Most Companies Fall Down on Employee Wellness, Data Shows

Here are four ways to pick up the slack.

Maurie Backman
Maurie Backman
Feb 27, 2019 at 8:08AM
Investment Planning

Your employees' well-being might dictate how well they perform on the job, interact with their peers, and remain loyal to your company. But the recently released 2019 Staples Workplace Survey reveals an unfavorable trend: Most businesses aren't doing their part to promote wellness among their workers.

A good 78% of employees say that their employers have a responsibility to keep them mentally and physically well -- yet only 42% of employers actually offer wellness programs. Employee wellness is so important these days that 41% of workers would take a 10% pay cut if it meant getting to work for an organization that cares more about wellness.

Professionally dressed man walking next to professionally dressed woman.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

If your company is lagging in the wellness arena, it means you're putting your business at risk of losing key talent and facing a decline in worker productivity. Here are a few specific steps you can take to remedy the situation.

1. Offer rewards for healthy behavior

Sometimes, employees need to be motivated to eat well, exercise, or engage in other habits that promote wellness. If you're serious about helping in this regard, incentivize your team by offering rewards for healthy behavior. You might, for example, give employees who visit the gym eight times or more in a given month a modest $20 gift card. Or you might hold a contest for best gym attendance throughout the year and award the winner an extra week of paid time off. There are plenty of options to play around with, but the key is to give your employees that extra push.

2. Provide on-site access to health resources

Accessibility is a major barrier to keeping busy workers healthy. To address that, make it easy for your employees to take care of their health by bringing key resources to them. You might, for example, offer on-site fitness classes that workers can attend during their lunch hour. Or you might install treadmills and stationary bikes in your break room so that employees can burn a few calories while clearing their heads. Additionally, you might consider offering perks like on-site massages once a month and nutritional counseling for folks who are eager to improve their diets but aren't sure how.


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3. Reimburse gym fees

Going to the gym is a great way to stay healthy, but it costs money. If you're willing to roll out a gym membership subsidy or reimbursement program, your employees will be more motivated to get themselves to a local fitness center before or after work.

4. Serve healthy foods at the office

Many companies have a practice of providing free coffee and snacks to employees, both as a genuine perk and as a means of keeping workers in the building during the day so they get their jobs done. If you really want to help your employees on the wellness front, make sure you're offering a healthy array of goodies. If you provide catered lunch, focus on salads and lean proteins. If you serve snacks, aim to load up on fruits and vegetables. While these items do cost more than your basic chips and pretzels, they'll do a better job of keeping your workers healthy.

Promoting employee wellness is a great way to show your workers you care about them, all the while boosting output and minimizing sick time. If your office has slacked on the wellness front, make it a priority this year. Your business stands to benefit in more ways than one.