Office policies can make or break a company. Making smart and healthy ones can ensure your employees thrive.
So, where does your own workplace stand when it comes to wellness policies?
Having several focused on health and well-being makes it clear that it’s important to your organization and culture to keep employees well. Popular ideas may include no smoking policies and related cessation programs or even a daily movement experience for everyone in the office to participate in.
If you aren’t sure where to start, below we outline five office policies worth trying that are focused on improving the health of your employees.
Give These Office Policies a Try for Employee Health
Looking to update your company policies? If so, consider ways to incorporate specific policies as it relates to employee wellness and health. A pressing one to consider for 2022: A mental health policy. From there, it’ll be easier to map out which policies to update, erase, or generate once you have a good stepping stone for a wellness policy.
Here are five health policies to add to your employee handbook ASAP.
1. Mandatory Quarterly Financial Meetings to Build Financial IQ
The Office Policy: Our workplace will provide financial counseling and advice to all employees to encourage financial independence and stability.
On average, most households in America have around $5,300 in savings. Meaning for most families, if someone were to lose their job or get sick and be unable to work, those savings would vanish rather quickly. Bring in a financial advisor to discuss bank accounts, savings plans, and knocking down debt. Finances are often cited as the number one stressor for people and in an era of inflation and many other unknowns, helping employees become financially independent can ward off stress, which can age the immune system.
2. Daily Movement Encouragement
The Office Policy: Our workplace will provide opportunities for movement throughout the day to employees to encourage the health and well-being of the body and mind.
It’s too easy to sit all day long and never move the body, especially for office workers glued to their computers. Everyone — regardless of age — needs physical activity to stay healthy. Start slow and get your team involved in daily movement.
You might try exploring:
- Community company gardening
- Providing desk exercise equipment
- An hourly group stretch
- A daily walking club
- Yoga after hours
By making physical activity part of your team’s daily schedule, you’re helping them eliminate excuses when it comes to exercise. It also reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, depression, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
3. Mandated Mental Health Time Off
The Office Policy: No questions asked, our company mandates employees to take time off for their mental health. This allows everyone to take necessary mental breaks from work, as needed.
Traditionally, companies haven’t included mental health as a core part of wellness offerings. It’s a good place to start updating policies. In the U.S. alone, one in five adults has a mental illness. That means in your workplace, there are probably several employees living with conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other challenging mental health issues. If these workers know you’ve got their back and that they can take a break before it becomes a serious inpatient health issue, that’s a win for the workplace. Keep in mind that The Family and Medical Leave Act covers and protects time off for mental health treatment, too.
4. Promote a Smoke-Free Campus
The Office Policy: Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including vaping) shall not be allowed on workplace premises.
Sadly, an estimated 30.8 million Americans still smoke. Every year, 480,000 people die from illnesses tied to cigarette smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Offer support for those who need it to quit smoking and create a list of healthcare resources they can utilize for stopping. It’s an addiction and providing resources can encourage them to move forward in quitting. Consider creating a “Quitters Club” to help smokers come together for support. Free and confidential coaching is also available through a quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
5. Encourage Social Wellness
The Office Policy: Our company will create an environment in which colleagues can nurture meaningful and supportive relationships with one another inside and outside the workplace.
When you work with the same people day in and day out, it’s important to have a good relationship with them that goes beyond work projects. These relationships can be especially valuable during difficult personal or professional times.
Social wellness can be fostered through:
- Volunteering together
- Happy hour events
- Creating a club or organization
- Team-building exercises and events
- Discussing personal goals and social needs
- Actively participating in discussions
How your team interacts with one another has a big impact on how they will thrive now and in the future. Create opportunities for them to naturally connect and socialize and learn about each other’s passions, values, culture, and more.
Continue to Improve Employee Well-Being Through Office Policy
Company policies outline and show employees what’s important to your company. These best practices should be for the good of the company and the employees. Next time you review them, look at ways to incorporate wellness and health policies that will make a difference to your work culture and your team.
There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating company policies.
Any policy focused on improving the health of workers is one worth trying on for size. Expanding beyond the basics — like a gym membership or having a healthy lunch once a month — and cementing policies in well-being shows your employees that your company is working on building a culture of true wellness.
What are some of your healthy office policies? Share them in the comments below!