Wellbeing initiatives are fast becoming a major part of employee benefit packages in companies across the UK. This scene has become a area where personal trainers and fitness professionals can look to use their skill and knowledge to improve health, fitness and wellbeing. In this article I will explore some of the benefits of corporate wellbeing and types of initiatives that can be put in place. I hope that this article gives the fitness professionals out there some idea on how they can help organisations improve their fitness and wellbeing but also their bottom line.
The key concept of corporate wellbeing is that by providing employees with the tools they need to maintain their optimal levels of wellbeing you can have a direct effect on reducing the financial implications of absenteeism and also have a impact on tackling stress in the workplace. Not to mention the improvements in staff motivation and general workplace morale, these are then directly related to increased productivity.
Benefits of focusing on wellbeing for the employer
An employee wellbeing scheme has the following benefits:-
- improved productivity and performance
- reduced staff turnover
- reduced levels of absenteeism
- reduced levels of stress
- improved customer satisfaction
- improved organisation reputation
Health and fitness in the workplace
The old saying healthy body, healthy mind is very true when it comes to the workplace. Fit and active people tend to be more efficient and effective this can in turn have a massive impact on turnover.
Providing employees with encouragement to maintain good levels of health and fitness can be done in a number of ways:-
- Work based wellbeing clinics - short sessions (effective sessions can be as short as 30 mins) where employees can meet with a wellbeing consultant. This time allows individual’s to discuss possible ways of improving their daily physical activity levels and general wellbeing.
- Wellbeing testing - many companies now offer their employees the option to have their personal levels of wellbeing assessed. These sessions normally consist of a range of fitness and wellbeing tests allowing individuals to identify areas in their own wellbeing that could be improved.
- Work based fitness classes - by providing a range of on site fitness and wellbeing classes at various times, employees can find it more time effective to attend fitness classes.
- Work based gym - larger organisations may consider the provision of a on site gym for use of their staff. These gyms range in size and level of service dependent on organisational resources.
- Corporate gym memberships - by taking out a corporate membership at a local gym, employees can make substantial savings on membership costs, at a small cost to the organisation.
Nutrition in the workplace
Nutritional standards have a vital role to play on an individuals overall wellbeing levels. By providing healthy options within the workplace an organisation can have a major impact on their employees wellbeing. This can be done by ensuring that snack, meal, and drink facilities include healthy options such as selections of fruit and the provision of easily accessible drinking water.
Larger organisations who have on site catering facilities may also wish to involve catering staff with the process of developing a more healthy workplace. Most people state the major barrier they face to healthy eating is that it is not convenient. So any interventions that you make within the workplace need to be convenient and accessible in order to be successful.
Stress management in the workplace
Stress levels within an organisation can be a major factor when trying to improve levels of workplace productivity via the implementation of a wellbeing policy. Stress is one of the biggest factors that account for employee absenteeism and loss of productivity.
The main problem within the workplace is that employees often do not have a get away point where they can take their minds off work for an all important break. Employees who tend to be un-contactable and can turn off from work during breaks tend to be more effective and efficient when back on the job.
One of the most effective and simplest strategies to have come out of many stress management programs is to turn canteen’s or other staff areas into a no work zone. This means no work talk, no taking work into these designated areas, and most importantly no work calls.
Education is also a key element of effective stress management. From top to bottom employees need to be educated in identification of stress factors and coping strategies. Those in a managerial position should also be trained in the identification of stress indicators in their teams and how to manage stress in the workplace.
If this is an area that you would like to get involved with as a personal trainer a simple Google search of corporate wellbeing companies will give you some leads to pursue.