We’re told time and time again that healthier employees are happier, more productive and less prone to sickness (body and mind).
And the one thing all experts agree on is that health and wellness programs are an investment that will pay you back many times over in terms of productivity.
But what exactly should you be offering?
Here are 7 fitness perks that you may not have even thought of.
1. Onsite gym facilities.
Offering to pay for gym memberships for a large workforce can actually work out more expensive than simply providing onsite gym facilities.
A small gym really doesn’t take up much space and a prefabricated building is always an option if you don’t have the physical space at hand.
Of course, your facilities will be limited, but it’s a neat touch that will improve your employer brand and could save a substantial sum in the long run.
2. The Fitbit Program.
A lot of companies now offer fitness equipment like smart watches to staff members in a bid to encourage physical activity and therefore wellbeing.
And tech company Fitbit have also created a variety of wellness programs for companies to adopt.
These programs will help you to incentivise fitness and boost participation from staff members.
So for example, Fitbit worked with BP to create the 1 million step challenge.
Any employee that breaks the magic million steps gets a greater contribution to their healthcare.
You don’t need to be an international corporation, so don’t sweat it.
You can start with one of Fitbit’s ready-made programs and then tailor it to suit your own company.
3. Provide healthy food.
We’d all love to eat healthier, but life can tend to get in the way.
We can dream of bringing in fresh fruit smoothies and salads we made at home, but that takes time and often costs a fair amount of money.
It’s much easier to just grab a sandwich or fast food from a local shop.
So, if you want to encourage healthy eating, you could commit to providing some healthy food (and even superfoods) for people in the office.
And there are varying levels of this kind of thing. You could offer:
- Free fruit, juices and even flavoured water.
- Subsidised healthy lunches.
- A free healthy lunch for employees every day.
Now, obviously it depends on your budget and company size, but you’d be surprised how grateful your employees would be to have this kind of thing in place.
Plus, it would help put an end to the endless rounds of tea and coffee that often have a negative impact on performance and productivity too!
4. On site classes.
If you can clear out a meeting room, then you have opportunity to invite local instructors in to give classes in things such as Yoga, healthy eating and even kickboxing.
Obviously you’ll have to check your insurance first and make sure HR is OK with it, but it can be a great way to introduce your staff to something new and boost engagement at work.
And don’t give up if it doesn’t work right away, some classes are likely to be more popular than others.
I love this idea because I know how difficult it can be to motivate yourself to go to classes at a gym after work. There are so many excuses and opportunities to just not go:
- “It’s too late now.”
- “I’m too tired.”
- “There’s too much traffic, I’ll never make it.”
But, if you’re already there – and other people are there, egging you on – it’s much easier to get motivated (and more difficult to make excuses).
You have to decide if you want to simply put on introductory classes at your workplace, or if you can genuinely provide proper facilities for ongoing courses. Either way, it could be great fun.
Most of the instructors will be happy to come to your workplace, too, as it opens up a potentially lucrative source of future clients.
5. Ask your team!
You might be surprised what some of your employees get up to in their spare time, (in a good way…)
Ask around, find out what everyone is into and encourage a collaborative effort across the team.
You might find that you already have aerobics instructors or clean eating experts in your midst.
And many of them would be happy to pass on their knowledge because it is a great way for them to prove leadership potential and of course, it’s a great way to boost morale and get random departments working together as a team.
6. Company teams.
These have gone out of fashion of late and it’s easy to see why.
Insurance and liability issues have stifled outside programs, but it’s worth getting past the red-tape.
You’ll have to liaise with your staff and figure out the games they’d like to play.
You could go for the traditional five-a-side football and rounders, or you could host old-school events like a sports day with the egg and spoon and three-legged races.
And more and more workplaces are getting involved with things like Tough Mudder and 10K races.
If you can get regular activities planned, it will boost teamwork and morale across the company which will in turn aid your employer brand as you can share all of your successes (and failures) on social media.
7. Sponsorship programs.
Invite your staff to come together and come up with their own ideas for sponsored events like walks, runs and unique experiences.
You could be amazed by what they come up with if you give them total freedom and encourage them to be creative.
Of course, you can’t pay for everything. But if you can fund a small number of interesting programs that incorporate fitness, then it might turn into a great investment.
These programs could be fantastic for team building, employer branding and even PR.
There are lots of different ways you can encourage your staff to live a healthier life and the benefits go well beyond simple performance and absence stats.
Fitness and improved performance are obvious benefits, but these kinds of perks can also boost team building, leadership skills and even your employer brand.
If you take care of your staff, they’ll take care of you.