12.12.2023
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16 Wellness Perks Your Employees Will Get Excited About

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When team members are happy and healthy, they’re better equipped to tackle problems, think critically and contribute to the business’s long-term growth and success. Many organizations are supporting their employees’ well-being by creating corporate wellness programs that go beyond the basics and spark genuine excitement in their staff.

To that end, 16 members of Forbes Business Council share their top wellness program perks, policies and initiatives that empower workers to make healthy choices. With ideas for flexible scheduling, family-friendly policies and new approaches to PTO, business leaders can create opportunities for their team members and organization to thrive.

1. Offer Flexibility With Remote Work Options

Flexible working hours or remote work can be an enticing wellness initiative for employees, as it promotes work-life balance, reduces stress and enhances overall well-being. We can see this policy being adopted predominantly in Europe—but also globally—and data shows that it maximizes productivity among employees, boosts job satisfaction and fosters a positive workplace culture.

2. Provide Sabbatical Leave For Employees To Recharge

Something that I don’t think most adults envision a company making available to them is sabbatical leave. At our company, we give employees three months paid vacation for every five years they work for us. This time off is pure vacation where employees don’t do anything company-related. We want them to spend time pursuing their passions. Exploring life without working is, in my opinion, one of the greatest things.

3. Implement A Friendly Team Competition

We like to have a team-based approach where teams compete against others in the company. This supports team building and bonding. We have also noticed it bolsters production and team morale.

4. Provide Options For Employee Wellness

The most popular perk from our employer clients is a fitness reimbursement, which allows employees to choose what they like, such as a gym membership or home equipment, when they earn an incentive through the wellness program. Alternatively, an extra PTO day in the form of a “wellness day off” is well-received by employees who earn incentives through the wellness program.

5. Adopt Family-Friendly Policies

Companies can entice employees by allowing people to balance work and family in terms of scheduling and work time and also by being reasonable about having kids in the room when on a company meeting. Good people are smart and the work/family balance isn’t difficult if everyone is open-minded.

6. Build Time Off Into Employees’ Schedules

We have a mandatory “personal day” that happens on a quarterly basis. Employees have to take a day off and it can’t be tied to theirr PTO. It’s a day to rest, be with family or get those personal errands done that pile up when you’re working. Most people don’t have enough off time, so this gives them some forced time off for self-care or to-do list items that clutter them up mentally.

7. Provide A Budget For Employee Wellness

Instead of a generic wellness benefit, employees could receive a designated budget to spend on activities or services that contribute to their well-being, such as fitness classes, mental health apps or wellness retreats. This approach empowers individuals to tailor their wellness experiences to their unique needs and interests, making the program more personalized and engaging for each employee.

8. Offer Wellness Days And Expense Reimbursements

Company wellness programs are important to ensure employees have ample opportunity to rejuvenate and give attention to mental health. A mandatory “wellness day,” whether once a month or quarter—along with reimbursed spa, meditation, yoga or gym memberships—will encourage employees to take days for themselves, which in turn will reduce stress and increase productivity.

9. Allow Employees To Adjust Their Working Hours

In my experience, implementing flexible working hours is a wellness initiative at its best for anyone. It is important to reduce stress so that people can take care of their duties in all areas of their lives. Flexible working hours foster a positive company culture and increase satisfaction and loyalty when employees are trusted.

10. Give Employees An Extra Holiday

A highly valued perk in our company wellness program is the concept of floating holidays. This flexible approach allows our employees to take off on days that are personally significant to them, in addition to the standard holiday calendar. It acknowledges and respects the diverse cultures, religions and life events of our team members, promoting inclusivity and personal well-being.

11. Look For Successful Examples To Follow

The “90% Flexible Work Program,” inspired by Sweden’s 90% policy, empowers employees to choose a reduced work schedule while maintaining proportional pay. The program enhances work-life balance and reduces burnout, especially among women. It helps address challenges related to work-life integration, promoting inclusivity and fostering an environment where women can thrive professionally.

12. Let Employees Adapt Their Schedule

Embracing flexibility is key. We let employees tailor work-life balance, accommodating individual schedules and promoting smarter work. This approach boosts productivity, satisfaction and mental health, aligning with our culture of respecting individuality and holistic well-being.

13. Implement Wellness Days And Summer Fridays

Two really fantastic perks are wellness days and summer Fridays. Knowing that your employees sometimes just need a day off—for whatever reason—and giving it them creates trust and support quickly. And summer Fridays, well, that speaks for itself.

14. Provide Options For Nontraditional Schedules

When working in a global environment, flexible working schedules are imperative. Not only do they benefit employees but they also benefit clients because they allow for flexibility in scheduling. As someone who enjoys a diversified work schedule, I can attest to the benefits they provide. Experiencing different parts of the day allows for a fresh perspective and leads to increased productivity.

15. Explore Options For Employee Health Coverage

We continue to identify alternatives to traditional health coverage, such as health savings accounts or nonaccountable stipends, that drive people to be accountable for and take an interest in their own health. This is because the healthier they are, the less they pay out of pocket for portions of their health care.

16. Take A Multifaceted Approach

At our company, we provide our employees with their birthday as a paid holiday. More specifically for wellness, we are trying to partner with local gyms to get reduced member rates for employees. We also promote contests and “on-the-go” walk-and-talk meetings.

View our original article as featured in Forbes

 

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