There are undeniable facts that relate workplace health and workplace wealth. Reports show that for every dollar invested in workplace health and wellness, returns from $2.30 to $10.10 can be measured through reduced sick days, fewer WorkSafeBC claims and increased productivity. So whether you are focused on the bottom line or you’re more concerned with being a good corporate citizen, it makes good dollars and sense to create a wellness program that will attract and retain great employees.
Workplace Health Is More Competitive
Companies in BC have the unique challenge of meeting the needs of the most active province in Canada. When seeking employment, employees are giving consideration to physical and mental health along with financial compensation. Given the competitive nature of the market, you’re at risk of decreasing the potential talent pool by not fully realizing the competitive advantage of workplace wellness.
Creating Workplace Health Programs
But how does the small- to medium-sized business balance a wellness program with the reality of budget constraints? If a company is motivated enough, creativity is its only limitation when designing and implementing a customized program for the workplace.
1. Provide employees with time. The number one reason people cite for not beginning a fitness program is not enough time. Providing a flex-time option one to three days per week that allows for starting work 30 minutes later, leaving 30 minutes earlier or even just expanding a lunch break can go a long way to demonstrating to your staff that you value their health and well being.
2. Train for an event. It’s one thing to organize a group, get the shirts printed and show up for the Sun Run, but going one step further and hiring a professional to safely train the group is a great example of investing in your people.
3. Lunch and learn. A common practice is to occasionally bring in a health or wellness practitioner to educate staff on topics such as fitness, nutrition and stress management. Locating a personal trainer, nutritionist or yoga instructor is a great start.
4. Subsidize gym memberships. Very few businesses can afford to build their own fitness facility, but chances are there is a community centre or health club near your office. Check with a fitness facility near you to see what kind of corporate rates and programs they offer.
5. Provide variety and fun! You can make health and fitness a fun and enjoyable experience. By offering choices to your employees, you increase the likelihood of adherence and enhance the results of your efforts.
An investment in workplace health and wellness does not have to be complicated, daunting or cost-prohibitive. By leveraging this competitive advantage to the fullest and offering simple solutions, you will increase workplace harmony, maximize productivity and reap the rewards to the bottom line.
Cord Reisdorf is the principal of Peak Performance Fitness Consultants. For more information, visit
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