Every year, during the month of June, National Employee Wellness Month is commemorated. This National Employee Wellness Month gives employers and organizations the chance to improve existing wellness programs and encourage employees to use proactive strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being at work.
Participating organizations in the United States can work together to raise awareness about the advantages of having a healthy workforce, emphasizing the link between employee health, productivity, and organizational success.
Participating organizations in the US can collaborate to raise awareness about the benefits of having a healthy workforce, emphasizing the link between productivity, employee health, and organizational success.
Corporate Wellness App
Importance of Employee Wellness
Adults work for the majority of their active lives, and they spend the majority of their active time at work. As a result, work and one’s health and well-being are strongly linked.
One of the most significant challenges to employee health and productivity at work is a chronic disease: More than 150 million working-age Americans have at least one chronic disease, such as diabetes, or mental illness, heart disease, arthritis.
Psychosocial stressors, chronic disease, and financial stress at work impair their ability to carry out or complete tasks, limit a worker’s input at work, and promote absenteeism and presenteeism, all of which cost employers more than they might expect.
Nearly 69 million workers missed workdays due to illness last year, resulting in a total of 407 million days of work lost according to a recent survey. More than 100 million working days are lost due to low back pain, according to the Wellness Council of America.
Furthermore, fatigue, which is a common feature of several chronic physical and mental health issues, accounts for $136 billion in health-related productivity loss for American workers.
In essence, without wellness programs, poor employee health will perpetuate a vicious cycle of productivity loss.
Benefits of Employee Wellness Initiatives
An effective wellness program is one that educates employees and fosters a healthy culture, with the goal of initiating healthy behavioral changes in employees. These are the primary advantages of workplace wellness programs.
The most significant advantage of implementing a wellness culture in the workplace is improved health and productivity. The healthier a worker is, the less likely they are to be absent from work due to illness. For example, after implementing a wellness and fitness program, DuPont Corporation reduced the number of days lost due to health-related issues by 14 days each year.
Employers who have a strong workplace wellness culture typically spend less on health care. According to a recent University of Michigan study, employers who prioritize wellness save an average of $1000 per year for each worker who quits tobacco smoking and $1,200 for each worker who lowers their blood cholesterol levels to normal levels.
Likewise, Pacific Bell Telephone Company saved more than $2 million per year in absenteeism costs and $4.7 million per year in disability leave expenditures. In addition, after the Lincoln Plating Company in Lincoln, Neb, implemented a wellness and fitness program that included pre-work exercises and stretches, the number of work-related injuries dropped by half, and healthcare costs due to work-related injuries dropped by $800,000.
Promotes Teamwork and Collaboration
Employees develop a sense of camaraderie as a result of wellness programs. Employees are placed side by side in various wellness groups, such as exercise groups, fitness teams, and so on, which fosters collaboration and improves relationships, which not only promotes their well-being but also creates an effective workflow.
Ideas to Celebrate the Month
Here are a few easy ways to promote workplace wellness:
Encourage Walking Meetings
Get your employees up and active as they come up with new ideas and solutions for the company. Long meetings around a conference table should be avoided, and scheduled meetings should be held around the office or in the park. This not only boosts their energy and blood pressure but also strengthens their interpersonal bond.
Encourage Naps and Sleep Time
Work-related stress is a major contributor, which is one of the leading risk factors for chronic disease. Allow your employees to take scheduled sleep or mindfulness breaks to help them relax. You can also set up napping areas for employees who require them.
Encourage Fitness Breaks
Give discounted gym memberships, allow employees to take a few minutes off work to stretch, or offer on-site physical activity courses.
Change the Menu
Re-evaluate the menu in your cafeteria: Do your employees eat healthily? Fresh fruits and vegetables should be substituted for unhealthy foods such as sweetened beverages, fruit juice, processed foods, and fatty foods. Organize food wellness programs to educate employees on healthy eating habits.
Create a Challenge
Cycling events, races, walk challenges, and other fun activities can help your employees work together and stay fit. Put employees in different groups to increase their participation and enthusiasm.
Encourage all workers to set a health and wellness goal for this month. Goals should be measurable, specific, and attainable, such as walking 20 minutes per day, burning 1,200 calories per day, exercising four times per week to lose a certain amount of weight each week, and so on.
Post the necessary signs in strategic locations throughout your workplace, such as signs at the elevator to encourage employees to take the stairs instead, signs to promote smoking cessation, and so on.
Provide Health Information Regularly
You could send them health tips in your weekly newsletter, post them on the bulletin board, or invite experts to give health talks about healthy lifestyles and behavioral habits.
Lastly, whatever you do to promote health and wellness is fair game! During National Employee Wellness Month, re-evaluate your wellness programs, reignite the passion for wellness in your organization, and reinforce proven strategies to maintain a healthy work environment. Remember that healthy workers equal a healthy and productive workforce.