August is National Wellness Month, and while it is a good time to evaluate how your workplace encourages wellness, well-being is more than just a month-long activity. Well-being is “an ongoing practice of small, daily acts that allow people to manage stress, be more productive, and feel happier and healthier” (Source). Here are some ways you can encourage your employees to look after their health and wellness.
Many people consider self-care to be once-in-a-while indulgent treats such as a spa day. However, self-care is much more vital to our wellness. Self-care includes proper sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress-management, self-compassion, mindfulness/meditation, and rest. Practicing self-care is not a nice-to-have, selfish indulgence, but a critical necessity to our well-being. Let your employees know that the workplace supports them focusing on their well-being. Live by example by having management or other leaders visibly practice self-care as well so employees feel more comfortable taking time to focus on their own well-being.
Encourage Physical Health
Physical health is a large aspect of wellness. You can encourage well-being in your employees by encouraging physical health in multiple ways. One way is to encourage physical activity throughout the day, such as going on a 20-minute walk in the middle of the day to refresh before continuing work. You can also encourage water consumption through a wellness challenge, free water bottles, and by providing conveniently located water coolers.
Post-pandemic, many people are accustomed to working anywhere, any time and thankfully technology makes that possible. However, many employees now struggle to take time to disconnect. You can encourage your employees to exercise proper work-life boundaries by having them set times where they are done for the day and need not respond to anything work related. Technology makes it possible to work anywhere at any time, but the downside is that many employees don’t take the time to disconnect. Employers should encourage employees to set times when they shut down for the day and establish hours when they do not respond to emails. Similarly, make sure employees know it’s important and ok to use their paid time off. Even if they don’t have a vacation planned, time spent away from work is restorative.
A positive work environment goes a long way. When employees are burnt out and need a break, they are more likely to have poor health, lower productivity, and negative mindsets. Be mindful of ways you can lessen the workload for employees who are overwhelmed, or even surprise employees with a day off.
You can also encourage positivity by showing gratitude and appreciation to your employees. Check out our blog posts from last year on 6 Ways You Can Thank Your Employees and Why You Should Thank Your Employees More. Additionally, you can also consider giving small tokens of appreciation in the form of self-items such as candles, essential oils, diffusers, stress balls, healthy snacks, tea, gift cards, journals, chocolates, and more!
Since your employees spend most of their day at work, it makes sense that workplace well-being should be attended to. National Wellness Month is a great opportunity to start some wellness initiatives and send the message to your employees that their well-being is important. You will see the benefits of a healthier, more engaged workplace all year!