Efforts to develop and promote workplace wellness programs have been shown to increase productivity and help minimize employer healthcare costs. But they can also do something else: give your company an edge when it comes to hiring the best employees before the competition does.
People are increasingly looking for wellness-related perks when searching for a job. And in recent Robert Half research, most employers said they offer physical (63%), financial (65%) and mental (74%) wellness programs.
But how can companies, large and small, ensure their corporate health and workplace wellness offerings are attractive to potential hires? Look into the ones professionals want most.
1. Access to fitness facilities
According to Robert Half research, workers value access to fitness facilities or programs (24%) most among wellness offerings. If you have space, consider providing a room where employees can do yoga, Pilates or other exercises. If you don’t have space, you might offer free or discounted gym memberships, chair massages or exercise classes.
2. Healthy food options
What you offer in your break rooms and vending machines says a lot about your workplace wellness. Donuts or carrots? Soft drinks or filtered water? You can’t regulate what your workers eat and drink, but you can encourage good nutrition by offering healthy food choices at company meetings and in office cafeterias.
3. On-site vaccinations or health screenings
On-site flu shots offer a convenient way to make sure everyone has the opportunity to be vaccinated. Offering this service is also likely to reduce employee sick days, too. Companies can also create a culture of wellness by promoting or hosting health screenings.
4. Ergonomic evaluations and equipment
Proper ergonomics are essential to wellness in the office. Can chairs be adjusted for each employee’s height? Are computer monitors the right height? Are footrests needed at desks? Convertible sit/stand desks are also gaining in popularity, if you’re considering cubicle makeovers for your office.
5. Telecommuting options
In a Robert Half survey of senior managers, more than half of respondents (56%) said their organization has expanded remote work opportunities for employees in the past three years. Most workers appreciate the ability to work from home or have a flexible schedule that accommodates their personal lives. Telecommuting programs and flexible work schedules contribute to work-life balance for employees — and to improved recruiting and retention for businesses.
6. Transit options
Taking alternative methods of transportation, such as buses or subways, is a popular option for employees near urban areas. In a Robert Half survey, more than half of workers polled said traveling to and from the office is stressful.
The ability to take public transportation can reduce pressure on employees, especially those with long commutes. Less-stressed workers are likely to be more productive when they arrive at the office, and have a better overall feeling of wellness.
Some firms offer reimbursement for transit passes or allow employees to pay for transportation with pretax money. This is also an attractive perk for employees and potential hires who value environmental responsibility.
7. A manager who sets a good example
Work-related stress can take a heavy toll on everyone in the company. And, yes, that includes you. Minimize your own stress — and by extension, the stress of your employees — by:
- Getting enough rest
- Keeping a daily to-do list to prioritize tasks
- Practicing time management
- Eating nutritious meals
- Drinking an adequate amount of water
- Developing a good support system
- Engaging in hobbies you enjoy outside of work
And remember that workers take their cues from you. Be sure to set a good example for them by not emailing team members after the workday or on weekends, making sure you leave your desk for a lunch break or walk on most days, and not consistently working 12-hour days.
Just as job seekers are lured by competitive compensation and benefits packages, they’re attracted by workplace wellness. If you make that part of your corporate culture, you may find a bonus in it for yourself, too, when it’s time to hire.