
Remember that adjustments are fine and necessary because you’re human. And your employees will thank you because they’re humans too.
4. Show your team you care
It’s crucial for leaders to show a real interest in your employees’ health and wellness as an individual, not just how it relates back to their productivity or your company’s profit margins.
You can bring back a sense of community by assigning everyone a support buddy or add some fun by hosting game show-style check-in’s that reward employees for goals they reached as well as how much they’ve improved. The idea is to hold your team accountable in a healthy way.
2020 gave us the opportunity to reprioritize our own well-being and approach work in an entirely new way. While lowering healthcare costs for your company may be a financially motivating reason to encourage your team to take charge of their health and wellness, there are other more holistic benefits to point out like improved morale, engagement, safety, and performance.
Cheers to empowering your employees to focus on their health and wellness in 2021 and beyond!