What creates a culture of wellness? Is it giving your employees a free gym membership? Perhaps it’s adding a juicer and a bowl packed with every fruit imaginable to your company’s kitchen supplies? The truth is wellness is not created by one or two ‘healthy’ initiatives; employee wellness embodies both physical and psychological factors and is related to the whole person. Holistic wellness transcends the physical and includes emotional, social, financial and career wellbeing.
A culture of wellness
We recently read this article about Knichel, a company that has created what it refers to as a ‘family culture.’ This culture means that Knichel puts its people first. The result is what can be described as a ‘well’ workplace.
One of the ways they have created a ‘well’ workplace is by providing free gym membership to all employees. This may seem contradictory to our comments above, however to encourage employees to stay physically healthy, they provide them with an incentive to exercise. If an employee attends the gym, they are rewarded with an extra 30 minutes for their lunch break. Free time off for doing something that directly benefits the individual (and also benefits the employer in ways we will explore later) is a big motivating factor. The employee effectively receives two ‘wins’ for their efforts. What do they have to lose?
The wellness suite
Free gym membership is an obvious way to improve wellbeing - we all know that exercise is good for physical and mental health – but extending the benefits to include a reward for achieving measurable goals using the gym, as well as providing perks that speak to the social, financial and career elements of work, is what results in a culture of wellness.
Benefits of ‘well’ employees
Creating a culture of wellness has many benefits, for example:
- Building employee loyalty. When an individual feels as though their organization is invested in their long-term wellness they associate positive health results with their company, strengthening the employee-employer bond.
- Incorporating game elements such as social interaction and sharing with rewards for completing challenges or achieving goals fosters team morale
- Encouraging people to detach from work, even only for a short time can ensure they come back refreshed and energized for more.
- When employees are well, both physically and mentally, it can help decrease the company’s medical insurance premiums.
When employees are well, they are more productive, motivated, engaged and creative. By developing a culture that drives employee wellbeing, your employees become healthier, they are more invested in your organization and their work, and through a reduction in health costs and more productive employees; a culture of wellbeing also improves the bottom line. What do you have to lose?