I recently participated in a Workplace Wellness forum and learned that what we have been doing has really been “random acts of wellness”. Lots of small great ideas that are better than nothing but that really don’t add up to true workplace wellness. Here is what I learned including some random acts of wellness.
Here is what was asked and my take on the answers:
What is the optimal roadmap and timeline for developing and implementing a comprehensive workplace wellness program?
Thomas Flynn who has set up wellness programs for many companies stated that setting up a proper wellness program usually takes 3-12 months.
The key to creating a workplace wellness program is that this MUST start at the top, The senior management should pilot the program and be fully bought into the benefits of the program as well as the implementation. However, this type of program is best run by a wellness team, someone other than the “top” to fully take off. Typically, in larger companies this was done by committee with the HR person as the lead. In smaller companies without HR, this is led by individuals with tremendous buy-in.
What are the main components of a wellness program?
The group identified the following major areas that the local companies were ranged from the physical to social, and emotional well being:
- Identifying Health Risk with assessments and biometric screenings
- Health Education for all aspects of one’s health from the physical to the emotional.
- Stress Management – stresses come not only from work but from life, family and finances. Each one must be addressed in a different manner
- Healthy Eating & Exercise
- Smoking & Alcohol Cessation
What are some easy tactics that wellness teams employed?
- Replace sodas at company parties with water and teas
- Replace Birthday Cakes with a Pizza and Salad Party
- Healthy snack choices
- Gym or workout space in the workplace or outside the workplace (identifying walking trails
- Inviting experts in wellness for wellness lunches or breaks to educate on various topics from financial planning to reduce stress to exercise physiologists to teach exercises that can be done in the workplace.
- Break out the stress in the workplace with fun breaks – Nerf gun wars, basketball games, hangman, etc..
- Stand up desks
- Walking meetings
- Education on insurance options and plan wellness benefits
- Biggest Loser/Biggest Winner and Health Challenge contests with prizes or that give back to a cause.
- Joining a CSA or inviting farmers to come sell healthy lunches to employees
- Replacing unhealthy vending machine choices with healthy choices
- Encouraging walking breaks for employees
- Email tips for healthy living from benefits of bananas to stress break tips
- Bring in healthy snacks like bananas or nuts for employee snacks
Whether you are big or small encouraging wellness in the workplace and starting even small can help improve your culture and the lives of your employees. No act is too small. Good luck!
Whether you are big or small