3 ways companies can support employee health and wellness

A healthy workplace is a happy one, and in 2018, employers will be taking a closer look at how they can support their employees' well-being in the office. 

Doing this isn't about offering a gym membership discount and calling it a day, however. It's about creating personalized employee wellness programs and perks that help workers live their best lives and show that their employers do care about their health. A 2016 survey by Global Wellness Institute/Everyday Health found that when employees see their companies as "caring about their health/wellness," they have better health, higher job engagement and lower stress levels. 

Here are three ways companies can support their employees' health and wellness:

1. Listen to what the people want 

An an employer, you can make assumptions, but to implement effectively wellness programs that your employees value, take a pulse of what people want. Polls, surveys and group meetings can give employees a chance to tell you what kind of wellness perks they desire 

2. Bring in the experts 

Research by HealthFitness found that nearly 75 percent of participants in wellness programs say a personal touch is important in their health programs. They want guidance from diet, fitness and wellness experts, as well as one-on-one training and education time with these experts. 

In a corporate setting, this desire means that it's worth the investment to collaborate with nutritionists, fitness experts and other authorities to help you develop your employee wellness programs. Provide discounts or free passes for sessions with personal trainers or for meetings to develop a diet plan with a nutritionist. 

3. Make healthy living a shared endeavor 

Strengthen your company culture so that it reflects the business's commitment to helping employees lead healthy lives. One way you can do this is by making wellness a shared experience. Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy snacks, and offer team fitness classes, either on site or at a gym close by. You can also hold company wellness retreats or "healthy living days" that feature seminars on diet, fitness and mental health topics from industry experts. If you have remote employees or operate multiple offices in different locations, use video conferencing software to connect everyone and live stream the event. 

As an employer, you have a responsibility to create a safe work environment that supports employees' health and wellness. With the tips above, you can show your employees you care in the ways that matter most to them. 

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