Wellness in the Workplace: Practical Tips for Busy Businesses
When you’re building and managing a business, it’s hard to find time for the “fun” things like team building and wellness activities. But if you read part one of this series, you know these seemingly trivial aspects of running a business are vital to the health of your people and practice. In today’s world, if you want to attract and retain top talent, you have to consider whether you’re fostering physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in your workplace. Not only that, but when you genuinely care about your people, you want to create a positive working environment—and prioritizing wellness is a key way to do that.
That said, we know you’re busy—so we’ll save you some time brainstorming by sharing practical tips for fostering wellness in the workplace. If you haven’t read part two about laying the groundwork for a wellness-focused workplace, check it out; then try the following methods to kickstart your own wellness program!
Concrete Ways to Foster Wellness in Your Financial Practice
There are endless ways to cultivate a healthy culture in your workplace, and your employees probably have some great ideas of their own (which is why you should ask them for feedback!)—but if you need help getting started, here are some creative and simple ways to make wellness a regular part of your practice:
- Leverage Your Influence: One of the best ways to foster health is to make it easier for employees to prioritize. For several years, we partnered with our local YMCA and exchanged marketing services for gym memberships—the Y was walking distance from our office, so our employees had easy access to the gym before, during, or after work. Now we’re incorporating a “home gym” as part of our new office space on our property. If you can’t do either one of these options, you can negotiate corporate discounts at a local gym, dedicate extra office space for fitness (even if it’s just a yoga mat and some dumbbells), or provide a map of walking trails near your office.
- Fitness Challenges: Fitness challenges are one of the most fun and easy-to-implement wellness initiatives. At LMG, we host a fitness challenge every year right before the holidays to remind our employees to keep moving during a time when most people feel lethargic and unmotivated. We split up in two teams and compete for prizes—not only does this get people excited, but it builds camaraderie and team spirit. There are tons of apps and websites available that build challenges for you (our most recent competition was a “zombie attack” where team members had to log steps to avoid getting eaten alive), and we provide trackers for team members who don’t already have one.
- Walking Meetings: Studies have shown that walking meetings can increase creativity, productivity, and employee wellbeing, while simply being in nature has a host of other health benefits.1 Even if your team is working remotely, you can hop on a conference call while you walk and get the same benefits. If you need to take notes during the meeting, consider recording it and having it transcribed (we’ve found services that cost around $1 per minute), or designate someone on your team to take notes.
- Office Ergonomics: As an advisor, it’s likely that most of your team’s work takes place on a desktop or laptop. Sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time can be draining, which is why we’ve added convertible desks (with an option to stand or sit) at our new office space. You can also provide ergonomic keyboards and computer mice to ease wrist strain.
- Offer Healthy Food: This one is pretty simple—any time you provide your team lunch or snacks, make sure there are healthy options available. While everyone loves free food, it can be frustrating for employees who are trying to practice healthy habits to frequently be tempted by unhealthy food at work. If you supply snacks at the office, consider a curated variety that helps your team meet their health goals but can also satisfy a sweet tooth. Then store the healthy options in easily accessible areas, but keep the treats a little more “out of sight, out of mind” to encourage healthy choices.
Mental & Emotional Health
- Share Resources: In another blog, we discussed how we share resources for self-improvement during our Character Development meetings, and this is a principle that can also be applied to employee wellness. Find articles, apps, podcasts, and books that promote emotional and mental wellbeing and share them with your team. Look for resources that focus on building good habits, improving positivity, and strengthening personal weaknesses—it’s free (unless you purchase books or a paid app), it doesn’t take much time, and it cultivates healthy discussion and peer support among your team members.
- Check In: We often refer to my husband (and our COO) as “Pastor Coby.” Coby has a knack for making people feel comfortable, and one of his passions at LMG is checking the mental and emotional temperature of our team members. When someone on our team has an issue they need to work through, they go to him. Even if someone simply isn’t having a great day, they know they can talk with him and not be judged. Beyond that, Coby makes it a point to proactively check in with team members (especially our remote folks)—which is something every good boss should do. You don’t have to have an innate gift for deep, personal conversations (although as an advisor, you probably do), but it’s important to give employees the opportunity to talk when they need to. Even if your team members don’t discuss their personal business with you, you want them to have confidence to tell you when they need space, support, or guidance.
- Recognize the Signs: When you spend a lot of time with your team, you get to know them fairly well. If you notice one of your team members seems a little “off,” ask them about it. Again, they don’t have to confide in you about their personal business, but it’s important to recognize when an employee might need help finding a counselor or to take time off to focus on their mental health.
Start Small, Start Somewhere
Incorporating wellness in your workplace takes time and effort, but I promise it’s worth it. If this list seems overwhelming, just start small—pick one item and build from there. The key is to listen to your employees’ needs and follow through. It’s better to do one or two things consistently than make big promises you can’t keep.
If you have your own wellness tips you’d like to share with us, send us a message on Facebook—we love trying new ideas to build and improve our team!