Create A Culture of Health and Wellness

Most employees are working between 1040 and 2080 hours a year in an office setting, depending on if they are working part-time or full-time. That is a lot of time sitting being that there are 8760 hour in a year. That is 11.8% to 23.7% of the time. WOW! Almost 25% of a year sitting! This not taking into consideration overtime or project work those employees may do.

 

We wonder why American workers find it difficult to find time to squeeze in trips to the gym. With health-related expenses costing companies millions of dollars a year, employers should be doing everything in their power to keep their employees fit and healthy.

 

Let’s look to see what could be done to improve employee health overall:

 

Here are 4 simple ideas of things employers can do to keep their health care costs down.

 

  1. Decide what kind of culture your firm and employees want to have.

This can be done through collaboration of departments and make a fun spirit amongst peers.  Provide the space for healthy living.

    1. Investigate what you are promoting. What does your organization supply in your vending machines? Do you put our fruit or donuts for team meetings?
    2. Make sure your leaders are on board. When the management of a company promotes healthy living, it is easier for everyone else to jump on board.
    3. Make health easy. Encourage others by putting in a gym or walking path and praise employees for their healthy choices through words of affirmation.
  1. Find a buddy amongst the ranks.
    1. Put together fun workplace initiatives such as a walking or running group.
    2. Drum up a team weight maintenance or fat loss program during the holidays.
    3. Sign up a team for a recreation league and accept all players who want to be healthy.
    4. Invite local health and wellness professionals to host workshops and cooking demos.
  2. Get buy in.
    1. Ask your teams what they want to accomplish in living a healthy lifestyle through surveys or opinion boxes.
    2. Help them identify the hurdles that may come up and set up a collaborative time to help them over the hurdles
    3. Don’t push the unmotivated employee to change if they don’t want to. Work with the willing.
  3. Give free information.
    1. Set up a company intranet page that showcases healthy living articles, workouts, social media pages, ideas, success stories and even a chat area for others to collaborate on and off business hours.
  4. Make it worth their while.
    1. Employees will do a lot for a little recognition and praise.
    2. If you so feel inclined,make a contest with some layers of prizes or incentives they can win for doing what you want them to…being healthy.

 

You’ll have buy in, if everyone that supports your company initiative wants to truly live a healthy lifestyle. So be all in and get well and stay well. You are worth it.

 

Warmest regards,

 

Stacia

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Small Business Guide to Creative Employee Benefits

When it comes to employee benefits, health insurance, retirement accounts and sick days, they are often standard at larger companies. To set your small business apart, you’ve got to think more creatively. Here are 10 great ideas I hope you can benefit from:

 

  1. Free food: Try keeping the break room stocked with free snacks, soda, and bottled water. You could even do something more significant, like providing a catered lunch on a weekly basis. The productivity is higher each day/week because they don’t have to leave for lunch.
  2. Four-day workweek: A three-day weekend once in awhile could make your employees not only happier but also more productive. A four-day workweek allows more time for employees to restore, if you will, their energy levels.
  3. Unlimited vacation: This policy speaks mostly about your company’s values. It sends a really clear message to employees that you care about them, that you want them to spend time with their families and that you want them have a high quality of life. When people feel cared for by their company or employer, they are much more likely to do great work.
  4. Professional development: Employees want to work for companies that help them advance their careers. Paying for classes, certifications and conferences is a major draw. Another idea, however, is establishing a mentoring program between employees.
  5. Personal development: Employees place a high value on work-life balance. Consider offering personal development benefits. One way to do so is by paying for the services of a life coach. Another is by offering lunch-and-learn events. You can have your bank come in, for instance, and help people learn how to get a mortgage, when the right time is to refinance or how to use their savings account.
  6. Massage therapy: Sometimes the greatest opportunities are the simplest things, like paying a massage therapist to come for two hours on Friday afternoons to give chair massages. This helps your employees relax and relieve stress.  
  7. Flexible working: Giving employees the option to work from home shows that you care about work-life balance. So does letting them come in late or leave early when they need to.
  8. Gym memberships: Fitness and keeping healthy is very important.  If you don’t have the space for weights and a treadmill, consider gifting employees a gym membership or negotiating discounted memberships at a nearby facility.
  9. Community service: Companies that offer time off for employees to volunteer or participate in community service projects earn points with their community and their workforce.
  10. Voluntary benefits: Employers who can’t afford to pay for dental insurance, life insurance or disability insurance can still offer them. You could give your employees—through payroll deductions—the option of accumulating a block of hours for an attorney to help them with the assembly of their will or the closing of a house.

 

Highest Regards,

Stacia

 

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Does Your Team Feel More Stressed These Days?

Workers are feeling more and more stressed these days. That isn’t really surprising. But what is phenomenal is the devastation stress leaves in its path for both employees and employers. 78% of employers believe stress is a problem within their staff, states Jan Bruce, CEO and co-founder of Boston-based meQuilibrium, a digital coaching platform. In fact, employers are noticing the symptoms; lower participation, not showing up for work, lower productivity, and wellness programs with low enrollment and success rates. It’s obvious why employers are realizing they need to make changes.

 

One of the newer trends emerging is resilience building and mindfulness training programs. The purpose of these programs is to help people identify the root of their stress and train them to change the way they think about these triggers. This trend might be the next big thing, as these programs attempt to offer a long-term solutions for stress rather than quick fixes, says meQuilibrium, one of the providers of such providers.

 

“We’ve got a sea change in the prevalence of stress in the workplace, and EAP and behavioral programs only scratch the surface of in terms of utilization,” Bruce says. “So, more and more employers are turning to a resilience solution as a foundation for their health, wellness and human capital management programs.”

 

The National Business Group on Health is finding similar figures, saying it’s own survey data finds that improving resiliency and lowering stress one of the top five behaviors employers say they are focused on in 2016.

 

This viewpoint is shared by meQuilibrium, which backs up the success of its resilience programs with newly released data. The data examines answers from 2,000 employees who took part in the company’s proprietary resilience assessment.

 

The findings, meQuilibrium says, underscore that employers who work to improve resilience within their employee base will develop a “more engaged, healthy and productive workforce.”

More specifically, key findings of the data include:

  • Stress: Highly resilient workers have 46% less perceived stress than low resilience workers.
  • Absenteeism: Compared to highly resilient workers, twice as many employed individuals with low resilience have reported one to three absences in the past month.
  • Intent to quit: Individuals with low resilience are twice as likely as those with high resilience to quit in the next six months.
  • Job satisfaction: Four times as many highly resilient workers are highly satisfied with their jobs, compared to those with resilience scores in the bottom quartile.
  • Physical health: Employees with low resilience are more than twice as likely to be overweight and twice as likely to report a hospital stay in the past year.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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