Building Healthier Teams: 3 Easy Little Things You Can Do Right Now


What do you think of when you hear Google, Zappos, or Fitbit?

Companies like these embody the cool disruptive company culture that top talent—especially millennials—is attracted to. Each offers unique and engaging benefits for its employees, including world-class wellness programs—and in Fitbit’s case, helping other companies develop wellness programs.

We hear the term thrown around a lot, and most people have an idea of what it means. Simply stated, a corporate wellness program is any company-sponsored initiative that seeks to improve the health of its employees.

What do you call a wellness program that fails to get employees involved? It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s a waste of time and resources.

The definition is expansive, and rightly so. The level of creativity that can go into a wellness program is boundless. However, always keep in mind that your goal is to help people, and to help them you have to reach them. Go big or go small, but whichever route you choose, keep it accessible. Take the time to learn what motivates your team and apply it to your wellness goals.

Bonus Tip: This is also a great way to get employees invested in their professional goals.

Employee wellness programs have benefits that can affect the individual as well as the entire organization, from a decrease in absenteeism to increased productivity and better retention. These are things that cost companies in the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars a year in lost productivity, some studies even say that the cost of replacing a full-time employee can be up to half of their salary!

If figures like these give you a slightly nauseated feeling in the pit of your stomach, there are things you can do to start changing your culture and letting your team know that you’re taking their well-being seriously.

Below are three things you can do right away.

Talk to Your Team

Surveying your team is simple, and it’s a good way to get a fell for what’s working and what isn’t. Try using an anonymous submission format to offer your team a chance to be candid. This empowers them with a sense of efficacy. The results might surprise you, but either way, it’s infinitely more valuable to know and be able to make changes than it is to let your team go unheard and your programs go underutilized.

Recognize Your Team

If you got to this list item, read it, and wondered if this was something you were doing or doing enough, you’re not. It’s disturbingly simple and costs nothing to recognize your people for their achievements, even the small ones.

Making an employee feel valued and respected fosters a productive relationship that produces benefits both ways. Employees feel happier and more engaged with their work and their company. Meanwhile, the company can see anywhere from a 20-50% boost in productivity compared to companies that don’t celebrate their employees and their hard work.

Choose Healthier Options

Most people spend one-third of their lives at work, with a full-time worker in the U.S. spending an average of 47-hours a week at work. Most office environments are sedentary in nature and can be a breeding ground for bad habits like poor posture, poor diet, and long stretches of uninterrupted screen time.

There are tons of resources out there on little things you can do to encourage a healthy working lifestyle, but here are a few of my favorites:

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