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8 employee wellness program ideas to elevate the workplace

By Julian Canlas

Creating a healthy workplace is like building a house. It takes time, energy, and resources to get the foundation right and then fill in the details. With the right wellness program ideas, employees can enjoy a workplace that makes them feel supported and appreciated.

Continue reading this guide by Basejam to discover more wellness program ideas to uplift your co-workers’ overall well-being.

What are employee wellness programs?

An employee wellness program is a benefit plan that enables your staff to improve and maintain their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. For example, you may offer employees a range of discounts for gym memberships, healthy eating plans, mental health counselling, and other activities that encourage healthy living.

Wellness programs can occur inside or outside the workplace.

Why are employee wellness programs Important?

They help save on healthcare expenses

According to the Harvard Business Review, every dollar you invest in health interventions yields $6 in healthcare savings. Therefore, it makes financial sense to offer employee wellness programs that address cancer, heart disease, alcohol consumption, and smoking as these are among the biggest overall health insurance and healthcare costs.

They attract top talent

Wellness programs, like wellness screenings, on-site clinics, and gym membership refunds, can attract top talent. Job candidates look for companies with robust wellness policies.

They improve productivity

In 2019, 84% of employers reported improved employee productivity and performance due to wellness plans. Healthy and fit workers have high concentration levels, increasing productivity.

8 employee wellness program ideas

So what wellness program initiatives can you introduce to your workplace? Here’s a list of great ideas to get you started. Let’s dive right in!

1. Retreats and breaks

Are you looking for a wellness program that can strengthen employee relationships? Try a company retreat. This is a wellness program idea that lets employees escape the bustle and hustle of the workplace.

Retreats offer your coworkers a perfect time to bond, leading to healthy workplace relations. Need some inspiration? Have a look at the team offsite ideas.

Company retreats don’t have to break the bank. For example, Basejam is a curated, searchable database of company retreat venues for startups and teams. You can find a retreat venue that fits your budget goals.

Swap hours of research on Google for minutes on Basejam, leaving you time to focus on team connection. Send venue enquiries in a couple of clicks, or get in touch about full-service retreat planning.

2. Health resources and newsletters

Education can be used as a vehicle to promote wellness among your co-workers. One of the best ways to do this is through health resources and newsletters.

You have a range of exciting wellness topics you can highlight in a company newsletter, for example. Some of the items include:

  • Fitness ideas
  • Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Mental health
  • Emotional intelligence

Ensure your resources are info-rich, concise, fun, colourful, interactive, and customised to suit your employees’ needs. Check out some great newsletter templates from Canva.

3. Use recognition and rewards

Let’s face it, adopting healthy habits is no easy task. You may start an exercise with a positive vibe but find yourself going back to your default settings as interest wanes. It’s part of us. So your colleagues may need a little boost and a dose of motivation to continue with a wellness initiative long-term.

A recognition and reward program can incentivise healthy behaviours that can turn your workplace into a spring of vibrant living. For instance, you can reward your employees with extra vacation days or a bonus when they accomplish specific exercises in a day or when they reach the top spot in a wellness challenge.

4. Provide discounts for healthy foods sold at work

With people’s skyrocketing interest in good eating habits, there are healthy foods galore available in supermarkets. The challenge though is that healthy foods can come with a heftier price tag.

High prices can discourage people from buying healthy food items. To encourage your employees to buy these products, consider providing discounts at the workplace. Arrange with a wholesaler to sell them to you at slashed prices when you buy in bulk to entice your workforce to buy them at lunchtimes.

5. Home office makeover

Going remote? Or are you already a virtual business? Take care of your employees’ workspaces. They must promote healthy habits, including standing regularly when working and using ergonomic equipment, like an adjustable monitor or improved footrest.

Launching a home office makeover program at your company’s expense can go a long way toward improving workers’ health. Here are some great ideas to get you started:

  • Standing Desk
  • Ergonomic chair
  • Humidifier or dehumidifier
  • Blue light glasses
  • White noise machine
  • Plant subscription
  • Air conditioner
  • Chair massage

Offer a one-off, handsome amount of money for employees to buy some of the above equipment to get the wellness program off the ground. You can provide this benefit when someone joins your organisation, completes one year at work, or achieves a significant, impactful goal.

Give your workers the freedom to choose the type of office furniture they need by asking them to complete a form or selecting them from your shop, if you have one.

6. Offer flexible schedules or remote work

As studies show, many employees want careers that offer a better work-life balance. They want more flexibility and personalisation. What better way to support your team's health needs than by giving them the option to work shorter weeks or remotely?

Flexible work schedules can benefit your staff and your company in many ways. They can:

  • Boost employee morale
  • Maintain high job retention
  • Decrease stress levels
  • Lead to happier healthier workers
  • Improve productivity

7. Initiate an employee stress circle

Stress is a big issue that’s affecting many people worldwide. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of employees experience job stress, about half say they want stress-coping strategies, and 42% state that their workmates need such support.

With these stats in mind, you can start an employee stress circle to help your colleagues beat stress. For example, they can discuss their mental health challenges weekly during the stress wellness program.

8. Offer regular health screenings, including mental health

Want to create a happier and healthier workplace? Consider hosting regular health screenings where you can invite health professionals to run the following wellness initiatives:

  • Checking vision and eye health (good for computer nerds)
  • Immunisations to minimise workplace illnesses
  • Monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol
  • Assessing employees’ psychological well-being through short questionnaires

Getting enough sleep can have a positive impact on emotional and mental health. So why not offer a midday rest or quiet spaces where workers can have a nap for a few minutes? You can provide facilities, such as resting places to allow them to relax and unwind.

Choose the perfect retreat venue

Wellness program ideas can keep your peers at work fit, healthy, and brimming with vigour and energy. They can make your workplace an oasis of vibrant living, leading to happier employees and improved job satisfaction.

The cherry on top is a corporate retreat wellness program. Not sure where to hold a successful company retreat? Basejam has got you covered. It makes planning a corporate retreat easier, faster, and more affordable. With its database, you can find a wide selection of venues to choose from, along with additional services such as full-service retreat planning. Book a company retreat venue now!

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