The workplace is a stressful environment for many. With deadlines, repetitive tasks and pressure from executives, it's common for the mind and body to feel overwhelmed. According to research by CareerBuilder, nearly a third of employees said work causes high or extremely high stress levels, with the most common side effects being fatigue, sleeplessness, aches and pains, anxiety and weight gain.
That's why employee health has become a priority for most companies today. In a recent survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, two-thirds of HR managers reported that their organization's health and wellness offerings have increased in the last five years.
Managers should want their employees to be as mentally and physically fit as possible, and employees will appreciate employer initiatives that work toward this goal. Here's everything you need to know about creating an efficient health and wellness program for your workers.
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Why you should offer health and wellness programs
When workers feel their best, they perform their best, encouraging others to follow suit. However, poor health can also affect productivity and engagement across the board. It's not uncommon for one culprit to spread a bug to the rest of the team, or to poison the environment with their lethargy.
By providing employees with healthy options and initiatives, you are preventing sickness, fatigue and mental burnout while expressing your care for each individual. These incentives can also act as teambuilding practices, which leads to a more positive company culture.
The OfficeTeam survey found that 89 percent of employees believe their organization supports their wellness goals – you must ensure your employees feel the same about your business.
"With so many companies raising the bar on health and wellness offerings, organizations that aren't keeping up may be at a disadvantage when it comes to recruitment and retention," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam.
Ways to support employee health and wellness
As long as you are encouraging healthy habits, and your team recognizes your efforts, you won't need an elaborate, costly program.
"The scope of health and wellness programs offered at workplaces can vary depending on company size, available budget and the corporate culture," said Britton. "There's a wide spectrum of ways to address worker health and wellness, and employers need to determine what best suits the needs of their staff."
According to the OfficeTeam survey, workers struggle most with poor eating habits in the office. In fact, 44 percent said they eat healthier when they work from home. To that end, managers should offer more nutritional options, like fresh fruit and water, in addition to the occasional treat.
If you want your company to practice work-life balance, you need to set an example by doing the same. Promote regular breaks and time off, and be sure to evaluate your plan by asking for employee feedback and assessing your competitor's programs, Britton said.