Monday 31 January 2022

Corporate New Year’s Resolutions: How Companies Can Promote Employee Health And Wellness Going Into The New Year

The end of a year, and the beginning of a new one, is the perfect time to reflect on the accomplishments, failures and progress of your business and to set goals for the year ahead. 

One of the most important and crucial goals to set, now more than ever before, is to promote your employees’ happiness, health and success. But with Covid-19 cases on the rise and stress at an all time high, how exactly can companies optimize the health and wellness of their employees as we move into year three of the pandemic?

Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach to Fortune 100 companies, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals Coffee, discusses how companies can optimize overall health and wellness going into the new year:

Goal #1: Set Employees up for Success With Work/Life Balance 
Work/Life Balance is incredibly important when hoping to prevent employee burnout and dissatisfaction. Doing this can be hard without the support from your employer or colleagues. While it’s impossible to ensure that employees are practicing work/life balance 100% of the time, employers should always do what they can to make sure employees are properly and healthily adopting a work/life balance.  

Here are some workplace practices that employers should utilize when looking to promote a healthy work-life balance for their employees:

  • Encourage employees to turn off work notifications (Slack/ Teams) when on their lunch break or at home. 
  • Encourage frequent breaks throughout the day. Try implementing pre-recorded wellbeing breaks. For example, in addition to virtual workout and yoga classes, my team offers “Mindful Moments” with pre-recorded active breaks that can be implemented into any schedule of zoom meetings. The breaks are 2-5 minutes in length and easily fits into a series of back to back virtual meetings. The program allows employees to quickly change their state and shift out of the stress response.
  • Offer more flexibility and support for working parents. Sometimes, this may look like flexible hours, increased benefits, or a role tailored to their desired schedule. 
  • Consider remote work options if you do not do that already. This can help ease some workplace anxiety and stress. 

Goal #2: Make it Fun with Healthy Competitions 
Hosting a points challenge within the team/ department can be very effective in both building comradery and establishing healthy habits. For example, each employee can earn up to 5-points per day by:

  • Drink 64 ounces of water 
  • Perform 15 minutes of exercise 
  • Practice any type of breathing or meditation for 5 minutes 
  • Sleep for 8 hours 
  • Write down three points of gratitude each day.

It seems simple to just earn five points per day, but it can be highly motivating and effective for building healthy habits. 

Goal #3: Create Protected Time
While working from home, we are consistently available to anything that comes up. It is important to identify specific breaks in the action, otherwise the action just takes us into low level pro performance and depleted personal experience. One of the best things we can do for ourselves and our teams is to identify times and days off. This should be blocked off in the virtual calendars, since we all follow those to almost an exact science. If it is in the calendar, it happens. 

Goal #4: Understand that what Works Best for Some may not Work for Others
Taking the time to listen to your employees and identify what habits help make them feel happy and healthy is an important step in setting both them, and your business up for success during these unprecedented times. Similarly, it is important to take note of what each employee likes and doesn't like from their differing experiences. Maybe try setting regular check-ins with employees to see what strategies work best for them, how they are feeling that day/week, to set personal goals and objectives for the week, and to assist in any area that they may need. This will help them feel supported and heard.

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