Wellness perks are one of the most important ways to keep your employees happy and healthy. They can be used to entice talented new applicants and retain some of your most effective workers. But what do your employees actually want in wellness perks? Let’s take a look at ways to gauge employees’ interest in wellness perks, and offer some options for wellness benefits that your company can start today.
The amount of wellness programs your company does is up to you. What matters most is that you’re actively considering your employee’s overall health whether that’s emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual. When looking for the right wellness perks, start with these tips.
Ask your employees the right questions
According to CareerBuilder data, the top five stress symptoms causing lost productivity are constant fatigue (29%), sleeplessness (26%), aches and pains (24%), high anxiety (23%) and weight gain (18%). Figuring out initiatives to alleviate these symptoms is essential for improving wellness in the workplace.
the best places to start is with a survey to gauge interest
When considering which perks are best for your company, one of the best places to start is with a survey to gauge interest. Poll your people and find out what wellness means to them. Do they want access to a gym, personal improvement classes, or are they interested in relaxation techniques?
Another option, rather than asking about specific initiatives, is to send out a questionnaire on their overall feelings of fulfillment in certain areas. If, for instance, your team collectively says they don’t have enough time in the day to focus on physical health, then you could begin looking at fitness programs to help your team achieve these goals.
Ideally, wellness perks would also increase the productivity of your staff. After all, when you feel good about the place you work, you’re more likely to invest your time and best efforts into watching it succeed. But when choosing which perks to start at your company, be careful you don’t end up hurting productivity in the process. A game room, for example, may be a perfect place for your team to blow off steam. But if the game room is in the same space as meetings – or if your team ends up spending all of their day playing pool instead of working, you could be sacrificing productivity for feelings of wellness.
Before moving forward with any new perks, take time to consider the balance between wellness initiatives and how they will affect team productivity.
Consult the budget
It’s important to manage expectations, especially when considering wellness perks. These initiatives not only need to interest and positively impact your team, but they also need to be financially practical. If you survey your team and they’re interested in having an Olympic-size pool installed in the basement – and your company can’t afford that – all is not lost. Instead, find the heart of what they’re interested in, whether that be passes to your local YMCA or simply more of a focus on free or discounted initiatives that promote physical fitness.
employees who participated in wellness initiatives saw statistically significant improvements in “exercise frequency, smoking behavior, and weight control”
When thinking financially, it’s also important that you consider the long-term impacts of wellness programs. According to a Rand study, employees who participated in wellness initiatives saw statistically significant improvements in “exercise frequency, smoking behavior, and weight control.” And participation in these wellness programs over a five year period is associated with lower health care costs per employee. In other words, these benefits can help the bottom line as well as the overall wellness of your workforce.
While there are a wide variety of wellness perks that could benefit your employees, here are some options that could be a great addition to your overall benefits.
Working 40+ hours a week at a desk can often cause employees to feel anxiety or stress. With a Zeel chair massage, a licensed massage therapist will provide a 12-20 minute massage sessions, giving the team a chance to unwind and reduce stress levels.
Beyond stress relief, a massage can be a great way to improve a person’s physical health, reducing tension headaches and improving circulation. Improved sleep health is also a common side effect that can directly improve your team’s sense of well-being and productivity.
Also Read: The Benefits of a Chair Massage at Work
A corporate chair massage can be scheduled around your company’s day and workspace. You’re matching efficiency and luxury, as your employees can be pampered between meetings without even leaving the office. This can be the perfect tool for improving morale and retention at your company, as it shows that you’re caring about the physical and mental needs of your employees.
Improve through improv
At first glance, theatrical arts seem like a far cry from the world of business. But in all actuality, there are some surprising crossovers, specifically in the art of improvisation. Companies such as Face Off Unlimited and Improvedge present sessions with your team to enhance communication, productivity, and problem-solving within your company.
According to Gina Timarco, a Forbes Coach and founder of Pivot10Results, “Most people… don’t realize that an improvisation is a form of exercising the brain that improves mindfulness, active listening collaboration, risk-taking, confidence, public speaking, sales, conflict and so much more. Laughter will also result, which reduces stress while improving rapport and trust with co-workers.”
Using improv as a driver, you can instill these important skills in your team while building a community that wants to work together. It’s a powerful combination.
Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness training has become increasingly popular in corporate settings throughout the last decade. Mindfulness initiatives can include classes, yoga, and meditation sessions that help your employees leave the past behind them, reduce stress, and focus on goals and actions that are important.
28% reduction in their stress levels, a 20% improvement in sleep quality, and a 19% reduction in pain
Mark Bertolini, Aetna CEO, offered meditation and yoga session to his employees. In an interview with New York Times, Bertolini explained that the company’s workforce that participated in his classes reported a “28% reduction in their stress levels, a 20% improvement in sleep quality, and a 19% reduction in pain.” Beyond this, the employees also became more productive as a result of these classes, and gained an average of 62 minutes of productivity each week! Like all successful wellness initiatives, these wellness exercises improve the overall well-being of the employee, while also improving the workflow of the company.
A well-run business
When considering wellness perks for your company, make sure you spend adequate time thinking about the needs of your team. Be willing to reach out and learn about their interests and pain points, and then make a plan to directly meet those needs. After all, the average employee will spend most of their lives in the office. They’re not machines. They need to be considered as individuals with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Use these tips to get started and discover the best wellness perks for your business.