Global Employee Health and Fitness Month is here.
And, honestly, is there a better time than now to focus on health and fitness?
If it’s been awhile since your company has revitalized wellness campaigns, now is the perfect time to do it. Promoting wellness, good health, and free employee health services has never been more important.
Even if your team is social distancing, there are ways to celebrate.
If you’re struggling to think of how to participate this month, we’ve got you covered with ideas you can do from anywhere.
Read on to learn how you can join 28,000+ companies participating in helping employees to live their healthiest lifestyles starting this month.
What is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month?
May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM), a worldwide campaign that encourages health and fitness in the workplace. Officially celebrated each May, past participants have included public health departments, universities, state and local governments, and hospital systems.
While participation is encouraged during May, any time of the year is a great time to focus on employee health and fitness. For companies, it’s an ideal time to reflect on the state of wellness programs and make revisions or revive older programs.
What Do Companies Do For Health & Fitness Programs?
Every company has its own unique way of approaching health and fitness. That often includes the incorporation of wellness initiatives or campaigns. From gym memberships to flexible work schedules, it looks different for every company.
Right now, though, many companies are focusing on establishing or funding mental health programs. These are aimed at helping employees struggling with mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness as mental fitness impacts physical health, too. Mental health programs are also seeing a revival as employers try to give employees the tools to handle unique pandemic stressors. Even for companies that don’t offer direct mental health counseling, providing employees with other beneficial services and resources is still helpful.
Here’s a look at how other companies keep employees well:
- Starbucks - The coffee giant is giving employees and their families up to 20 free counseling sessions annually. This can be with a therapist or coach. The mental health addition is part of the company’s larger mental health initiative it announced in September 2019.
- PwC - The assurance, audit, and tax consulting firm is now providing well-being sessions to its employees. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to professional coaches to discuss stress. The company also has an online community for workers to connect and support one another in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
- TotalWellness - As a corporate wellness services provider, our company likes to practice what we preach. We offer flexible work schedules, health screenings, flu shots, and participate in wellness challenges. Our team members also interact and let loose during monthly social activities. TotalWellness offers employees a discount on insurance or a FSA stipend.
- Salesforce - Pre-pandemic, this CRM platform company had an existing program that provided employees with free in-person and video counseling sessions. Nowadays, employees can access Thriving Mind, which includes content focused on emotional health and well-being.
- Kickstand Communications - The PR, content marketing, and social media agency already was onboard with wellness. Prior to the pandemic, leadership offered a monthly wellness stipend to pay for physical or mental health services. Now, employees are also encouraged to incorporate a flexible work schedule. Employees can also take advantage of stepping out three hours each week to rejuvenate.
Survey your employees to see what would be the most beneficial health and fitness perk for them. Right now, it may include mental health support. Others may want access to online gym memberships while they work from home. Asking first can help you implement the most useful programs and services.
Promo Ideas for Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
While nearly everyone is focused on staying healthy, it’s a prime time to drive wellness points home. From physical fitness to mental wellness, Global Employee Health and Fitness Month provides a unique opportunity to cover a variety of wellness aspects.
No matter where your team is working, you can get them involved with the below ideas during Global Employee Health and Fitness Month.
You need it. Your employees need it. Encourage good sleep habits as much as possible. The average adult needs a solid 7-9 hours of shut-eye. Even a single night of poor sleep can damage your employees’ health temporarily. Long-term, the consequences are far more concerning.
- Should You Care How Much Sleep Your Employees Get?
- 8 Experts Give Their Best Advice on How to Sleep Better at Night
- Apps to promote better sleep like Pzizz or Noisli
GEHFM Idea: Have a sleep challenge. Start a Slack channel or other communication method where everyone reports their sleeping hours. Whoever gets the most high-quality sleep wins a gift like a nighttime room spray or a sleep eye mask.
Promote Healthy Eating
Eating well promotes overall excellent health and wellness. When your employees eat well, they have more energy and less health problems, generally. Keep the in-office fridge stocked with fresh fruits and a healthy recipe book that employees can add their favorite recipes to throughout the month.
- 13 Tips for Eating Healthier Every Day
- 7 Healthy Eating Habits That Will Change the Way You Eat
- 7 Nutrition Myths Debunked For Your Peace of Mind at Meal Time
- 4 Weeks to Cut the Sweets Sugar Challenge
GEHFM Idea: Share healthy recipes from the Food Network’s healthy recipes section. Ask employees to report back on their favorite dishes in your company’s “Healthy Food” Slack channel.
Connect With One Another
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social disconnecting. Encourage your employees to connect with each other for casual coffee video chats. Have fun group meetings to kick-off Monday mornings.
- 7 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections with Employees
- The Ultimate Resource Guide for Remote Team Work & Wellness Success
GEHFM Idea: If your office is still practicing social distancing, schedule a team coffee break chat via Zoom. Or, if you’re in-office now, take a lunch hour together to reconnect and chat — six feet apart, of course.Celebrate National Women’s Health Week
National Women’s Health Week is May 10 through May 16. Women often have unique challenges that get in the way of taking care of themselves, including balancing work, motherhood, caring for others, and other household responsibilities. Remind your female employees to take pause and take care of their health.
GEHFM Idea: Send out this National Women’s Health Week fact sheet. Encourage your female employees to create a personal pledge to take care of their health.
Share Mental Health Resources
May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, but it’s also Mental Health Month. Take the time to share your company’s best mental health resources. A list of local counselors who take your company’s insurance, free federal and nonprofit mental health resources, etc. are excellent starting points.
- NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Positivity Pack: Card Deck of Affirmations
- Mental Health Month Guide: Let Employees Know They Aren’t Alone
- Why Every Employer Should Observe These Three Mental Health Events
GEHFM Idea: Ask a local psychologist to pre-record a video discussing best mental health practices that your employees can watch. Or, host them for a virtual “lunch and learn” followed by a Q-and-A session at the end.
Encourage a Digital Detox
It’s no surprise we all stare at our screens way too much. Doing so causes eye strain and also promotes poor posture, which can lead to a slew of other health issues. This month, see if your employees can cut back on their screen time with mini digital detoxes.
- Sleeping Well in the Digital Age
- Screen Time Research: How is Your Tech Habit Damaging Your Health?
- Ergonomics in the Workplace: How Poor Posture Hurts Your Workers
GEHFM Idea: Encourage employees to take weekend digital detoxes. Have them unplug entirely for the weekend to focus on themselves, family, and friends. Send out a friendly reminder at 5 PM on Friday that digital detox has begun.
The team that sweats together stays together. Encourage your employees to schedule times to workout together. Whether that’s at an on-site gym or even setting the same times to workout together, yet separately. It boosts accountability.
- 6 Easy Fitness and Wellness Challenges for Any Workplace
- 7 Exercises Tips for Beginners to Get Fit This Summer
- Workout at Home With No Equipment With These 10 Exercises
GEHFM Idea: Participate in a social distance exercise routine. Hire a local personal trainer to hop on a Zoom call and get everyone’s heart rate pumping.
GEHFM is a Wellness Reset Opportunity For Companies
No matter what your company has or hasn’t been doing for employee wellness, consider May the time to reset.
Reflect on ways to better serve your employees and encourage them to take advantage of your company’s health resources. Throughout the month, consider sprinkling in various ways to educate them on health and fitness, too.
Share the above resources and any other applicable content you can to inspire them to improve their lifestyle for the better.
Above all, leadership must take an active hand in creating policies that promote health and fitness year-round. See what your team wants (within reason, of course), and look into how your company can bring employee health services to the team.
How will your team celebrate Global Employee Health & Fitness Month 2020? Share in the comments below!