A big buzz among human resources professionals and business owners today is about creating workplace wellness programs for offices. It seems that companies really are taking stress in the workplace seriously and want to try to solve the issues within their own organizations. A recent study showed that companies with a strong wellness program in place perceive themselves and their employees as healthier, happier, and less stressed than those who do not. The study noted the following.

Based on the Consumer Health Mindset analysis, employees who work in strong cultures of health were more likely to say they have control over their health than those who work at companies where it is less of a priority (75 percent versus 63 percent). In addition, they were less likely to report that stress has a negative impact on their work (25 percent versus 49 percent). The report also showed a link between strong health cultures and general happiness. Sixty-six percent of employees in strong health cultures say they are extremely or very happy with their lives compared to just 32 percent of those in weak health cultures.

In fact, according to this survey, individuals working for companies who have accessible health and wellness policies and programs feel more empowered to adapt healthy routines into their lives. If you’re a business owner or an individual who wants to promote workplace wellness programs, here are some ideas for starting.

Make the investment

A workplace wellness program doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive, but it should be a priority for your budget each year. Offer gym memberships. Eliminate the soda and snack machines and replace them with healthy options like fruit and bottled water. Invite speakers in to discuss health or teachers to provide a yoga or tai chi class once a month.

Promote health at work

To help your team avoid stress in the workplace, offer them healthy alternatives. Start a walking group during lunch. Have a quiet room where they can relax and meditate for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Create standing workspaces they can use throughout the day. Encourage and provide the tools to help smoking employees quit.

Lead by example

A workforce is only as strong as its management team. If you want your team to maintain healthy work habits and make better choices, you need to do the same. Don’t eat lunch in the office. Don’t stay late every day to catch up on work. When your employees see what you’re doing they will feel the need to follow suit.

Provide recognition

Employees want to be rewarded for their good work but it also helps to recognize wellness milestones in conjunction with your healthy workplace programs. Reward employees who lose weight or quit smoking when appropriate. Offer healthy competitions like an office field day or walk-a-thon.

Does your office have a workplace wellness program in place?

Image by US Department of Agriculture via Flickr

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