So there is the average employee wellness program, and then there’s Google’s workplace wellness culture.

Remember when workplace wellness meant weight loss coaching and tobacco cessation programs? It was often represented by a poster of the food pyramid hung above the office microwave.

But Google and Facebook changed the name of the game, and employee wellness programs received a multi-million dollar makeover.

Today, employee wellness programs can involve anything from treadmill desks to indoor rock climbing. Bike racks encourage employees to exercise and practice ‘green’ habits, while free yoga classes help employees de-stress.

The fact is, employee wellness is no longer about bettering one’s health; it’s about boosting company morale and employee loyalty.  And you don’t have to have Google or Facebook’s billions to achieve a healthy and effective workplace wellness program for your employees.

Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind when creating your own workplace wellness culture:

1. Your Employees Are the Center of Your Wellness Program

…or they should feel like they are.

Try to emulate your parents when they had to come up with creative ways to make you eat your vegetables as a child.

Effective workplace wellness programs reduce healthcare costs for the employer –$3.27 for every $1 invested in wellness – but your employees won’t care if their healthy habits are saving you money.  More importantly, it won’t make them feel good to have a bunch of dollar signs stuck to their foreheads.

Your employees should feel supported and encouraged. Offer tools to help them lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle while respecting their abilities to manage their own workout schedules, diets, and work-life balance.

Simple things you can start doing today:

  • Treat your office to the occasional catered, healthy lunch (or make it regular)
  • Encourage your employees to take short naps when they’re tired
  • Let employees hit the gym during the day to get the creative juices flowing
  • Do any of your employees have special diets? Incorporate some healthy snack options for them to nosh on in the kitchen
    • Designate one room as the ‘quiet room’ – great for deep thinking, sleeping or just taking a breather

2. The Goal is Team Wellness, So Build that Team Spirit

There are two types of employee wellness programs.

The first is reflected by the average corporate wellness program, centered around health assessments, corporate gym discounts, and private nutrition sessions. The company points its employees in the right direction – making them aware of their eating and exercising habits – then leaves them to pursue healthy living independently.

Not much teamwork involved, right? So let’s call this Employee Wellness Program: Phase 1.

Employee Wellness Program: Phase 2 encourages employees to start healthy living there and then, and brings the team together in the process.  Activities that fall under this category include in-office yoga classes, company sports teams, off-site meditation retreats, spontaneous planking sessions in the office lounge, catered lunch, and group cooking classes.

Phase 2 encourages collaboration, innovation, and creativity to better your company. This is exactly what you want in an employee wellness program.

After all, aren’t challenges easier to face when you’re not alone? A tight-knit team that’s motivated by passion and committed to healthy living will attract future talent and keep your current employees sticking around.

3. Tie It To Your Unique Company Culture

What would set your employee wellness program apart from another company’s?

Chances are, what you think is unique may not actually be. So ask yourself: what does your company stand for?

If your team is passionate about the environment, create an employee wellness program to encourage walking or biking to work. Is your team especially competitive? Consider offering special memberships to crossfit gyms or organizing a monthly relay.  If philanthropy is popular, have your company participate in the March of Dimes, AIDS Walk, Avon Walk or other fundraisers.

Google has done an incredible job at tying their workplace wellness culture to their existing brand. In the same way, you want to build a wellness culture that defines your company: whether that means fun, creative, competitive or unique. You’ll see your team’s morale go way, way up.

Investing in a Healthy & Happy Team to Stay Ahead

Your company thrives when your employees thrive.

Done right, an effective employee wellness program has the power to boost employee productivity, increase retention and talent recruitment, and save thousands of dollars on health insurance. Without mental and physical wellness, employees cannot reach their full potential.

So remember when your parents would expect you to produce excellent work for school? But once bedtime rolled around…

Lights out. No excuses. Your health and well-being come before work. And isn’t that true love?

Show your employees that you love them. They’ll love you back and bring you success.

Want to learn more about how Fond can help you build a great employee wellness program? Request a demo today!