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10 Best Employee Wellbeing Initiatives to Improve Employee Engagement

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By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

10 Best Employee Wellbeing Initiatives to Improve Employee Engagement

Did you know that people who feel their employers care about their well-being are 69% less likely to resign? Prioritizing employee wellbeing is not just another tick-box exercise but a strategic approach for any business to succeed. Implementing employee wellbeing initiatives at the workplace improves employee engagement, employee retention rate, and not to mention the rise in productivity levels. 

However, the real challenge lies in figuring out how to do it effectively. But the good news is that there are multiple employee wellbeing initiatives examples that you can make note of. Take a look at 10 of the best employee wellbeing initiatives that we have listed down.

1. Why Employee Wellbeing Initiatives Are Important At The Workplace?

Employees who feel physically, mentally, and emotionally well are guaranteed to form a happier and more productive team. Through programs such as a fitness challenge or wellness workshops, employers not only demonstrate care for their team’s physical health but also contribute to reducing absenteeism and boosting morale. Moreover, mental health and wellbeing initiatives, such as counseling services or stress management workshops, create a supportive work environment leading to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Furthermore, prioritizing employee wellbeing in the workplace demonstrates a commitment to corporate social responsibility and can enhance the employer brand, attracting top talent who seek employers who prioritize holistic wellness at work. Ultimately, by investing in employee wellbeing initiatives, organizations foster a culture of fulfillment and vitality, driving toward a future where every team member thrives.

2. 10 Employee Wellbeing Initiatives at Workplace

2.1. Fitness Workout Challenge 

fitness workout

Kickstart your employee wellbeing initiatives by conducting fun and competitive workout challenges at the office. These challenges are designed to encourage employees to adopt healthier habits for better productivity, happiness, morale, and the list goes on. You can organize a challenge every month and encourage people to join, give out prizes like giveaways, trophies, or healthy snacks to the ones who take part regularly or do their best.

Remember, you can’t rely on a one-size-fits-all approach as your company is likely to have employees of varying ages, physical abilities, and fitness levels.  All you have to do is plug in some flexibility in your fitness activities, such as:

  • Mandatory stretches
  • Walking meetings 
  • Office step challenge
  • Boot camp challenge 
  • Cycling challenge 
  • Park and walk 
  • Zumba workouts 

Put a spin on it: Not every office is going to have the space for an in-house gym, but many fitness chains like 24hourfitness  offer corporate deals so that employees can work out in a location near them. With a wellness and step challenge app like YuMuuv, you can set up individual and team challenges to better organize and grow your employee wellbeing initiatives. 

2.2. Organize Healthy Cooking Sessions

Get everyone out of their food rut with unique and healthy cooking classes weekly. You and your team will learn to cook simple, nutritious, and delicious meals that fit your busy schedule.  Beyond just preparing meals, these classes educate about ingredient sourcing, portion management, and cooking techniques, empowering individuals to make healthier choices both in and out of the kitchen.

Why not infuse some fun and creativity into your healthy cooking sessions by trying out themes like:

  • Easy-to-go breakfast
  • Meatless Monday meal
  • Taco Thursdays lunches
  • Build your Buddha bowl
  • Mediterranean Magic

If you are a remote team looking for virtual cooking classes as a part of employee wellbeing initiatives, check out Hooray Teams virtual pasta-making class for a fun and interactive cooking experience.

Put a spin on it:  Assign a professional chef or local nutritionist to lead the cooking sessions and provide expert guidance, valuable insights, and personalized recommendations to enhance your healthy culinary skills.  

2.3 Guided Meditation

guided meditation

There is no denying that meditation can significantly contribute to employee well-being initiatives by promoting stress reduction, mindfulness, and emotional resilience among team members. You and your team can either join a guided meditation club or appoint a professional instructor where you will receive the instruction, guidance, and confidence needed for continuous practice. 

Introducing a variety of meditation styles such as mindfulness, breathwork, or visualization to cater to different preferences and goals.Designing sessions around specific themes such as gratitude, resilience, or self-compassion to deepen the impact and relevance of the meditation experience.

If you have remote teams, check out  Hooray Teams' online meditation classes or chair yoga experiences that are designed to elevate employee well-being at the workplace. 

Put a spin on it: Providing supplementary resources such as guided meditation recordings, reading materials, or mindfulness apps like Mindworks, Headspace to support employees in their personal meditation practice outside scheduled sessions.

2.4. Organize Wellness Art Therapy Session

wellness art therapy

If you are planning employee well-being initiatives with a creative approach, an art therapy session can heal both mind and body. You and your team will find new ways to express your emotions, showcase your talent, and connect with like-minded people in a supportive and nurturing environment. These art events will help your employees feel proud of their artistic accomplishments, happier, and less stressed. They'll also be primed for strong collaboration, teamwork, and better productivity 

  • Painting 
  • Drawing 
  • Sculpturing
  • Sketching
  • Doodling 
  • Pottery making 

If you are looking for art classes as part of your remote workplace wellbeing ideas, check out Hooray Teams Virtual workshops such as Painting a Tote Bag from Home, DIY Terrarium making, virtual paint class, and more. 

Put a spin on it: Try hosting a "Speed Art Challenge" or "Blind Art" session where participants have a limited amount of time to create a piece of art. Set a timer for a short duration, like 10 or 15 minutes, and provide a variety of art supplies. 

2.5. Promote DEI Training Programs

DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) training is now more of an obvious staple in employee wellbeing initiatives as it fosters a culture of respect and belonging in the workplace. Investing in DEI training as part of employee well-being initiatives demonstrates a commitment to creating a workplace where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered to succeed.

Through interactive workshops, open discussions, and real-life case studies, you and your team gain valuable insights and skills to create more equitable and welcoming environments for all. Here are some of the most important topics addressed in DEI training:

  • Unconscious and implicit bias
  • Stereotyping
  • Anti-harassment 
  • Reducing prejudice 
  • Cultural awareness and belonging 
  • Addressing microaggressions

Put a spin on it: Partner with DEI consultants or advisors such as Wayne Sutton, Elizabeth William, or Deborah Levine, who provide expert guidance and support to companies on all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

2.6. Health and Wellness Swag Pack

health and wellness swag pack

Customized gift bags or curated baskets are one of the great employee wellbeing initiatives to show your team how much you care about their health and well-being. But let's skip the cliché black T-shirts or the white coffee mugs with your brand's logo plastered on them. When you give people things that help them stay healthy and feel good, it shows that you really care about them. It's not just about buying and selling stuff; it's about building a real connection.

Consider providing company swag packs filled with items that actually contribute to employee wellbeing initiatives. Here are a few options to include: 

  • Fitness bands and gears
  • Infusion water bottles
  • Eco-friendly cutlery, cups, and straws
  • Premium herbal tea set
  • Organic self-care kit 
  • Healthy snack box

Put a spin on it: Crowdsource ideas for the swag pack by hosting a "Wellness Wishlist" where employees can vote on their preferred items through an online poll or discussion forum.

If you want to create a positive, energized environment for your employees, you can delve into the collection of interesting articles on employee wellness boxes and corporate wellness activities. 

2.7. Career Development Sessions

Provide your team members with opportunities for career growth, skill enhancement, and continuous learning within the organization. As part of employee wellbeing initiatives, conduct performance reviews and feedback sessions regularly to ensure alignment with individual career aspirations. Often, the key is to make sure that clear discussions are held between line managers and their teams regarding expectations on both sides. This opens the door to conversations about what kind of skills or courses might be useful to help an employee develop, as well as the opportunity to create a roadmap for the future. 

Here are some effective ways to encourage career development:

Put a spin on it:  Encourage team members to create a "career vision board" to map out their professional goals, aspirations, and the steps they plan to take for career development and growth within the organization.

2.8. Set Up Ergonomic Workstations

Integrate ergonomic workstations into your employee well-being initiatives to ensure that everyone can perform at their best in a calm and comfortable environment. Ergonomic workstations can make employees feel less stressed and reduce the likelihood of them developing spine strain, neck pain, and even long-term back problems. You can foster a healthier, positive work environment that supports your colleagues well being and boost their productivity.

Here are some valuable tips to help you design a comfortable and productive workspace:

  1. Choose an adjustable chair and desk
  2. Position monitors for optimal viewing
  3. Set up proper lighting
  4. Add ergonomic keyboard and mouse setups, as well as armrests and footrests
  5. Pay attention to maintaining air quality and daylight level
  6. Wear protective eyeglasses 

Put a spin on it: Inspire team members to customize their workstations with standing desk converters, adjustable lighting, balance ball chairs, and more. For more tips to make your workspace more ergonomic here

2.9. Offer Paid Sabbaticals

Grant extended vacations to your employees and observe the positive impact it brings to your employee wellbeing initiatives in the workplace. Some companies, like Netflix, have even begun offering unlimited leave, as they believe that it increases employee engagement and wellbeing. Sabbaticals are breaks that employees can take after working at a company for 3-5 years. They usually last 6-8 weeks, and during this time, employees can travel, work on personal projects, or volunteer in their community. The goal is to experience a journey rewarded with new perspectives, new ideas, and new learnings that he or she can bring back to the organization.

For employees who are not eligible for sabbaticals, some alternative options to consider include:

  • Paid time off for personal or family reasons
  • Paid sick leave
  • Maternity/paternity leave
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Flexible vacation and/or personal days

Put a spin on it: Encourage employees to proactively plan their workload ahead of sabbaticals to smooth transitions and ensure project continuity while they embark on their well-deserved breaks.

2.10 Encourage Employee Feedback

employee feedback

Of course, this is a cliché option, but it remains one of the crucial employee wellness ideas for teammates.  Encourage open communication and feedback from employees regarding their experiences, concerns, and suggestions for improving workplace well-being. Every office should strive to create an environment where individuals can express their ideas and opinions. Get them involved in discussions about what they would find most beneficial through surveys, suggestion boxes, group discussions, or anonymous suggestions. Doing this is an effective way to collect feedback and ensure everyone has a chance to contribute their thoughts on wellbeing topics.

You can ask the following questions to enhance your employee wellbeing initiatives such as:

  • Are there any aspects of the office that they find particularly stressful? 
  • How satisfied are you with your current workload and job responsibilities?
  • Are there any additional resources or support systems you believe would benefit our team's overall wellbeing?
  • Do you feel supported by your colleagues and supervisors in achieving your professional goals?
  • Are there any specific employee health and wellbeing initiatives you would like to see offered?

Put a spin on it: Use  real-time feedback tools like Culture Amp, SurveyMonkey, Engagedly to foster continuous improvement and employee engagement at the workplace. 

To discover the secrets to a more productive workforce, explore the article on the best corporate wellness companies that can transform your organization's well-being

3. FAQ

3.1. What improves employee wellbeing?

The ideas to improve employee wellness in the workplace vary depending on the organization's culture and values. Some key strategies include fostering a positive work culture, promoting work-life balance, providing opportunities for professional development, promoting open communication and transparency within the organization, and appreciating employee contributions. Additionally, encouraging a supportive and collaborative work environment, promoting mental health awareness, and providing resources for stress management are also crucial in enhancing employee wellbeing.

3.2. What are the 5 dimensions of employee wellbeing initiatives?

The five dimensions of workplace wellbeing initiatives encompass various aspects crucial for holistic health and satisfaction in the workplace. These dimensions include:

  • Physical employee wellbeing initiatives - focuses on factors like nutrition, exercise, and overall health
  • Emotional employee wellbeing initiatives - addresses stress management, and resilience, and provides mental health resources for employees
  • Social employee wellbeing initiatives - emphasizes positive relationships, teamwork, and a sense of belonging within the organization
  • Career employee wellbeing initiatives - Focuses on growth, job satisfaction, and alignment with personal values and aspirations. 

3.3. What are some effective staff well-being ideas that can be implemented in the workplace?

Incorporating staff well-being ideas into the workplace can significantly enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. Some effective health and wellbeing initiatives include organizing wellness workshops or fitness classes, providing access to mental health resources and counseling services, implementing flexible work arrangements or remote work options, fostering a supportive and inclusive company culture, offering healthy snacks and beverages, and encouraging regular breaks and time off to recharge. 

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