As a business owner or human resources executive, one of the best ways to bolster employee productivity is to encourage workplace wellness. With research supporting the link between employee wellness and job performance, more employers are recognizing the key role that employee wellness can play in company productivity. Below are some specific steps that senior leaders can take to encourage workplace wellness, create a healthy workplace, and yield a robust bottom line.


1) Establish a Healthy Workplace

The path to workplace wellness begins with a company culture that emphasizes health. The first step in building a culture of health is to assemble a small but influential team of employees that includes a key member of the largest departments within your organization.

Each committee member can, in turn, focus on encouraging members within his or her department to participate in campaign activities. Here are some other tips that H.R. executives can use to build a culture of health in the workplace:

2) Launch a “Healthy Workplace Tip of the Day” Initiative 

Imagine starting each day at work by opening your e-mail inbox to find a short but helpful wellness tip or a motivational phrase. Receiving a helpful and inspirational message at the start of each workday will help employees approach the day with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. Delegate one member of your wellness committee to handle this small but important task.

3) Stock your Vending Machines with Healthful Snacks and Drinks

Giving your office vending machine a makeover is a great way to encourage healthy eating habits at work. Do your best to steer clear of high-calorie, high-fat snacks and gradually introduce low-fat, natural snack options. Healthful vending choices include sunflower seeds, reduced fat popcorn, baked potato chips, and peanuts.

4) Provide Incentives to Employees who Exceed Established Wellness Goals

One of the best ways to motivate some employees is to outline enticing incentives that will be awarded to employees who achieve their health and wellness goals. Examples of effective incentives include gift cards, preferred parking spots, lunch with the company CEO, free trips, and paid time off. This strategy is most effective when incentives are clearly outlined before a wellness campaign is launched.

5) Offer Flexible Scheduling for Employees to Allow Time for Workouts

“…As employees get older, achieving work-life balance becomes more important for both genders. Employers must change organizational norms by openly recognizing the importance of priorities outside work. Creating a culture that openly encourages balance will result in a more well-rounded and confident workforce.”   

– Ernst & Young LLP

As outlined above by Ernst & Young LLP, today’s employees are looking for employment that encourages exercise and other activities that help a person maintain a balanced approach to life. HR Directors can promote a healthy workplace by encouraging exercise during lunchtime and breaks in the day. Offering flexible scheduling also helps employees make time for fitness activities.

6) Use Endomarketing to Keep Employees Abreast of Wellness Campaign Progress 

There are many ways for companies to keep employees informed about upcoming wellness activities, local community events, and internal wellness leaders. Company newsletters, message boards, and meeting updates are all effective ways to recognize top performers and motivate non-participating employees to join in the fun.

7) Share Fitness Highlights on Social Media

As employees participate in community fitness activities, employee walks, and collaborative workouts, make sure that there is someone on hand to take pictures and videos to post on social media. H.R. Directors can also use social media as a platform to remind employees about upcoming events and post information about the positive effects that are resulting from your fitness campaign.

8) Establish a Daily Walking Group

A 30-minute walk outdoors provides a dose of fresh air, elevates your heart rate, and improves circulation. Employees return to their jobs feeling invigorated and with a boost of energy to tackle the remainder of the day’s activities. Establishing a daily walking group is also a great way to help employees meet their goals for total number of steps taken daily.

9) Recognize your Top Performers and your Most Improved Employees

Recognizing star employees on a monthly or weekly basis provides positive reinforcement to workers who have embraced an office wellness campaign. Posting the names of the top performers by the water cooler or in the company conference room is a great way to recognize employees who have maintained their commitment to achieving their wellness goals.

10) Assemble a Company Team to Run the Next Mini-Marathon Together

Participating in a mini-marathon (13.1 miles) may seem like a daunting task for an employee who is trying to become healthier. However, many employees participate by walking the course, handing out refreshments, or running a portion of the race with a colleague. Employees who decide to run the entire course can train together and enjoy a joint celebration when all participants cross the finish line.

What is the Best Way to Encourage a Healthy Workplace?

“Wellness programs are clearly a win-win, especially at a time when employers and their employees are more budget conscious. Employers benefit by retaining top talent, energizing their employees and reducing the number of sick days. Employees benefit from improved physical health, reduced stress in the workplace and the financial benefits of a healthy lifestyle.”  

– Lee Dukes, President of Principal Wellness Company

As illustrated by Lee Dukes, the single best way to encourage your employees to improve their health is to introduce a wellness program that provides workers with convenient, unlimited access to fitness activities. Ideally, the wellness program you select will be convenient, cost-effective, user-friendly, and proven to produce positive results.

Choosing the Ideal Workplace Well-being Program for your Employees

Not all wellness programs are created equal. Selecting a stellar well-being program for your employees requires a careful evaluation of the top-notch programs in the market. As you compare healthy workplace programs for your employees, look for those that inspire you to launch a well-being program today. Excellent choices are well-established corporate programs that have received global recognition for helping companies decrease healthcare costs and reduce absenteeism.