Cool employee wellness initiatives

We all want to be happy at work, and our wellness is a big part of that. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the corporate wellness industry is worth over £31 million worldwide. Companies are always looking for new ways to improve employee wellness. It’s no wonder when companies in the UK lose an average of 27.5 days of productive time per employee every year due to sickness, according to Britain’s Healthiest Workplace.

It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to introducing new employee wellness initiatives. It’s also important to identify any issues your employees are experiencing with their wellness. You might introduce one initiative that seems like a really good idea at the time, only to find that while it does help your employees, there are still underlying issues.

For example, you might introduce an employee wellness initiative that helps employees improve their physical health, when in fact your employees are struggling with stress or mental health problems. You shouldn’t totally discard the idea of helping employees improve their physical health just because they aren’t experiencing issues with it, but you should start with the important issues first.

Partner with local businesses to introduce employee wellness initiatives
Many companies work with other businesses local to them to offer new wellness initiatives. These types of agreements are unique in that they’re a win-win for everyone involved. For example, say you get discounted gym memberships for your staff at a local gym or health club. The gym gets new business and loyal customers that they might not have gained before, who might then spread the word and generate even more business for them. Employees then also get a discount that they might not have had access to before. Your staff then have the option of using any long breaks in their working day to exercise and they don’t need to travel too far.

The possibilities for this type of partnership are endless. For example, you could use the partnership to generate new business for your own company through new advertising opportunities. Consider your CSR initiatives and how you can work with the health club to generate a buzz or help raise money for charity while raising awareness of both your company and the local gym.

You could try local businesses that offer spa days, massages etc. Anything that could help improve your employees’ wellness!

Offer employees healthy food
Why not try cooking some healthy food for your employees? It doesn’t have to be every day of the year, it could just be one day a week. Either way, it means employees don’t have to spend time preparing food or spend money on food for that day at work and they also get something healthy! It’s not a major new initiative, but it’s a nice touch and something your employees will definitely appreciate!

Actively discourage over-working
Many employees find themselves working overtime or extra hours. Some employers almost see this as a positive, it’s an employee that wants to work harder. However, employees shouldn’t need to over-work and doing more than the typical 9-5, 40-hour week can be detrimental to their health.

One example of this initiative in practice is that of MediaCom, a media company which has banned emails after 7pm. Over-working shouldn’t be encouraged, and the causes should be rooted out and solutions need to be put in place before it begins to negatively affect employees’ wellbeing.

Another example is that of insurance broker Simply Business, who automatically delete employees’ emails while they’re leave. Employees should be allowed to switch off when they’re off and completely eradicating access to anything work related while they’re away, where possible, should be encouraged. Employees can then come back from leave feeling suitably refreshed, not feeling like they were never away.

Allow time for employees to take a break and refresh
While employees can use their annual leave allowance to take time out and refresh, offering employees a little extra time to pursue a passion or a new learning opportunity is a great way to boost employee wellbeing and improve productivity.

Brand consultancy Space Doctors allow their employees one week a year, fully paid, where they’re funded to pursue a course they enjoy. Whether it relates to your business or not, it’s a way to boost employee wellness and gives employees some time to refresh and refocus. It can also improve employee loyalty!

Employee wellness benefits
There are loads of employee benefits you can introduce to help employees with both their mental and physical wellbeing. Even benefits like bike to work are linked to improve employee wellness from both a physical and mental point of view.

For mental wellbeing, things like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and a Health Cash Plan are great ways to boost employee wellness.

As mentioned, before you start introducing new initiatives start by gauging your employees and seeing what employee wellness initiatives should be prioritised. That said, all new wellness initiatives will most likely make your employees happier and your company a better place to work!