Keeping your employees engaged in overall wellness during the year is tough, but during the holidays it can seem nearly impossible.
With all the vacations and holiday parties, it’s sometimes difficult to get the message of health out loud and clear.
A new study by Integrated Benefits Institute shows poor health costs employers nearly $880 billion in health care benefits for employees and dependents. That means decreased productivity and profitability for companies.
It’s easy to forget about health with holiday season madness, but there’s ways to keep wellness at the forefront of employees’ minds so they go into the new year happy and healthy.
Help your employees move into the holiday season with a healthy mindset with these seven tips:
Encourage Employees to Vacation
By the end of the year, employees can feel downright exhausted. Excessive stress wears on the immune system, making even the healthiest people susceptible to illness. If you know an employee has heaps of vacation left, encourage them to take it. Stepping away on vacation allows employees to come back refreshed and ready to work.
How to: See a weary employee? Check in with them. Sometimes just having a listening ear is helpful to relieve stress.
Send Sick Employees Home
Ask sick employees to stay at home, even if they think it’s just a cold. Remind everyone via email and at office meetings that no one wants to spread sickness through the office just before the holidays. Keep hand sanitizer throughout the office, and post signage to remind everyone to thoroughly wash their hands.
How to: If possible, let sick employees telecommute.
Bring in Healthy Food
Enforce a no junk food policy for holiday parties. Instead of bringing in bagels, donuts, sugar cookies, fruit cakes, and more, opt for colorful fruit salads and veggie trays. Add a juicer or blender to the break room and leave out recipe cards for smoothies for employees to try out
How to: Order prepackaged and pre-cut fruit if you’re time strapped. Keep frozen fruits and veggies in the freezer for smoothies. Employees will love the healthy alternative.
Talk About Depression
Aside from feeling overwhelmed by work obligations and less time to do it in, some employees feel down because of other reasons. While the holidays might be the best time of year for some, others find depression claws its way back into their lives. They may be missing a deceased loved one. Some employees might be dealing with a breakup and loneliness. With the pressures of commercialization, gift giving, and family gatherings, the holidays can be overwhelming for your employees.
How to: Let employees know which mental health services insurance covers. If they don’t have insurance, share other resources like the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Train for a Holiday Fun Walk/Run
Keep your employees excited about exercise by signing your office up for a holiday 5K walk or run. These type of activities bring employees together while encouraging group fitness.
How to: Sign up ASAP. To get employees pumped,have them coordinate a festive outfit for the run. Dress up as favorite holiday characters like Santa and his reindeer, or even as working elves.
Plan Ahead for Screenings
Share dates with your employees via email about upcoming biometric screenings in the new year. This will encourage them to look ahead to their health, and perhaps curb some unhealthy behaviors during the holidays.
How to: Offer gift cards to the first five people who sign up for a time slot to get their screening done.
Schedule Wellness Workshops
Promote wellness workshops throughout December. These interactive, informational sessions serve as great reminders to keep health a priority.
Wellness workshop ideas:
- Healthy Food Prep
- Holiday Budgeting 101
- Stress Reduction Tips
- Beginner At-Home Workouts
How to: Reach out to local nutritionists, personal trainers, and doctors who might be interested in promoting health. Can’t schedule numerous events? Roll it into one health fair event.
Health Matters Through the Holidays
Even with a million other distractions pulling employees every which way, these tips will guide them toward healthier choices. Don’t let poor health yank your employees down for the holidays by skipping over the issue.
By simply offering options like fruit salad instead of fruit cake, you steer your employees to subconsciously make better choices. Sharing resources and openly encouraging healthy living (even during the holidays) shows your employees you care about their physical and mental well-being, too.
What better gift to give your employees for the holidays than a reminder of why their health matters?
How do you keep your employees excited about wellness during the holidays? Share in the comments below!