At Gougeon, the health of our employees is a priority. We strongly believe that when our team members come to work happy and healthy, they perform more effectively. We are so passionate about this that we have a Wellness Coach on staff (that’s me!).
You might be wondering: what does insurance have to do with health and wellness?
We want our clients to be successful, so we work with our clients to take a proactive approach to manage the risks that impact their business, ultimately minimizing claims.
Taking a health and wellness approach is one facet of our proactive strategy. If we invest in our staff, our employees come to work engaged, energetic and ready to work! This added benefit also helps to retain and attract new employees and helps us to better manage our benefits cost.
While you may not have a Wellness Coach on staff, I made a list of 5 changes that you can do to create a culture that supports health.
1. Create Policies Around Junk-Food
- Having sugary snacks or ordering pizza for a meeting isn’t helpful for anyone. Not only does it cause crashes in energy and concentration, but it also makes it extra difficult for those trying to eat healthier.
- Create policies around bringing in junk food and not letting your office space become a dumping ground for the unhealthy snacks that employees don’t want at home.
- When catering lunches, order from companies that deliver fresh, whole foods that will keep your employees alert and energetic.
- Have a healthy snack basket filled with blood sugar stabilizing snacks like nuts and seed mixes, low sugar KIND bars, Daryl’s Performance bars, and other snacks with minimal sugar and real ingredients.
2. Offer Health and Wellness Subsidies
- Health and wellness subsidies are becoming increasingly popular for good reason. They are no longer seen as a cost, but rather as an investment in your employees that offers big returns.
- Subsidies most commonly cover gym memberships and nutritional counselling but can now be extended to cover such things as supplements, in-home equipment; basically anything that will help your employees get healthy.
3. Encourage Taking Breaks
- Many employees feel guilty about stepping away from their computer. From taking an actual lunch break (away from one’s desk) to going for a quick walk before a big meeting, studies show that encouraging your employees to take breaks throughout the day will help them be more creative, productive and help them retain information better.
- Also, walks can help them get healthy and burn some calories!
4. Host In-Office Wellness Challenges
- Why not add a little fun competition to help your employees get healthy? In-office challenges are a great way to encourage employees to take action and make steps towards improving their health.
- The great thing about these challenges is that many employees who don’t have a wellness goal will participate, getting caught up in the energy. So not only are you supporting those who are trying to make change, you are encouraging others to join in.
- Here are some easy challenge ideas that could have a big impact:
- a step challenge
- 10-minute meditation challenge
- water drinking challenge
- brown bag lunch challenge
5. Invest in a Workplace Wellness Program
Did you know that studies show that there is a $3.27 return on investment for every dollar spent? That is impressive.
The return is a result of the positive effect that a Workplace Wellness Program has on things like productivity, health-care-related costs, smoking cessation, and employee engagement/retention.
With returns like that isn’t it time to invest in your workforce? What changes are you willing to make to support your employees toward a healthier, happier and more productive new year?