Employee wellness is essential to the success of any business. Employees who feel well both physically and mentally are likely to be more productive and even go above and beyond their basic responsibilities. They are more likely to show up to work because they actually appreciate the work they are doing and feel more community within the company. Employees feel more appreciated when there are programs directed at improving their quality of life, because truthfully, most adults spend more time at work than anywhere else!
How can we encourage employee wellness?
More nutritious meal, snack, and beverage options in the cafeteria
Wellness campaigns throughout the company with incentives to participate (for example, a steps challenge)
Wellness events, such as nutrition presentations and workshops, lunch & learns, interactive cooking demos
Offer on-site yoga, massages, mini nutrition consultations
When I was working as a Clinical Dietitian, I know that days when I wasn’t feeling my best, I was less productive, getting my work done at average capacity without going beyond my call of duty. I often felt unseen by the company - just another Dietitian doing a day’s work and not necessarily being recognized for my hard work.
The company, New York Presbyterian, offered different wellness campaigns throughout my time working there, such as an on-site massage therapist once a week, a steps challenge, and gym membership reimbursement, and when they did, I felt respected by the company. These campaigns demonstrated that the company was showing appreciation for its employees’ well-being, understanding that our well-being trickled onto the well-being of the patients we were caring for.
For large corporations such as NYP, employee wellness events can also be a great opportunity for employees throughout the various branches of the corporation to connect and network with each other, further benefiting your company because they are exchanging ideas about what’s been working at their branch, what changes they’ve made, what they observe on a day to day basis, what populations they’ve been serving, etc.
I recently joined Sunrise Senior Living and Dignity Home Care for one of their employee networking events. I presented briefly on the advantages of eating seasonal foods and then we had an engaging and interactive culinary nutrition workshop highlighting berries, which are seasonal for summer and little nutrition powerhouses! After my cooking demo, the participants worked in groups to prepare the dishes we would be eating for dinner. The participants left the event saying they learned so much and felt inspired by the recipes to utilize berries and herbs in new ways. Plus, they had the chance to meet others who work in similar positions throughout the large company and have meaningful conversations about their work that will ultimately benefit the company at large. And, they had fun!