As the exploding wellness industry demonstrates, healthy customers are happy customers. And because employees are the “internal customers” of every organization, it stands to reason that workplaces should focus on employee wellness.
Healthy employees contribute to and draw support from a healthy workplace. It’s not just about reducing sick days or absenteeism—although that matters, too. It’s also about fostering a culture of health and happiness in which employees thrive physically, emotionally and mentally, pouring energy into their work and showing stamina in taking ownership of their tasks.
Weight Watchers and smoking cessation have long been a focus of corporate wellness programs, for good reason. But the “new wave” of wellness in the workplace includes initiatives that reflect a broader, deeper, and more holistic understanding of health. Some require investment; but some don’t cost a dime. Examples include:
Mental health days.
Mental health carried a stigma for decades that rendered it a silent epidemic: according to Forbes, 84 percent of employees experience physical, psychological, or behavioral symptoms of poor mental health. Today, employers are emphasizing mental health education and objectives as keystones of wellness for employees. Besides coverage for therapy and counseling, many organizations are encouraging workers to take mental health days off—proactively addressing their health when feeling stressed, depressed or anxious due to break-ups, family issues, or even financial trouble. Red flags that your employees may need a mental health day include distraction, neglecting self-care, and frequent appointments to see a therapist. If you decide to implement mental health days, suggest activities such as meditation, spending time outdoors, physical activity, starting a project, or relaxation—not binge-watching TV in bed.
Tapping into today’s personalized and data-driven approach to health, employers can now implement AI (artificial intelligence) technology to collect and crunch vast swaths of data, tailoring wellness initiatives to each employee while making accurate forecasts to guide corporate programming. While hiring personal trainers and coaches can be financially daunting, investing in a fleet of mobile-health (mHealth) devices for employees can pay dividends.
The emergence of virtual healthcare providers is another facet of AI that joins customization with convenience. Rather than leaving the office for a doctor’s appointment, workers can now consult “chatbots” around the clock for immediate advice regarding nutrition, disease prevention, and healthy lifestyle.
Next month we will explore more cutting-edge and budget-friendly ideas for employee wellness. In the meantime visit our website TYSLLP to see why we are trusted advisors for our clients—not just standard accountants. We look beyond the bottom line to examine what makes a happier organization, animated by personal and organizational development.