How to Support Employee Wellbeing All Year Long
If you’re like most people, the turn of the calendar year might have inspired you to make a few wellness intentions. Whether you’ve resolved to start taking AcroYoga regularly, experiment with adding greens to more meals, or just take more long outdoor walks, these new practices are often easy to implement—and difficult to keep going.
Likewise, if you’re a leader or employer, you’re likely surrounded by people who’ve resolved to pursue some healthy habits this year. These habits are key to keeping employees happy (and productive!), since wellness strategies can help ward off the evil of burnout. Encouraging a workplace environment that prioritizes mental and physical wellbeing is the first step, but here are a few specific suggestions to help support your cohort as they pursue personal wellness year-round.
Get Some Group Activity Going
No man is an island, as a wise man once said. Set up regular opportunities for interested coworkers to meet for fitness-related activities. Instead of your next work-sponsored happy hour, get a group together for a brisk hike or a game of basketball. For those who committed to moving their bodies more regularly in 2023, connecting with others who are engaging in like-minded pursuits increases the chance of continuing on when the going gets tough.
Subsidize a Mindfulness Subscription
Wellness begins in the mind, and we’ve all learned that therapy and meditation are key to fostering a healthy lifestyle. If your company doesn’t already offer mental health benefits, inquire with HR about potential new perks like a corporate account with a mindfulness service such as Headspace or Calm. Virtual therapy platforms including Talkspace and Spring Health can similarly make everyday wellbeing more accessible. And a recurring behavioral health workshop or speaker series is another great way to put wellness front and center long-term.
Set Up a Sweet Gym Deal
Signing up for a gym membership is one of the most obvious yet effective ways to put your money where your mouth is and get started on a new fitness routine. If you can help by creating an option for those at your company to join a gym for a discount (or for free!), or by sharing an already existing option, now is the time. Your colleagues will appreciate it—and an irresistible promo might just be the incentive they need to keep up their new gym-rat lifestyle.
Encourage Mental Health Days
It’s a new year, but for many, the feeling of being burned out continues. One of the best ways to counteract burnout is to take time away from work. Some companies have caught on and even offer designated wellness or mental health days, but if yours doesn’t, consider allowing your employees to take a sick day from time to time to recharge.
Not in a decision-making position? Tap your manager to get their temp on the occasional personal day to recoup after an intense period, or even a couple half days if that’s all you can swing. If those you work with are feeling centered and calm, there’s a way better chance they’ll be able to honor their wellness intentions—and professional commitments.
Start a Journaling Challenge
In January, there’s wind in everyone’s sails, and setting intentions feels easy-breezy: “Of course I can do that all year!” But then February comes, then March… To maintain focus, try challenging your team to keep an intention journal this year—and do it yourself, too. Every day, take a minute or two to jot down something about your goal. How did it feel to accomplish it? What did it feel like on a day you couldn’t quite achieve it?
Journaling might be inherently personal, but you can make the challenge more communal between coworkers to help keep each other motivated. Start a Slack channel to cheer each other on, or feature team members and their wellness commitments on the company Instagram account. Even just checking off a shared habit tracker can help keep you and your fellow journalers more accountable. Either way, writing things down in black and white will help you and your teammates stay on the path to healthier living.