10 Great Ideas for an Employee Wellness Program

Corporate+Mindfulness
Corporate+Mindfulness
Photo by Helena Lopes

10 Great Ideas for an Employee Wellness Program

“How can I boost employee wellness and engagement” you ask?

We’ve all heard of employee wellness and understand the importance of maintaining employee health, both physically and mentally. There are so many different options to choose from, and can sometimes be daunting to delve into. You may sometimes ask yourself, “What are some of the best options available to me?”

For you, we have gathered together some of the leading wellness program incentives to help you boost productivity and happiness in the workplace. Also, to have the power to reduce company healthcare costs at the same time!

The responsibility of a great employer increasingly includes what they offer in their wellness program, especially in regards to recruiting and retaining employees. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from a wellness program, and you can scale these 10 great ideas below to suit your needs.

Corporate Yoga (including Yin Yoga)

Photo by Elly Fairytale

A well-established and favourite amongst many businesses, is the ability to offer corporate Yoga classes. Many physical ailments from employees come from extended periods of sitting in office chairs, coupled with the stress caused from the difficulty of finding a work/life balance. Yoga offers a plethora of benefits to encourage, as well as upkeep your employees’ health, mobility and mental fortitude. Group activities also have been proven to work wonders for team morale.

There are different styles of Yoga that teachers can offer, many focusing on Vinyasa or Hatha style classes. Yin Yoga is a restorative style that is often underplayed, and when incorporated, the focus on mindfulness, meditation and deep stretching, is the perfect counter for both physical and metal work place stress.

Movement and Stretch Classes

Not falling under the umbrella of Yoga, movement and stretching classes can include exercises or movements that typically don’t come up in Yoga, but there is usually some crossover. These classes are generally focused on ‘range of movement’ exercises, rather than static postures and incorporate stretches towards the end of the class to increase mobility and flexibility.

They are a great option for those who enjoy less of the ‘woo’ that can be attached to some Yoga classes, whilst still receiving the same physical benefits, alongside strengthening the mind-body connection.

Meditation Classes

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Meditation is a principle fundamental of wellbeing and has been incorporated into wellness programs since the concept of wellbeing in the workplace dawned. In practice, offering meditation as a compliment to workplace stressors and responsibilities has seen huge benefits, which include stress reduction, increased focus, improved employee relationships, memory increases, better decision making, less addiction and even an improved immune system! This can lead to less time off work due to illness, a wonderful bonus.

The great thing about meditation classes is that they can be done online, as well as in-person. With the introduction of video conferencing, having access to a meditation teacher for large numbers of employees has never been easier!

Giving Back Days

‘Giving back days’ are a wonderful way for you and your employees to be able to give back to the local community with reciprocity. Meshing these days into your wellbeing program, not only helps the community, it also helps build business relationships with local organisations. The purpose of this initiative is to help the lives of those less fortunate and also allow co-workers to foster and indulge in teamwork/collaboration.  Another great benefit is that these days can lead to increased employee happiness and job satisfaction knowing that they personally are a part of a company that wants to also give back by directly making positive change.

Mindfulness Short Course

Having a deeper foundation and understanding of mindfulness allows for rapid improvement of employee wellbeing. These courses are focused on the introduction and comprehension of mindfulness, with the goal of allowing the practices and techniques learnt to seep into our daily routines and activities.

Not only will participants be able to apply these techniques to their own unique struggles and roadblocks, they can also learn how to prevent these from appearing as patterns that lead to compromised work efficacy and enjoyment. True understanding of mindfulness has a filter down affect bleeding into every aspect of an employee’s life. It also makes it an essential life skill. When they feel balanced, so too will they consistently help to nourish your business.<

Nutritional Wellness Plan

A well-balanced and healthy nutritional plan can see drastic changes in not only your employee’s physical health, but also their mental health and sleep quality as well. Introducing ways that you can educate your employees to add more vegetables and fibre into their diet, whilst also reducing their meat and dairy consumption, has been proven to not only improve gut health, but also blood flow efficiency around the body, including the brain. This helps to improve memory levels as well as helping to increase positive mood and reduce stress at the same time.

Team Wellness Challenges

Taking on employee wellness as a team and having goals to complete are great ways to increase wellness activities that have a clear, defined structure, that build comradery at the same time. These challenges can be modified to your organisations culture, team size and personal wellness goals, moving away from the one program/size-fits-all solution that’s usually available.

Examples of team wellness challenges include:

Wellness Adventures

Mindfulness and stress relief can also be embraced as an adventure. There are resorts and other dedicated facilities that allow you and your employees unwind, taking some well-deserved time out.

Exploring one’s mind and body in a new environment can prove high beneficial. Retreating and training together in a pressure-less space can also heavily improve bonds and relationships with co-workers. It is also a great tool to motivate your team to work towards a common goal. Although on the more expensive side compared to other options on this list, wellness adventures are highly customisable; with aim to get results and outcomes that you and your employees want (They will thank you for it!).

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s)

EAP’s are proving to be incredibly popular, as they provide key mental health services. With qualified counselling partners, employees suffering with stress, anxiety, and/or mental health issues can find discreet support. Even though EAP’s are incredibly useful, it is important to complement them with a mixture of employee wellness strategies that prevent mental health decline, make it so that employees can mitigate and manage stress factors independently.

With EAP’s in place, there can still be high levels of employee dissatisfaction that need addressing. Whether due to internal employee relationship breakdowns or compounding workloads, adding in complimentary Corporate Yoga/ Meditation Classes/ Short Courses, can help teams and individuals self soothe before any mountains seem too high to climb. Therefore it is important to consider a more preventative approach then what a tradition EAP may be focused on.

Group Sound Meditation Sessions

Sound Meditation as therapy is an effective way to treat and support anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, depression, and insomnia. This ancient healing art, popular in Buddhism is used as a way to cleanse and relax the soul to arouse positive emotions. Scientifically speaking, the sound waves trigger responses that can alter our emotions, synchronise brain waves and activate destress responses.

In terms of frequency, a weekly or monthly session can work wonders, however even after attending one session you can see and feel the benefits. If you have large teams, you can even make sound group healings a prize available from the winners/completers of your team wellness challenges!

Take Action Today

Employee wellness programs are a must-have in today’s competitive work environment. Keeping employees mentally and physically healthy promotes a sense of wellness and happiness in the workplace. Employees confident that their employer cares for their overall health, are further contented with their lives and their role within your business. This assurance extrapolates onward to nurture and maintain stronger, lasting relationships with your other hardworking employees and clients, something every business should value.

Mirosuna is an urban mindfulness and meditation studio based in South Melbourne and we offer many of the above employee wellness programs. By getting in touch with us you can find out how we can become your wellness partner and tailor make a solution and curriculum that works to achieve the most effective wellness results for you and your employees.

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