- Nadine Dumas Contributor.
Finding the right employees, and keeping them, can be exceedingly difficult. Even giants like Amazon are finding ways to let their employees have more of a work/life balance with a 30 hour work week. It’s a no-brainer that you you want to own a “cool” company that people desperately want to work for, but how can you create a strong company culture without blowing your profits?
Focus on Health and Wellness Perks
Having an edge with your company perks makes a difference in attracting and retaining great employees. Keeping those employees happy and healthy significantly benefits your company—less sick days and lower insurance costs result in a better bottom line. Going beyond typical health coverage and gym memberships is a must to keep up with attracting great talent to your company.
Whether you offer these amenities in the workplace or outside of work, here are some recommendations on how to enhance your corporate wellness program.
Provide Healthy Snacks
Snack machines loaded with cheap, processed, high-sugar and fattening foods taste good for the moment and boost your lagging employees short term, but they’re doing more harm than good overall. Eating these on a regular basis will contribute to weight gain, more sick days, and an overall sluggish work level.
While outlawing junk won’t win you a Boss of the Year award, providing healthy snacks just might. Stock the kitchen with fresh fruit, oatmeal packets, nuts (assuming there are no office allergies) and an assortment of flavored teas. You can also get a healthy snack delivery through services like Snack Nation or Micro Markets.\
Create Flexible Work Hours
Implementing family-friendly policies and supporting work-life balance for your employees can positively impact the growth of your business.
Having flexibility with your employees shows them that you trust them and respect their judgement, which in turn breeds more dedication to your company. Increased retention, productivity and happiness becomes more apparent when employees are able to occasionally prioritize their personal lives over work, yielding true work-life balance.
Subsidize Personal Development
Encourage personal development. Let your team find their passion or learn something they have an interest in outside of work. By encouraging your employees to educate themselves—even if it doesn’t directly benefit your business—speaks volumes to who you are as a company and allows your employees to feel more fulfilled in their lives.
With the increasing demands on employees to work long hours—often with skipped lunches and sitting for hours on end—stiff and sedentary postures will take its toll. Bringing yoga or any fitness program to the office is a great way to encourage your employees to get out from behind their desks and take the time that they may not otherwise have, or use, on fitness.
Bringing yoga to the workplace will not only help with employee well-being, but it will also improve your bottom line as it is proven to reduce sick days, provide relief from aches and strains and improve levels of concentration.
Hold Fitness Challenges
Everyone loves a little competition, especially when you’re kicking your boss’s ass. Creating a little friendly competition can spark excitement in staff who are starting to feel unengaged and can shake up the day-to-day hum-drum of office life. You can start small with a “Take the Stairs” challenge or go all out with a “Biggest Loser” type challenge.
If you want to go all-out with a custom fitness and nutrition program, I would recommend working with a professional fitness coach to develop a fun challenge that’s appropriate for your team.
I’m sure this might shock a few, but read on. Virgin, LinkedIn, HubSpot and other companies have started using an “Unlimited Vacation” policy. It’s stressful when you have to use your precious few vacation days for an obligatory family wedding out of town, a surprise surgery, or when your kids end up with mono and there’s no one else to watch them.
This concept of “unlimited vacation” takes away that stress.
As long as you have your work done, you’re not leaving anyone in a pinch, and you’re not abusing the system. Take off the days you need when you need them. Essentially, you’re trusting your staff to let you know when they need a little time off, and you’re treating them like adults. An interesting note here is that many companies who offer unlimited vacation still have staff not even taking their ‘minimum’ vacation time.
As a business owner, it often seems that any time a desk is empty, you’re losing out on billable hours and paying for work that isn’t getting completed. However, if your staff is tired, sick, or just burnt out, they’re likely not performing their best.
You’re running the risk of having them leave. Stocking healthy food, giving employees the freedom to change their schedule when they need it, and offering options to keep fit during office hours can save you loads of money and keep employees happy, which is a proven key to success.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.