What do Google, Zappos, and Fitbit all have in common? They all have super healthy employees. These three companies are among the top in the nation in providing their employees with company wellness programs and the results are clear.
Everyone knows Google is a great place to work. It’s got slides and ping-pong and nap pods and LEGO stations. They are extremely creative in finding unique ways to keep their employees happy and healthy. Googleplex is basically an amusement park where people also happen to get amazing work done.
Online retail giant Zappos has one of the most talked-about wellness programs in the country because it gives their employees dozens of options. From free gym memberships to nap rooms at the office, Zappos is all about doing something away from the desk that makes a big impact on what happens when they are at their desks.
Not surprisingly, Fitbit actually created their own wellness program that over 30 other Fortune 500 companies participate in. Their goal is to fundamentally change office culture so it centers more around health. Their programs are customized and use the trackers as a motivator for rewards or competition programs.
Building a Wellness Program
So how do you build a wellness program for your company that reaps similar rewards? The trick is to keep it fun and engaging, people do enough stuff at work that’s not necessarily “fun” to incorporating “fun” is one of the biggest motivators to get employees involved.
We’ve found a few ideas on what the best wellness programs include. Pick one or two to try to incorporate this week, this month, or this year.
- Provide branded water bottles: It’s simple easy and promotes hydration.
- Visit a local farmer’s market for lunch: Provide a breakroom full of fresh produce for employees to snack on and then take home for dinner.
- Create a healthy office cookbook or a daily recipe idea for healthy options to make for dinner when employees get home.
- Incentivize smoking cessation: Studies show employees who were financially incentivized to quit smoking were 3 times more successful.
- Use Wednesdays. It’s the middle of the week and everyone hit a lull. Introduce Wellness Wednesdays and provide healthy snacks, mid-day workouts, or outside activities.
- Find out what is working and what is not: Use a simple survey form to find out what your employees need or want from a wellness program.
- Create a company sports team and join a local league.
- Provide on-site classes for Yoga, Zumba, or other popular options.
- Cover the entry fee for anyone who wants to participate in a local race.
- Take your meetings outside. Walk as you talk.
- Call the local gyms and ask about group discounts.
- Use competition and rewards to encourage participation and get the whole office involved. Create competitions for number of steps, hours or sleep, ounces of water, push-ups, miles run, or most miles biked.
- Do a gratefulness wall to encourage mental health as well as physical health.
- Encourage naptime, recess, and breaks throughout the day.
- Provide volunteer opportunities as a company or group.
- Give employees a vacation day on their birthday
- Go out to lunch with your team.
- Make your office pet-friendly
- Celebrate! Find reasons to celebrate like odd holidays, personal milestones, work anniversaries, or goals met. National Popcorn Day anyone?
- Hire a masseuse for a day and offer 15-30 massages.
- Offer to subsidize a set amount of an employee’s insurance premium when they log a certain number of exercise hours each month.
- Create flexible work hours so employees have more control over their day. If possible, offer one remote working day each week
- Declare a set time, like No Talk Tuesday and try banning any non-urgent meetings and interruptions to help everyone get more done
- Provide resources to teach your employees the basics and importance of finance
- Organize a book club or community library
Regardless of the size of your business, you can incorporate a wellness programs that promotes health, productivity, and happiness in your company. You don’t have to have any fancy equipment or a big budget, most of these are small things and simple ideas to get you started. Over time, you will see decreasing employee turnover and absenteeism. By becoming one of the best places to work in your area.