The tips that contain within this article is for employers that could give their employees a boost in their level of wellness. This area in life is vital in every aspect such as home, outdoors, and workplace. Today, more and more employers are launching their own wellness initiatives with an increasing number. The primary aim of such health-related initiative is to encourage the creation of a healthier workforce while at the same time lowering the costs for health care. This initiative is a win-win situation for both employers and employee because employers save money for health care purposes while keeping their employees healthy and effective at work.
It’s unfortunate, however, many employees find this employer initiatives to be invasive and to some extent paternalistic. When I first heard it, I was actually of those who feel like my privacy is somewhat invaded by pushing me to lose weight, change my eating habits, and other numerous lifestyle changes. Sadly, such initiative according to a study conducted didn’t made any savings at all on employers side.
So, rather than forcing employees to make changes in their lifestyle and giving them burdens in following health guidelines, it would be better if employers focus on promoting wellness itself within the workplace. This way, it won’t seem invasive, but in fact, an advantage for them to practice a healthy lifestyle without being forced to make necessary changes. It’s like baiting them to bite the apple of wellness and later could condition their perspective that being healthy is an advantage not only in work but for their personal life, as well.
Below are some tips for employers in promoting wellness to employees without privacy alienation along the process.
Offer an Easy Access To Healthy Meals and Snacks
It’s very common on most offices these days to have a well-stocked of chips and candies, and during birthday celebration of a colleague there comes a steady streams of sweets and pastries like cakes, which is most the time sponsored by employers. Employees tend to eat them because they’re easily accessible for free. On the contrary, what if the sweets are replaced with regular streams of fresh fruits or other healthy snacks inside the workplace?
Of course, employees eat it due to easy accessibility. Employers could contact fruit suppliers to have a weekly delivery, as well as contact nearby restaurants to supply the office with healthy salads, and soups for example during lunch time.
Make or Allow People To Exercise Easily
This may seem odd to exercise in the office, but it’s very common in some office these days. In fact, there is a working desk with a treadmill built in it so employees can work and doing walking at the same time. For more info on treadmill desk, check it at Amazon.com.
Well, it could be difficult at first, but it will become a norm when it will be implemented in the long run. Some offices these days are giving their employees standing desks. First impression, this may seem a torture for employees, but along the way, employees will be able to realize the benefits it provides.
Another idea is to install showers for employees who ride bikes to-and-from work or for some office errand purposes, or perhaps offer a mini-gym where employees can exercise during their breaks. The shower can help them freshen up during lunch time or prior to leaving for home.
Avoid Competition of Weight Loss
Most companies or even small offices focus on weight loss when promoting health and wellness to their employees. In fact, I’ve seen some who held a weight loss competition either individuals or team a similar process on the reality TV show… biggest loser. Since, not every employee wants to lose weight, this way of encouragement can have huge impact on them. As we know, obesity or weight gain due to certain conditions like eating disorder that needs to be address first prior to losing weight.
Instead of encouraging them to lose weight, it would be a more effective approach on providing employees the right information for correct nutrition, and importance of being physically active.
Offer Employees Great Healthy Insurance
This part should be a priority for employers, offering them an excellent benefits when it comes health insurance. If there’s one wellness initiative in the workplace that is to be prioritized, it is this. There is no better acceptable initiative for wellness when it comes to health insurance. Look for plans that offer low-cost or free preventive care.
Discourage Employees To Work When They’re Sick
Most of the time, majority of companies want their employees to stay at home when they’re sick, yet they’re discouraging the use of sick time. I remember my previous employer when I was still working, the time I got sick she(employer) immediately without hesitation told not to go for work, instead stay at home, take care of my self and get well sooner. She told me, even if I can make it to work, I could probably be spreading the virus or bacteria I had, so better stay at home and let co-workers safety preserved.
No More Doctor’s Notes When An Employee Is Sick
I’ve experienced this a lot of times in the past, and it was somewhat embarrassing and insulting going to the doctor when I ad flu or cold just go ask for a doctor’s note that my manager requires. It’s a policy, and nothing I could about that. In turned, this policy drives up costs for health care by forcing employees in to medical clinics instead of just taking a rest at home and taking over the counter medications. And, if you’re discouraging employees to go for work when they’re sick, they will still go to work because it’s so much easier for them than having a medical appointment in a short notice.
Offer Reasonable Paid Sick Leave
This is also well-connected to discouraging employees to work when they’re sick. If employers don’t offer a paid sick leave, employees will come to work no matter as long as they can make it. When this happens, there is a higher chance they could spread their sickness to co-workers, or even the managers or employer.
Encourage Employees To Use Their Allotted Vacation Time For Them To Unwind
Vacation time helps an employee unwind from the distressing works at the office. However, lots of employees these days don’t take their vacation they deserved and in fact the company provided it them at certain period for each year. Some reasons this happens include approval of vacation might take ages to get approved, or culture inside the office that could indicate people going to vacation could be look at as a slacker. So, these factors should be taken into consideration to make the process more easier for employees and provide them the necessary information about the benefits of taking off from work for a few days to a week even.