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4 Low-Cost Ways to Promote Employee Wellness

By Kelly Spors, Writer and Editor for Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership

Employee WellnessMany employers today have wellness programs for their employees. They not only promote a healthier workforce, but they can potentially lower healthcare costs by helping employees instill healthier habits and lifestyles.

That said, certain wellness benefits and programs are not necessarily affordable. Thankfully, there are several low-cost ways that companies large and small can promote employee health. Here are four ideas:

Walking meetings. Encouraging employees and managers to walk during the workday not only improves their cardio health. It can also help them avoid feeling sluggish and energize their minds. “Walking meetings” allow employees to hold regular meetings while walking, whether inside or outside. Harvard Business Review offers tips for how to effectively hold walking meetings, including sticking to small groups of three to five employees and finding interesting “extracurricular” destinations such as local landmarks.

Healthy snacks. Many companies already offer their employees free food, either occasionally or as a regular perk in the break area. Making sure that food is healthy, such as offering fruit and vegetables or granola bars, can encourage healthier eating and nutrition.

Employee-led fitness activities. Reimbursing employees’ gym memberships may not be financially feasible for some employers; but that doesn’t mean they can’t encourage employees to work out in other ways. Hosting an employee-led walking or jogging club that meets before or after work and perhaps participates in local charity walk/runs is a great way to get employees motivated to exercise. Some employers also have occasional yoga classes on site. Here are ideas for how to start a workplace walking group.

Flexible scheduling. Giving employees some flexibility in their workday—whether taking occasional afternoons off or letting them work from home—can reduce their stress levels and encourage wellness. Here are tips for designing a flexible scheduling policy.

Now is a good time to think about your company’s wellness initiatives for 2016 and find new ways to improve employees’ health and well-being in the new year.