A Fresh Start: Ways to Incorporate a Culture of Wellness in Your Office

For many of us, the new year brings an abundance of opportunities for a fresh start. This can also be true with your staff wellness program! You don’t have to make it super complicated or just another thing for your staff to add to their “to do” lists. Wellness programs can engage your staff and bring life and happiness to any workplace culture.

Below you’ll find several ideas that will help you get any wellness program up and running.

Make It a Competition

Create some friendly competition to get everyone excited about your wellness program! In order to have buy-in from your entire staff, invite them to help you plan. They’re more likely to be engaged when they participate in generating ideas.

When working with your team to create challenges, make sure to keep short and long term goals in mind. More consistent challenges (i.e., shorter term challenges) will produce better results and participation.

Incentivize, Incentivize, Incentivize

You want people to feel a sense of accomplishment by participating in your wellness program. Celebrate each success along the way! Celebrate what your staff accomplishes in a day, week, month and on a yearly basis. This showcases that you’re invested in the small changes they’re making along the way, which will inspire them to continue onto longer term goals.

You don’t have to break the bank to provide incentives for your staff wellness program. Simply create a list of low-cost incentives that encourage your staff to participate. For instance, create a WOW! Board that showcases the goals they’ve accomplished. By simply writing a handwritten note congratulating them on meeting their goals, staff will feel a sense of genuine recognition. Shoot over a “Way to Go!” email that states you’ve noticed how hard they’re working and are proud of them for working on/meeting their goals. If you’re able to, give staff an hour of paid time off if they meet all of their monthly goals. You don’t have to spend a lot of time and resources to help your staff feel accomplished.

Types of Challenges

There are several different types of challenges you can incorporate as wellness comes in many forms, including physical, nutrition and mental well-being/personal growth. See below for various challenges and how to incorporate them into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.

Nutrition

  • Daily: Eat breakfast every day; eat at least five servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day; and eat healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and yogurt.
  • Weekly: Reduce your calorie intake by 700 calories a week (or 100 calories each day); keep track of your calories/nutrition; and prepare your healthy meals in advance so that it makes it easier when you’re on the go.
  • Monthly: Meet once a month with your staff, and share healthy recipe options that you’ve tried.
  • Yearly: Make a yearly plan for your nutrition goals so that you can look back at the end of the year to see just how far you’ve come!

Physical

  • Daily: Drink 32 ounces of water during the work day; get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each day of the work week; and spend 15 minutes per day stretching.
  • Weekly: Exercise for 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times per week; do resistance or weight training 2-3 times per week; avoid the elevator, and take the stairs.
  • Monthly: Participate in a community event such as a walk or a race once a month.
  • Yearly: Have staff participate in an annual physical exam or health screening to help them better understand their current health condition. If done at the beginning of the year, staff can use this information to create their yearly health goals.

Mental Well-Being & Personal Growth

  • Daily: Express an “attitude of gratitude” by writing down three things you’re grateful for each day before you go to bed; participate in random acts of kindness by leaving some extra change at the vending machine, leaving a nice note on someone’s car or helping someone who didn’t ask for it; and spend 5-10 minutes per day in quiet reflection to calm the mind.
  • Weekly: Read a fun book; spend time outdoors, and soak up some Vitamin D; and share lunch with a co-worker.
  • Monthly: Connect with a friend or a family member that makes you smile; take a class on something you want to know more about or something that excites you; and plan a fun activity that the entire staff will enjoy like an outdoor scavenger hunt or trip to a local park.
  • Yearly: Plan a yearly trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go; and have an annual celebration with your staff to thank them for their continued efforts.

Wellness can be fun and exciting for your entire team, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Have fun with your wellness program, and enjoy all the great benefits that will come as a result!

Happy 2017, everyone!

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