Health-promoting measures for employees are a hot topic lately. But many employers don’t know where to begin — and are also worried about the cost of such initiatives. If that’s you, don’t worry – here, we’ll explore ideas and tips on employee health initiatives for different areas and budgets. So read on to find the suitable path for your company to start improving the health of your employees.
Health-promoting measures for employees based on department
In many cases, company managers are concerned about the costs associated with employee health initiatives.
But don’t worry – there are plenty of low-cost options, as you’ll soon see.
What’s more, there’s a scientifically proven added value of championing employee health. According to a 2020 study of German companies by Asklepios Kliniken and the management consultancy Roland Berger, employee measures reduced staff turnover by 40%, turnover per employee* increases by 11% and the share value of companies even increases by 76%.
The decisive factor, of course, is settling on the initiatives and benefits that fit your unique company.
Here’s some ideas to get you inspired:
- Recognition: Showing appreciation is central to a positive corporate culture and foundational for good leadership – which is why managers should actively exemplify this value. Recognition makes employees feel respected, which strengthens satisfaction and company loyalty. Characteristics of showing appreciation are respectful behavior and open communication. This includes organizing feedback discussions, as well as distributing satisfaction surveys.
Tip: Involve employees: What was good, what should be omitted in the future and what should be improved? Netflix successfully demonstrated that it’s possible to access low costs and plenty of inclusion at the same time.
- Professional development: Modern employees are looking for meaningful work, which is closely linked to the development of their own skills. Further training opportunities thus have a motivating effect.
Tip: Offer an educational budget for technical literature.
- Interior design: A feel-good work environment can do wonders to reduce stress. Set up quiet zones, and create areas for sharing and networking. Is there an outdoor area that could be beautified?
Tip: House plants are a good start. They have a relaxing effect.
- Workplace design: Ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks can help prevent back pain.
Tip: Remind employees about additional short exercises or stretches that they can do throughout their work day.
- Working from home – setup: Give your employees more freedom concerning where they want to work. Your employees will thank you for this flexibility in the form of motivation.
Tip: Support your employees with their home-office setup. Ergonomic sitting, posture and height, as well as an employee’s distance to their monitor are paramount.
- Work-life balance: A good balance between working hours and private life can reduce stress and increase satisfaction. Flexible working hours allow employees to better combine family obligations, hobbies and social plans.
Tip: A good work-life balance is at the top of our list. Besides trust, you don’t have to invest anything.
- Prevention offers: Prevention pays off. What can help with prolonged sitting or standing, and how much should you move on a daily basis?
Tip: Courses, whether online or offline, raise employees’ awareness and thus increase their readiness to participate in other offers, such as company sports.
- Nutrition: A healthy, balanced diet supports overall health and can also be important in preventing heart attacks. It also has a positive influence on satisfaction and motivation.
A cafeteria with healthy food is ideal, but this may only be possible for larger companies.
Cooking classes offer practical skills in a playful way, focusing on fun and shared experience – also great for team building.
Tip: A fruit basket is a good start. For employees working from home, how about offering discounts on healthy pre-portioned cook-by-recipe offers like HelloFresh?
- Company sports: Benefits like individual or team sports support physical and mental health and contribute to motivation.
Tip: Urban Sports Club offers companies a flat rate for their employees, so they can discover new sports – on-site or in live online sessions.
- Relaxation: Muscle relaxation exercises can help reduce stress, as can mindfulness, yoga or meditation exercises. Also recommended: an on-site massage therapist!
Tip: Recommend a relaxation app to your employees that you use yourself.
- Team building: Team building promotes cohesion, creates closeness and is good for the working atmosphere. There are many possibilities here, from sports challenges such as company runs or rafting, to graffiti classes or escape rooms, to a team day in the countryside.
Tip: Cooking workshops are a good way to get started – even if they take place online.
- Digital offers: For employees who don’t need to be on-site, digital offers are an excellent benefit. In particular, live-streamed sports classes, yoga classes, and relaxation and meditation apps have proven successful.
Tip: A virtual coffee break creates connection and prevents loneliness.
- Re-entry for parents: Helping employees return to work after parental leave increases satisfaction and motivation.
Tip: Where possible, offer a flexible work-from-home option and provide a mentor as a contact person.
Which measures are suitable for which companies?
Every company has its own unique needs. Industry, size and budget are all important factors to consider. The type of work also plays a role – physical work causes different stresses than sedentary office work.
Measures suitable for all companies
Regardless of company size and industry, any company implement employee health initiatives focused on:
- Work-life balance
The same applies to companies with small budgets. Employee interaction, embedded in a defined set of values and supplemented by flexible offers regarding place and time of work are ideal ways to support employees.
In addition, there are low-cost measures from many areas (see the tips above).
In principle, all initiatives can be considered for companies with a large budget. Consider these higher-level options:
- Healthy food in an on-site cafeteria
- Sports facilities on company premises
- Company doctor
- Health promotion processes
Industry and retail
The following additional measures are suitable for companies that, by nature, rely on on-site employee presence and therefore cannot offer a home office:
- Prevention initiatives
- Sports offers
- Nutrition consulting
- Relaxation offers
- Interior design optimization (for break areas)
- Discover selected employee health best practices to inspire your business here.