Quick Look: August is National Wellness Month, but business leaders can contribute year-round to their employees’ well-being. Offering the right benefits package, combined with a healthy work environment, can keep your staff happy and engaged, while boosting your business’ cost-efficiency. Here, we explore 4 tips to help employers promote employee wellness during National Wellness Month and beyond.
Mental and physical wellness is a top priority for the modern workforce. In today’s post-pandemic era, employees are looking for support from their employers to help them boost their well-being. From proper work-life balance to adequate mental health coverage, workers are searching for more than the status quo when it comes to their personal wellness.
Here we will discuss National Wellness Month, the importance of promoting employee health and wellness, and how partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) can help employers achieve these goals.
What is National Wellness Month?
Since its inception in 2018, National Wellness Month has aimed to increase awareness of stress management, self-care, and healthy routines like drinking more water, practicing yoga, trying new things, prioritizing exercise, and making healthier food choices.
National Wellness Month advocates for the wellness of all people, including employees. The pandemic has solidified the idea that the well-being of staff greatly affects worker retention and happiness. And considering that almost half of employees with access to mental health benefits report they’re more likely to stay with their current employer because of those perks, it’s the perfect time for business leaders to consider how they want to celebrate National Wellness Month in their workplace.
The importance of employee wellness
Creating and maintaining employee wellness programs can increase productivity in the workplace, reduce turnover rates, and boost employee satisfaction. Prioritizing employee wellness can also directly lower costs relating to employer-provided healthcare, as well as:
- Reduce employee absenteeism
- Raise productivity rates
- Lower employee injuries and workers’ compensation and disability-related costs
- Improve employee morale and loyalty
Employee benefits that can spark wellness
It’s crucial to create a positive workplace where personal wellness is promoted. Doing so can help attract top talent and keep retention rates high, making it a win-win for companies and their staff. The following tips can guide business leaders as they plan the best ways to promote employee wellness during National Wellness Month and beyond.
Tip #1: Promote physical activity throughout the workday
Being active is one of the best ways to foster physical and mental wellness. Encouraging employees to engage in walking meetings, utilize standing desks, or establish a step counting challenge can help them remain active throughout the workday. Additionally, business leaders can motivate remote workers to allot time to step outside and take a walk to move their bodies and clear their minds before jumping back into their tasks.
Tip #2: Encourage self-care
Self-care encompasses many things, including healthy eating, physical activity, proper sleep, drinking enough water, and meditation. Creating a workspace for employees that promotes these behaviors and routines makes all the difference to workers’ wellness and happiness.
Employers can do this by communicating to employees that wellness is a top priority and encouraging staff to work toward their wellness and self-care goals. In addition to advising workers to get active during the day, business leaders may also establish an in-office wellness room where employees can meditate, read, and more.
Tip #3: Set healthy boundaries
While the rise in remote work has many perks, it has left some workers unable to fully disconnect. With their work computer nearby at all times, some employees have a hard time disengaging from work tasks after hours.
Business leaders can combat this by reassuring employees that they are expected to log off after working hours. Encouraging leadership to have open conversations around healthy work-life balance and utilizing paid time off can create an environment where workers aren’t afraid to prioritize their wellness.
Tip #4: Provide the right benefits
Wellness is multifaceted and can include physical, mental, and even financial well-being. Offering a comprehensive suite of employee benefits catered to the various aspects of wellness can alleviate employees’ stress and encourage them to continue working at your organization.
Physical health benefits
Offering a range of medical, dental, and vision plans tailored to a multigenerational workforce is key in driving employee wellness. Each worker will have different needs, but a good rule of thumb is to include health plans that cover preventive services, offer telehealth appointments, and provide flexible savings accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs), if applicable.
Mental health benefits
The health of the mind is just as important as the health of the body. And with over half of U.S. workers reporting feeling stress every day, equipping them with mental health benefits is a must. These benefits can include access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), coverage of therapy sessions, access to meditation and mindfulness apps, and more.
Financial wellness benefits
Nearly 75% of Americans rank their finances as their number one stress in life. Employers can help by providing workers with financial education and reassuring them that they are there to help.
Implementing programs to assist with budgeting, investing, saving for retirement, and paying off student loans can show employees that their employers are there for them and want to help them achieve good financial health.
The support you need to support your staff
Don’t stress, SMB leaders. Creating a work environment that prioritizes employee wellness can be simple when you partner with a professional employer organization (PEO).
PEOs can provide you with affordable access to a variety of Fortune 500-level benefits designed with wellness in mind. These benefits can include: medical, dental, and vision coverage with telehealth visits; EAPs; access to meditation and mindfulness apps; 401(k) retirement plans; and student loan repayment programs. What’s more, a PEO like ExtensisHR has seasoned benefits experts to assist with benefits administration, planning, and communication.
Working with a PEO allows you to contribute to employees’ wellness year-round, not just during National Wellness Month. Contact the experts at ExtensisHR to get started today.