As we wrap up an eventful 2022 and head into a new year, now is a perfect opportunity to begin brainstorming corporate wellness initiatives. It’s time to strike while the iron is hot – resolutions will be top of mind, and wellness will be a trending topic as we start fresh in 2023. Wellness takes many forms, and companies can get creative with wellness programs at work. You can consider everything from mindfulness programs to fitness competitions, to personal development workshops. No matter what, you can offer a variety of programming to suit the needs of your diverse workforce.
The Importance of Well-Being and Your Team
While employers do not directly control the well-being of an employee, they absolutely have the power to influence it – and they should. Employees devote significant hours of their lives to their work and finding ways to support them will not only benefit their well-being but also their productivity.
Employers had a front-row seat to the burnout their teams experienced during the Covid pandemic, and many companies instituted thoughtful measures to mitigate it. Employers offered flexibility, kindness, and connection as we all experienced a global crisis together. While our global situation has evolved and some of those concerns have lessened, employers shouldn’t take their foot off the gas. While burnout may not be as obvious or expected now as it was at the height of the pandemic, ensuring you are aware of the signs as well as instituting preventative measures will reduce stress and increase productivity.
Companies have adopted various “return-to-work” approaches, but one thing remains consistent – the need to maintain connection wherever your team is located remains critically important. Whether team members are working remotely, in office, or on a hybrid model, be sure you are including everyone in conversations and decisions. If you are conducting a meeting that includes people in-person and remote, take care to eliminate “chatter” and ensure your remote workers have a chance to participate. If you are leading an entirely remote team, build in time to encourage “small talk” in meetings. Being proactive about maintaining connection regardless of location will prevent isolation and increase a sense of belonging and purpose.
USC Dornsife reminds us that “physical wellness correlates with productivity, and offering benefits such as fitness memberships is an excellent way to improve employee retention.” Companies should evaluate their benefits offerings to ensure there are incentives to promote movement – be that a gym subsidy or access to onsite classes. Take it a step further and consider a walking meeting. Even if you’re team is remote, coordinate an old-fashioned call (video-free!) and encourage your team to step outside for some fresh air and movement while you have a conversation.
Is strength training more your speed? Check out Teamraderie’s experience with Ramona Braganza, who will lead your team through a variety of exercises to promote energy all while at work!
We live in a society where it’s a badge of honor to be busy and overworked. Rather than reward employees who put in extra hours and are “always on” – consider promoting the importance of time off. According to SHRM, research has shared that “employees who reported that their company encourages vacation (68 percent) are much happier with their jobs than those who work at places where either vacation is discouraged or managers are ambivalent about taking time off (42 percent).” Happier employees are more engaged employees and this will lead to increased productivity and output!
Check-in on Your Team
Leaders were encouraged to check in on their staff during the pandemic – it was a tumultuous time and employers demonstrated a level of empathy not often seen. Leaders should take this approach on a go-forward basis – ensuring that they continue to reach out to their teams, facilitate discussion on well-being, and perhaps most importantly, model the behavior themselves. Keep an eye on employee bandwidth, proactively offer support and ensure employees know how their work is impacting the mission.
Wellness isn’t a one-time corporate event; it is an ongoing practice involving mental, physical, and emotional support. Get creative and engage partners like Teamraderie to offer unique wellness experiences. Your employees will thank you and so will your bottom line!