5 Fun Ways to Engage Employees in a Healthier & More Productive Lifestyle


As a company owner or manager, you generally provide trainings and seminars for employee skill and knowledge development While that’s critical, it is just one piece of the puzzle to actually aid employees in being productive at work. As we’re finally beginning to realize, personal health and wellness while off the clock, are just as important to employee performance and satisfaction. Here are five ways to help you create and retain healthy, happy employees.

1. Hold On Site Exercise Events:

Some of the reasons employees don’t get any physical activity is because they’re tired after work, lack an exercise partner, or don’t have affordable access to exercise facilities.  Implementing fun, physical events on site can invigorate employees and inspire them to join in. Give your people a heads-up about the event with details about how they can participate. Inspire them by highlighting the potential for fun, even if that just means a break from their normal day-to-day, and the health benefits they can glean from the experience.

There are a wide range of exercise events to choose from. These can include yoga or Pilates classes, runs/walks, wall-climbing, a softball game, or even dance classes. Make sure the instructor for the event is full of positive energy and extremely encouraging and knowledgeable.

2. Make Work Spaces Beautiful:

Most work spaces are built traditionally– which means they are mundane and thoroughly uninspiring. Nix the old school formula of an office desk and an accompanying uncomfortable office chair. Spruce up work spaces with modern, soothing wall color and lots of living plants. Combine some of the work space with genius design to foster physical activity even during work hours. With the dangers of Sitting Disease on the rise, (oh, it’s real!) employees will benefit when they are also doing their desk-related tasks while standing. Meetings and breaks can also be held in environments that inspire movement. No more meetings that makes folks want to snooze. Instead, they’ll energize!

3. Gift Wellness Items:

This is when the gifting gets good. When you’re looking to reward employees with physical gifts, make it incredible healthy food items, or items employees can use to implement a healthier, happier lifestyle. Provide your employees with personalized corporate gifts like toiletry bags with towels that they can use after a run or hitting the gym. Communal employee kitchen or cafeteria spaces can be used as an awareness vehicle to post quick facts and guidelines about food and nutrition– like how many calories a donut contains, and the effects it will have on one’s health. People respond more strongly to images (obviously), so make sure your awareness programs are image-rich to pack a more effective punch.

4. Consider a Pet-Friendly Office:

There are already several studies proving how pets can help lower stress and improve mental health. Business can schedule a “Take Your Dog to Work Day” style event. Not only will this benefit the pet owner but also other employees. Staff can interact with the different animals in the office throughout the day, and it will act as a quick stress reliever that beats the usual snack or cigarette break.

5. Host Non-Cheesy & Effective Team Building Activities:

Team building activities should not just target improved communication, teamwork, and morale, but also overall personal wellness and happiness. Consider conducting these activities outdoors and get physical when you can. Think about a ropes course, camping and/or hiking activities, or take some other kind of field trip.  Getting employees to experience outdoor activities will give everyone a feeling of being in a fun and open setting. Another possible benefit, is your team getting time to appreciate nature all while team building.

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.


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