Article by Om Singh
Wellness ideas are considered as a ‘good-once-in-a-while’ thing rather than ‘necessity’ for a team or a corporate as a whole. These programs are often accepted as an option to alleviate the stress levels, and boost the performance of your team when you have all the others ducks in a row. But the reality is that if you continue to keep the plans on the shelf or put off employee-wellness efforts, then rest assured, everything shall crumble down to pieces. Why are Employee Wellness Initiatives so important? Consider workforce performance as the impartial arbitrator measuring the importance of these ideas. Everything in a corporate body is intertwined in terms of actions and linked when it comes to gauging the results. Wellness programs help your team exceed its own capacities and outperform the competitor in categories, such as productivity, employee retention, and low attrition rate. Remember an engaged workforce will not survive but thrive as a happy family and work harder for the organizational goals. So, it is time to move beyond the weekend parties and get together for booze and smoke because Wellness program does it better.
Here are 7 Employee Wellness Ideas that your team will love:
1. Food Trips
There is an old saying, “we live and earn to eat and not the vice-versa”. How about incorporating this in your wellness initiative plans? Lunch boxes from home are amazing but they tend to get drab and dusty after a while. It is the same old nutrition, platter, and patterns. Food is not taste and spices but about celebrating a culture, identifying with the traditions, and drenching one’s soul in the very satiating experience. Take advantage of this blessing and take your team on a vacation to places where the culture is about food and its rare herbs & spices. Moreover, you can also choose to participate as a team in a food fiesta where different states of countries display their cuisine in different stalls or shops and lets you taste-test. A variety of vegan, healthy juices, detox diets, vegetarian food from all over the world can add up to their life and experiences.
2. Gratitude & Mindfulness
If Yoga and food feeds the body, then prayers and mindfulness helps you to reflect and work on your infirmity. Similar to the idea of a fit body, it is important to keep your sanity under check and laying a lot emphasis on the mental health. A number of researches have proved that practicing mindfulness or meditation and expressing gratitude eases issues, such as Depression, Anxiety attacks, regulates appetite, and corrects the biological clock. So, how can you be a tough taskmaster yet a caring leader? For starters, you can share a doc on the shared drives with the team, where they can list down their blessings or things they are thankful for. Apart from this, you can also organize a weekly meeting where you give each employee a chance to share their experiences pertinent to daily journaling, prayer, and gratitude.
3. Yoga Retreats
Men are built stronger so, they might not like bending their chiseled bodies into a pretzel-like Yoga pose. It is time to shun this notion and move away from the decided norms that pushes gender disparity into almost everything. Yoga is for everyone and this is one art that bumps off many health conditions in one-go. Taking your team out for a mini health vacation like Yoga retreats, detox programs or simply meditation classes on a beach in Goa can help them forget about their worldly worries, clear the head space, and boost their confidence on so many levels. There is nothing more powerful than the force of rejuvenation and an improved mental health. Yoga retreats at a new destination can let you have a little bonding moment on a spiritual level, with your team as well.
4. Improvement through Cooking
Your gut decides everything- mood, happiness, stress levels, and relationships. So, everybody must strive to keep their digestion optimal and gut healthy. There could be many ways to help your team inculcate good eating habits but only a strong practical approach shall help them continue with it. Consider adding cooking classes in the list. According to a prominent study conducted in the UK, knowledge of food & nutrition can help people live longer and make better life decisions on the way. No classroom training is as effective as a practical cooking class where your team cooks, adding nutrition from their own hands, and enhancing the quality of the activity. You can devote two Fridays of the month towards planning the cooking sessions, and involve your team as much as you can.
5. Mother Nature into the Cubbyhole
Probably, it is time to let Mother Nature take charge of the lives in her hands. A brief meditative walk out in the nature, meditating amidst the greenery or just spending some time together in a nearby park in the evenings are the some of the ways you can include natural therapies into the lives of your employees. Plan an evening tea get-together with your team every Monday at a small tea stall or a café to beat that Monday blue, connect with the team, inhale some fresh outdoor air, and take a break from the robot-like air-conditioned interiors. Nature has a number of remedies to help with a plethora of physical and mental health problems but sadly, these remain under the rug. Considering that city life has less of flora, this can be a good idea to step out of the office ambience and get acquainted with Mother Nature on a whole new level. It is time for you to let your team use of the under-utilized means to be happy in life – Mother Nature.
6. Stress Workshop
The stigma surrounding the mental health and the degree of fear associated has stopped people from voicing their thoughts for a long time. People prefer suffering in silence and not let the notions come in their way of their career. But, do you know the end result? It is horrific to see people quitting their jobs at an early stage with fogged mind and spending days in rehabilitation to cure their anxiety. You can take the best foot forward by organizing anxiety related workshops, discussions and meet-ups with experts in this field and asking your team to not feel ashamed of joining the group. A number of studies by Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) have proved that stress can wreak havoc on both professional and love life of an individual. Situations like, office workload, and working on weekends can be overwhelming on different levels, so, workshops like these can help people manage their stress levels successfully and help them optimize quality of their life.
7. Office, a Fun Place
Forget about team parties or ice-cream treats, there are many strange yet effective ways to turn your office into a fun place. For instance, you can start bringing in the change by allowing pets in the office for few days of the week, asking team members to bring their kids along with them on Fridays, or probably celebrate birthdays in the most bombastic way, like movie plans, theme-dress parties, singing competition etc. A couple of moments of laughter activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System and thereby exterminates negative emotions off your mind. You may never know what a team member is going through in their lives, so the best you can do for them is to involve them in funny moments and coax them to enjoy the lighter side of life. You can talk to the upper management to start a crèche for kids so that employees can work without any hassles and on top of all; everyone loves kids and their comical antics.
Om Singh is blogging at Retreat Kula, a website that offers yoga retreats and yoga teacher training for yogis around the world. He is always on the lookout for interesting places to visit. It took him 25 years of his life to realize where his true calling lies, but once that was done, there’s been no looking back. Since the last ten years that he is on the go, He is sharing his travel experiences by writing about them.