As we head into the late autumn and winter months, more human resource managers are preparing for not only the usual cold and flu season, but also the annual employee benefits open enrollment (OE) period. This is an opportune time to create more awareness around employee wellness both in and out of the workplace. Fortunately, there are many free and low cost ways to accomplish this.

Here are some corporate wellness ideas your organization can implement this year:

  1. Start a walking club for employees. They can meet 15-minutes before lunch breaks or right after work each day to walk around a designated path near the company campus. Assign employees a fitness tracker and have them track their steps to create a fun competition.
  2. Bring in a healthy catering company once a week. Every community has at least one restaurant that offers catering onsite. Some cities even have food trucks that will serve healthy food right in the parking lot. Giving employees more choices in lunches can improve their health.
  3. Conduct biometric screening. Invite an occupational health team to provide various health screens at your workplace. This can include blood pressure, oxygen rates, weight and height, and more. Use this time to schedule flu shots. Invite employees to get in charge of their health with online health maintenance tools.
  4. Fruit Fridays. Work with a local organic grower’s cooperative to provide fresh fruits and veggies for employees. Send a case to each floor and allow employees to take some home with them, or have fruit on their desks for healthy snacks.
  5. Massage therapy sessions. Contract with a local massage therapist to provide onsite massages for employees around their schedules. This is very effective for reducing stress and tension during peak production cycles and at the end of the year.
  6. Create a corporate cook-book. Ask employees to share their favorite healthy recipes in a company-wide cookbook that can be handed out as a holiday gift. This can also be used as a fundraiser to support an important cause.
  7. Make schedules more flexible. Studies have shown that more flexible work schedules provide added health and well-being for employees. During the busy season ahead, this should include plenty of time off to spend with friends and family members.
  8. Install water coolers in office break areas. Staying hydrated helps prevent many health issues. Pick up some low cost water coolers and keep them stocked with fresh spring water at all times. Encourage employees to drink water with corporate branded water bottles.
  9. Make the office greener. Plants can increase the well-being of employees while they naturally filter out air impurities and improve the oxygen levels in an office environment. Plants also help employees feel less isolated as they provide a quiet “room-mate” for offices and cubbies.
  10. Encourage breaks and naps. This may seem counterproductive, but employees need time to take a break every day. Provide a space where employees can lie down if they need a brief nap or to reduce tension headaches. Send employees home if they are sick.

These are just a few of the ways that your company can help employees to find some balance and stay healthy in the coming months. Encourage healthier habits, educate employees about their health choices, and provide resources for them to accomplish their goals.

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