Many businesses are aware that helping to keep employees healthy increases productivity and reduces absenteeism; two highly-desirable outcomes for most companies.
Many businesses run a variety of programs to support their employees’ wellbeing, from free breakfast programs to onsite gyms. Companies benefit because staff have fewer sick days, and show up to work focused and ready to perform. Staff benefit through improved health and greater job satisfaction, generally.
Improve your bottom line and bring teams together
This means that supporting employees in health-related efforts can positively affect the organisation’s bottom line. It encourages employee engagement and brings teams together.
Our team recently experienced this firsthand with our first ever workweek hustle.
A free Fitbit got the ball rolling
In 2015, we provided all employees with a Fitbit; no strings attached (we give them to all new employees too). Employees are free to wear and use them according to their own preference. Anecdotally, we heard that many employees were enjoying tracking their exercise, and some were taking full advantage of the Fitbit app’s food- and water-tracking features too.
We recently stepped it up a notch, inviting all employees to participate in a workweek hustle. The person with the highest number of steps at the end of the week stood to win a one-month personal training package.
These hustles are now becoming a regular team activity and our variety of prizes help to keep it interesting and fun.
Our employees loved it
The high levels of participation demonstrate that employees are keen to take advantage of opportunities to get healthy. We emailed regular updates to the team and see some high levels of activity from participants.
Wellness programs carry a dollar value
Lots of managers see wellness programs as an unnecessary distraction from the core business. In fact, evidence has proven that targeted wellness programs can carry a dollar value, particularly as the workforce ages.
Rising levels of obesity and heart disease in Australia affect businesses as well as individuals. When people can’t work but still get paid, and companies must find short- or long-term replacements, the cost can become enormous. Prevention, in this case, truly is much better than cure.
The link between exercise and reduced levels of obesity and the attendant risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, is well-proven.
And these healthy employees are less likely to leave the business. They know their employers care about them, and they can feel the benefits of the program. Thus, turnover is reduced, saving money.
Running a workweek hustle is, on its own, not enough to make a significant and lasting change. It is a step in the right direction, and one we intend to follow up with more programs depending on employee preferences.
What steps are you taking in your organisation to improve employee wellness?