Written by Holly Wasechek, FEI Employee Assistance Representative
Promoting workplace wellness is key to producing a healthier, more productive work environment. By creating a supportive workplace community that emphasizes health and well-being, organizations can cultivate a desire to work for them while recruiting—and retaining—talented employees.
The holidays, particularly Thanksgiving through the New Year, sometimes present unique challenges for employees by creating additional stressors associated with family and/or end-of-year work demands. The holidays can also lead to poor diets and increase a number of health-related problems, which is why having a workplace wellness program is a great option for employees to stay healthy and manage stress properly.
What are some ways you can build a healthy and productive workplace culture this holiday season? Consider these recommendations:
Routinely communicate with employees. Giving regular feedback and collaborating to help manage end-of-year workloads can encourage employees, increase productivity and boost morale.
Encourage employees to use their paid time off and take vacations. Some employees think it’s better to work through stressful periods, but it is often more beneficial to take a breather and recharge their batteries—especially for health. Promoting work-life balance is healthy practice.
Reduce stress for employees by offering flexible schedules, work hours or start/end times during the holidays. Numerous companies do this already; one recent survey found 80 percent of employers offer some kind of flexible working arrangement to employees.
Let employees take longer breaks for walks or other exercise. Being active reduces stress levels and keeps the winter blues at bay.
Keep the holiday pounds away by promoting healthy lifestyle habits such as gym memberships, wellness coaches or personal trainers; having healthier foods in the break room; and providing nutritious recipe or other dietary tips.
Consider meeting off-site, or allow standing/walking meetings. Meeting at a coffee shop, over lunch or while moving helps employees break routine and maintain engagement into the winter months.
Listen to employees’ needs and conduct wellness workshops as necessary. We at FEI have multiple training opportunities addressing stress and other wellness topics.
Emphasize opportunities to volunteer or raise money for charity events in the community. Such opportunities can increase community involvement while providing employees the chance to make a difference.
Employers don’t have to “bah humbug” the holidays—fill your employees with good cheer by promoting workplace wellness!