6 Easy Ways to Use Your Wellness Program to Improve Employee Productivity

Posted by Seraine Page on Tue, May, 30, 2023

ProductivtyYour wellness program can have a direct impact on employee productivity.


If you’re teaching healthy habits, promoting fitness challenges, offering support, and encouraging overall well-being, it all ties into your workers’ health. Healthy lifestyles can stick if they’re promoted regularly and through sustainable means.

Unhealthy diets (along with other unhealthy habits like smoking and being sedentary) can have an impact on more than just workers’ health. Unhealthy habits are shown to decrease workplace productivity.

Below, learn the ways that health factors into productivity and studies that back up how general well-being boosts work performance.  

A Look at Increasing Employee Productivity

Good health is everything. When you’re healthy, you have fewer doctor’s appointments, fewer medicines with negative side effects, and better energy. Who doesn’t want that?

When you consider how health impacts productivity at work, it’s hard not to want to make some changes to help your workers feel better so they can succeed.

In a study of over 3,000 Washington State employees from six agencies, the employees that felt they had more workplace health support were independently associated with higher work productivity.

Offer healthy living support, and you’re more than likely going to find your workers nailing deadlines and projects on time.

Another necessary benefit in this day and age is giving workers mental health benefits. Companies with such offerings“are twice as likely to report a greater than 50% return to work rate after a mental health-related disability leave. This is no small savings, as mental health-related leave is believed to comprise approximately 70% of workplace disability costs,” states a 2023 Labor & Employment report from Bloomberg Law.

6 Tips to Improve Employee Productivity and Health

Work is a top stressor for many individuals. When the body is stressed, it doesn’t optimally perform. Think about how you feel when you’re sick; when you’re run-down, it makes it hard to do much of anything. By encouraging your employees to focus on their health consistently, you offer them an opportunity to improve their overall life — at work and at home.

When you consider how closely tied health and productivity are, it’s a wise move to make changes that promote well-being in a way that’s useful and sustainable.

Here are a few ways to consider doing just that:

1. Offer Gym Passes

Connect with local gyms to see if your company can get a bulk discount for buying multiple memberships. The closer a gym is to work, the more likely your employees will use it. Exercise not only benefits the body, but mental health, too. Those who regularly increase their heart rate through exercise have more energy, lower body mass, and reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.

2. Give Work Flexibility

Workers who are rushing to extracurriculars, doctor’s appointments, and other activities on short breaks or before or after work increase stress levels. Reduce the stress — and increase their productivity — by allowing them to have flexibility in their schedule. Doing so can help them focus on work while they’re there and encourages them to relax knowing they’ll have plenty of time to get to their next appointment.  

3. Offer Biometric Screenings

If your employee spends half the day looking at their smartwatch and watching how fast their heart is beating, wondering if they’re going to have a heart attack, their productivity levels are going to be low. Take the worry off by 1.) offering schedule flexibility so they can see a doc (see above) and 2.) offering biometric screenings. These valuable screenings can give your workers a snapshot of their health (including their blood pressure) which they can then take to their doc to get necessary tests done.

4. Encourage Learning Opportunities

Whether it’s a professional opportunity or a lunch and learn session, always offer new ways for your employees to learn and expand. Continuing education allows professionals to earn more money, which in turn can lead to more freedom and ways to be more productive.

5. Try Wellness Apps

Given that most individuals have smart devices, wellness apps are a simple way to track two important areas: health and productivity. Most of us spend far too much time on our phones anyway. Might as well use it to track water intake, exercise, mindfulness, and productivity! Share a list of various health and fitness apps with your workers to help them improve their time management and wellness.

Related: 9 Healthy Living Apps Worth Downloading on Your Phone 

6. Offer Healthy Food

Sugar and fats are necessary for the body, but too much can make it sluggish. Aim to change up morning meetings with sparkling water, fresh fruit, and Greek yogurt over carb-dense donuts and coffee. Meet with vendors to see if they can add healthier options to vending machines and your on-site cafeteria. Research uncovered that 15,000 people with poor diets reported an 11% lower productivity rate than healthier coworkers. Well-balanced meals equal higher productivity rates!

Poor Health Almost Always Leads to Poor Performance

When you consider ways to make your employees’ lives better, a deeper look at your current wellness program is an ideal place to start. Wellness programs are an opportunity to improve employee health, happiness, and productivity in the workplace.

Employees who are ill will spend more time out of work, reducing their overall performance and contributions. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, migraines, arthritis, respiratory issues, obesity, diabetes, or something else, those health problems can significantly impact workflow.

Research shows employees who are highly engaged in wellness programs have fewer sick days and are overall more productive. One five-year study that showed highly-engaged employees had an average of 35% fewer ER visits than less-engaged colleagues.

How is that for incentive to keep your wellness programs updated and ongoing to keep your employees healthy? Keep investing in your corporate wellness programs. The payoff is going to be employees who are at their healthiest— and most productive — while at work.

How do you encourage employee productivity? Share your thoughts down below!

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Topics: Wellness at Work


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