31 Great Ways to Encourage Better Employee Health

smiling woman with a wellness coach

Employees are arguably the best asset to a business or organisation. Therefore, it makes sense that companies look after them. So, why is it important to help them with their health?

It is proven that happy, healthy employees have much-improved productivity and actually look forward to going into work instead of constantly calling in sick.

Depending on how forward thinking an organisation is, tells you whether they have some form of wellness plan in place.

The best place to start is talking to your employees to start receiving some valuable feedback. Then, with that information it can go away and craft the many different ways a company can help improve their employees wellness.

As soon as the company has put together a plan, it shouldn’t just stop there. The idea is to further improve and adjust the plan based on employee feedback (just like software companies do).

A good time scale to test this is around 6 months. This should give company enough time to access the plan to what is working and what isn’t.

Focus on general prevention

As you can appreciate. If a person concentrates on prevention rather than a cure, they can eliminate a whole host of types of illnesses, aches and pains they could suffer from in the future. We all know we should do this, but very few people do.

This is where the company comes in.

  • 1. The company should arrange for an authorised medical doctor to visit the workplace and speak to the employees about different health issues and what type of changes they could make to their diet or amount of exercise they should do.
  • 2. Provide either a rebate or arrange onsite flu vaccinations. Depending on the size of company, they could even arrange for family members to attend this too. To be fair, a rebate would probably be the practical idea here as we all have multiple commitments we need to keep.
  • 3. Health insurance isn’t normally needed in the UK since we have free health care via the National Health Service (NHS).
  • Encourage Healthy Eating At Home & At Work

    As we mentioned earlier. Prevention is much better than cure. For that reason, encouraging healthy eating can help prevent future diseases that are on the increase like type 2 diabetes and cancer etc.

    Here’s a few ways organisations can help:

  • 4. Provide a fridge so staff can keep their food fresh.
  • 5. Provide healthy fruit in the fridge at work. No need to go to crazy here. bananas and apples are just fine.
  • 6. If you are having a staff meeting, then buy healthy snacks.
  • Instead of supplying sugary drinks, offer a healthier alternative like juice etc.
  • 7. If you have an in-house catering operation. Ensure only healthy items are on the menu.
  • 8. If you have vending machines, make sure that they have water and healthy snacks too.
  • Have A Smoke Free Workplace

    Ok, this is a little controversial, but stick with me here. Alcohol and tobacco usage are the main contributors to illness and death in the developed world.

    Most companies have this now, but for those that don’t maybe having a designated smoking area at the back of the building (away from customer view) might be a good option?

    Note: The CDC equates seven million deaths a year to smoking.

  • 9. Ensure the company vehicles and and the workplace is smoke-free
  • 10. Encourage employees to join a “Quit Smoking” program
  • 11. Ask the Doctor to also give talks and encourage employees to speak to them about quitting etc
  • 12. Subsidies stop smoking aids like patches or even therapy
  • Encourage Physical Exercise

    Encouraging employees to exercise is probably the cheapest and most effective ways to encourage healthy living and wellness.

  • 13. The company good provide wearable trackers for their team
  • 14. Encourage employees to walk when having a meeting instead of being stuck behind a desk
  • 15. Subsidise or pay for a gym subscription.
  • 16. Encourage employees to enter fun runs and marathons and agree to give a donation to charity.
  • 17. Install safe, lockable bike racks that also have cover from the elements. This would encourage more people to ride to work.
  • 18. Hire a gym instructor or personal trainer to come and give talks. They could also provide sessions in the workplace if you have the space.
  • 19. Install a shower at the office if you are thinking about the previous option.
  • Improving Their Mental Health

    Ignoring mental health costs companies billions each year. It is everyone’s responsibility to look out for each other and should be encouraged in the workplace.

    This is a little tricky and a company should seek professional advice on this topic just so you adhere to the law and follow the correct principles of dealing with mental health.

    Here’s a few ways a company can help:

  • 20. Offer counselling or subsidise if needed
  • 21. Train supervisors and managers to help them manage and detect problems early on
  • 22. Have a health professional give talks regularly and be available to give advice.
  • 23. Have policies in place to discourage bullying and unprofessional behaviour.
  • 24. Have a health professional come in and talk about dealing with stress. Also showing your employees ways and techniques to deal with stress.
  • 25. Be willing to provide all the help an employee needs to deal with any issues they might have.
  • Avoid Long Periods Of Sitting

    People don’t generally think about the problems of constantly being in a seated position. However, studies have shown that people that sit a lot and for most of the day are more likely to die from strokes and heart attacks.

    How can a company help?

  • 26. Install standing desks - In fact there are new desks that allow you to either sit or stand which are quite effective
  • 27. Install cycle chairs (a little extreme, but some may find it useful).
  • Similar to walking meetings, how about standing meetings? Not all the meeting need to be seated. Some of them can actually be where people stand instead.
  • 28. Have an expert look at the ergonomics of your office and the furniture in the office
  • 29. Encourage regular short breaks in the company
  • 30. Introduce a rule where lunch cannot be consumed at their desk or computer.
  • 31. This rule alone would encourage more people to walk and also eat healthier.
  • In Summary

    Look, no one is saying that a company must employ all of these ideas. In fact, it would probably make things worse if they did. However, it’s a good idea for them to sit down with their staff and ask the question - What ideas would they like to try and what would they find useful?

    Most new startups are now starting to adopt many of the principles in this article. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the other companies out there don’t.

    Having healthy employees and encouraging employees to live healthy lifestyles is a win, win for everyone.

    Not only do they perform better, take less time off for being sick and educate them to live better lives. It also helps motivate them, makes them happier and in turn should increase performance.

    Show your employer this article :)

  • Previous article Regular Exercise Has Proven To Increase Life Expectancy
    Next article Some Women Avoid the Gym for Fear of Being Judged

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