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How to improve employee health & well-being with a corporate wellness program

It’s Workplace Wellness Week from the 2-6 of July, and Bloom Financial Services, together with their partner, Momentum Health4Me would like to encourage organisations and businesses to consider adopting corporate wellness programs for their staff. Find out how you can go about developing an employee wellness program and how you can improve your personal health when you’re at work. 

What is employee wellness?

Employee health and well-being have gained a great deal of traction over the past decade. There are now entire departments and professionals dedicated to the promotion and development of corporate wellness program. Employee wellness refers to any organised company activity that is designed to support workplace health. These programmes can include physical activities, like fitness initiatives or mental health drives. Medical insurance providers encourage these types of programmes because they promote healthy lifestyle choices and help reduce stress in the workplace. 

Why are corporate wellness and wellness programmes so important?

Corporate wellness and corporate wellness programmes have a number of advantages, some of which include:

  • Heightened health awareness. Running corporate wellness initiatives, like healthcare screenings and educationals, will reduce help the risk of health-related conditions or diseases, like diabetes or cardiovascular disease. 
  • Increase in productivity and absenteeism. Staff who are unhealthy are less productive and frequently absent from work due to illness. Addressing health concerns will help reduce unhealthy habits, and promote healthy behaviour.
  • Improve staff retention and attract talent. If your company is recognised as being progressive in the area of corporate wellness, your staff will be more motivated to remain loyal company employees. Likewise, a reputable wellness programme can attract highly experienced or qualified candidates to your organisation.
  • Boost in staff morale. When employees are able to engage with one another, communicate openly and feel appreciated by the company, studies have shown a marked improvement in work performance and staff mood.

8 Wellness Day ideas for the workplace

1. Organise and coordinate a health screening day at work

Check with your organisation’s medical insurance or medical aid provider. They may coordinate tailored health screenings for your staff, which could include free blood pressure checks, blood-glucose tests and weigh-ins. This will help make your staff more aware of their physical health and encourage them to take the necessary steps to reduce their risk of developing life-threatening conditions.

2. Assess the company’s ergonomics

Ensure the workplace is ergonomically sound. This will promote productivity and contentment amongst employees. Make sure that the company’s furniture, like desks and chairs, are suited for workplace wellness.

3. Start an employee fitness programme

It’s important to keep moving, especially at work when employees can sit for long periods of time. Break it up with an organised activity routine during lunch break or before work begins with a class like yoga or a brisk walk around the block. If you have enough employees, we even suggest starting an organised team sports group, like soccer or cricket. Coordinate matches between departments or with local companies to boost staff morale.

4. Celebrate your employee’s victories and success stories

Employee wellness and well-being are also about promoting good mental health so make it personal and prove that your employees are part of a unified team by sharing people’s personal achievements, milestones and celebrations. Your staff will appreciate the fact that you know they recently got engaged, welcomed the birth of a child or finished their postgraduate studies with distinction.

5. Start a conversation about workplace wellness

Form a committee with your staff to promote employee wellness. The committee can schedule days for certain health-related activities throughout the year. Likewise, create a regular form of communication that promotes your wellness initiatives, like a company newsletter or private social media accounts.

6. Support local health-related initiatives and charities

There is great merit in supporting local or national healthcare projects that can involve your staff. It shows compassion and empathy in the workplace. Take a look at some of the great initiatives that happen in the country, like Cuppa for CANSA and Movember, and sign-up to be a part of the support network.

7. Opinion or mood surveys

Find out how your staff are feeling by running regular assessments or staff opinion surveys. Ensure the surveys are conducted anonymously in order to get truthful feedback. You will gain valuable insight into certain pain points or challenges that you can address or rectify. By addressing these issues, a company can improve their overall corporate culture and improve staff motivation.

8. Health-related presentations

If there’s a certain topic related to health, why not organise an expert to come in and give a presentation? These sorts of initiatives are always greatly appreciated by staff members who get to learn about serious issues, like breast cancer awareness or HIV/AIDS prevention and take a well-earned break from their regular duties.

How to improve your health at work

There are various tactics you can use to improve your health at work. Take a look at these 5 easy tips on workplace wellness:

1. Watch your diet – especially the snacks!

It’s very easy to indulge in sugar and fast foods when you’re at work. Many workplaces provide free snacks, like candy and crisps or have vending machines with tempting treats. However, these are not very healthy and, after time could lead to some serious health problems. As a leading medical insurance provider, we promote a healthy lifestyle and advise that you plan ahead. Bring a packed lunch with you to work and save the sugary goodies for a Friday treat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Keep a filled water bottle on your desk to remind yourself to drink at least 1-2 litres of water each day.

2. Stay active and keep moving

Many people work at a desk in front of the computer all day. That accumulates to more than seven hours per day or 35-40 hours per week of being inactive, which can cause joint problems and backache. Try to take regular breaks to keep moving. If you’re heading to a meeting, take the stairs or even a short, brisk walk during your lunch break.

3. Be hygienic at all times

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all aware of hygiene safety so it goes without saying that you should always wear a protective face covering at work, and sanitise regularly. Most companies have set out corporate health and safety guidelines so make sure you’re adhering to these in order to remain safe.

4. Banish stress, or at least try to minimise it

Stress can have a huge negative effect on your mental and physical health. It can also lead to poor job performance, absenteeism and social tension. Many people experience stress at work due to the heavy workload they face, mounting responsibilities and looming deadlines. Don’t become overwhelmed by it all. Try to find a healthy work-life balance. Practice regular self-care methods and you will be sure to cope more effectively.

Takeaway

Wellness and well-being are essential components for a healthy lifestyle. Bloom Financial Service encourages all organisations to consider a wellness programme for their staff and to look at ways of encouraging good health in the workplace. Keeping yourself healthy at work is also a personal responsibility so be mindful of your behaviour, posture and diet. Find the right health insurance plan to suit your individual medical needs with Bloom. Our team of trained brokers can help you discuss your medical insurance options. 

Medical Content Disclaimer

You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Bloom Financial Services website are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All content provided on the website, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Neither is it intended to be a substitute for an independent professional medical opinion, judgement, diagnosis or treatment.