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Fitness In The Workplace: How Employers Can Get Behind It

July 23 2018 - As an employer, one of the most valuable assets in your business is your employees. However, to get the best from your employees ideally they need to be in optimal health mentally, physically and emotionally. Employee wellness programs are becoming much more routine across the United States of America and globally, with over 90% of organizations offering a wellness program to their employees in 2017. Promoting and encouraging fitness in and out of the workplace can be incredibly beneficial for both the employer and his workers. Here's why you need a fitness program in place for workers and how you can implement it in your company.

What's in it for the company

According to the University of Southern California, promoting a fitness initiative can lead to increased productivity and retention rates for employees. Let's think about it: employees in better health tend to take less sick days or time off for medical appointments. This means the employee turnover is much higher than it would be prior to the change. They are more energized and ready to tackle their job with gusto. In addition, employee medical and health insurance would be costing the company less money on premiums due to improved health across the board.

Finally, a workplace fitness program can mean improved mental health for your employees. Employees with good health and fitness are more confident and motivated in the workplace and about themselves in life, the benefits of which the company will come to enjoy in time. Exercise has also been linked by the Anxiety and Depression Association Of America to reduced stress levels. Seven out of ten Americans experience stress daily, which can hamper their work. A well designed and supportive fitness program can help to manage stress and allow for a better focus and ensure you get maximum effort from them.

How can you implement it

There are many simple ways to get your employees started on a fitness program in the workplace and they do not all have to cost a fortune. One way to go would be the installation of a dedicated gym on site for employees to use before and after work or during their lunch break. However, there are many other ways, some simpler to implement

Sponsored classes

Companies throughout the globe are embracing this idea by hiring personal trainers to run fitness and wellness classes for their employees, all thanks to the recent rise of corporate fitness programs. This can be either classes involving exercises such as deep breathing, yoga or other core exercises or relaxation techniques such as meditation. Start off with simple classes that would benefit employees in the daily lives, activities that would improve their stamina or promote better posture. While not all of your employees may take part, the ones that do will gain important life skills.

Encourage employee events

For some small businesses, they do not have ample funds to spend on employee wellness programs. In these cases, simple initiatives such as organizing weekend or off-peak sports and activity teams either playing baseball or even darts can be formed to play and possibly compete in a local competition. These clubs are great tools for promoting interaction among your employees, promoting teamwork and fostering those bonds among everyone.

Utilize the company's culture

Each workplace has its own culture and norms. By instilling in your workers the same values, you can encourage healthy behaviors and thoughts right from the first day. You could even expand it to include company gatherings and encourage healthy eating (or catering) and an active calendar for employees and their families. Make employee retreats an active exercise by planning races and family-friendly events. Not only would this encourage employees but its benefits and encouragement would extend to their family members as well.

Another idea would be to encourage dedicated switch off times after a certain time for employees. Mental fitness and health is just as important as employees' physical state. Good examples of companies offering this would include Skyscanner and Google who not only offer discounted gym membership but also discounted mindfulness and counseling resources. Giving employees a break from the pressures of their jobs can benefit you ten folds as an employer. Happier, more satisfied employees will equate to higher productivity, higher employee retention rates, and a more motivated workforce. With the right support, your employees will thrive, and so will your business.

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