As we all know, the cost of insurance — especially for small businesses can get pretty pricey. With that in mind, many businesses are focusing on creating an environment of wellness to keep costs down for themselves and their employees — with the added benefit that a healthy work place is just better for everyone!
* The question then becomes — how does one go about starting a wellness program? Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Top-down support energizes the program and sets the stage
Set time aside at each staff meeting to talk about ways to make it part of the culture. Establish a committee to work on ideas to implement in support of a healthy workplace. Creating a common folder allows anyone in the business to post helpful articles and useful tips they have found. People can use the folder for reference and add ideas to it as they find something interesting.
* When the commitment is obvious, the entire team can get on board.
2. Involve the entire organization
Once the senior team is on board, it is a pretty easy next step to spread the word to the rest of the workplace. When people take the tips to heart and bring in fresh fruits and healthy snacks, their friends notice and encourage them. Additionally, when folks actually do stretches and chair exercises, others join in.
* It’s a great way to create teamwork, while cheering on healthy behaviors.
3. Seek Participation for Education
“Lunch and Learn” sessions are a great way to let people get involved in leading a learning opportunity. Ask for volunteers to put together a short session on healthy living — topics can range from healthy eating, to a group exercise that encourages movement. These sessions can be fun and informative. They are also a wonderful opportunity for people to be creative while learning new information.
* Additionally, leading these lessons can be used as career development opportunities and creates employee engagement.
4. Encourage folks to “take their work home”
Normally, we like people to work hard when they are at work, and spend time with family and friends when they’re home. But in this case, we like people to take the lessons learned from a wellness environment at work, home with them. Having a 360 degree wellness program just makes sense — eating well, moving more, celebrating small improvements, encouraging each other — we think these lessons can be instituted and reinforced in all aspects of life.