What the Most Successful Businesses Do to Create a Healthier Work Environment

By April 2, 2019 HR Blog

Provided by: Stephanie San Antonio, President & Benefits Specialist for SSA Insurance Services.

Managers and supervisors have the unique opportunity to influence the lives of their employees in a positive way.  By promoting the well-being of your staff and creating a work environment where your employees can thrive, you are also positioning your business for success.  By managing workloads and stress levels, you can keep employees engaged and motivated so they can do their best work.

This article will show you that it doesn’t have to be hard or be very costly to create a positive work environment that makes your employees healthier, happier, and more productive!  Here are the four areas that the most successful businesses focus on to make sure their employees look forward to coming to work!

  • Maintain a safe, comfortable, and clean office space

Make sure you are offering your employees a comfortable, safe place to work since they are going to spend hours of their work week there.  If your office is feeling cramped due to an increase in your staff size, it may be time to either reorganize some office furniture or find a bigger, more comfortable space.  Also consider replacing computers or computer software so your workers can get things done efficiently.  How is the condition of your office furniture?  It could be time to replace old chairs with ergonomic options or standing desks to provide lower back support and promote good posture.  Is the office in need of a makeover?  Find a way to get more natural light in and decorate the office with fresh plants to improve air quality and reduce stress levels.

  • Promoting healthier behaviors & lifestyle changes

Are your employees making the best food choices?  Consider replacing vending machine snacks with healthier options or make produce available to enable better snacking.  The healthier and more active your workers are, the less the company will spend on costs related to absenteeism, turnover, workers’ compensation, and medical claims.  To easily get your employees up and out of their chairs, you can implement walking meetings.  Get some sun and walk around the block with your staff while catching up on the status of your sales or projects of the week.  If budget permits and if you have the space, you can also consider purchasing a basketball hoop or bring in a yoga or other fitness instructor to encourage people to improve their physical fitness and be more active.  If your business is located in a central area you can rent a fleet of bikes to keep people moving on their lunch breaks.  Employers can also negotiate corporate discounts with nearby health clubs for memberships and class packages.  And when work volume and stress levels begin to rise, bring in someone to perform on-site chair massages.

  • Encourage team building and have some fun at work!

Inject some fun into the workday!  Ask your Human Resources team to plan some friendly competitions and group activities to help foster productive work relationships.  It’s especially important to help your staff get to know each other when your workforce is diverse or not all under the same roof.  Building comradery and creating a healthier workforce can be as simple as having a monthly wellness program, or you can go big and coordinate a company health fair.  Your broker or wellness consultant can help you plan a family friendly, educational and interactive health fair where you can raise awareness about health issues and educate your employees about their benefits.  If you work for a company with 100 or more employees your health insurance carrier may even provide you with an annual “wellness fund” or reimbursement for costs you put toward wellness!  You can also coordinate a 5k running team and invite your staff to walk, jog, or run together, or purchase a ping pong table just to provide your employees with an activity to do together on their breaks!

  • Provide a supportive environment for your employees

Americans are working longer and harder than ever before, and with that sometimes comes physical and emotional stress.  One way you can manage stress levels is by making sure that employees take their required work breaks and don’t skip lunch.  You can encourage these rest breaks by having a daily “company stretch” or by creating relaxing spaces for employees to read or meditate.  These moments can help your workers “recharge” and come up with new ideas or approaches to keep your business moving forward.  Remember to welcome and respect everyone’s ideas so they feel heard.  At your team meeting you can begin the week with an expression of gratitude by recognizing and thanking those employees that accomplished something noteworthy or contributed to a team project.  Focusing on positivity and fairness will create an environment where employees feel supported.  If one of your workers is going through a hard time in their personal life whether it be due to divorce, the death of a friend or family members, or something else, you can show you care by listening, showing concern, and if appropriate, provide them with resources that can help.  Ask your health insurance broker if your group benefits include an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  This provides your employees with a place they can call to get help that’s convenient and confidential from certified counselors over the phone regarding concerns such as: managing stress, balancing work and life, quitting tobacco, alcohol, or drug use, working through grief and loss issues, or controlling depression and anxiety.

Giving your office space a health makeover doesn’t have to be done in one day!  Keep this article as a reference as you make continual improvements to your work environment.  Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your employees on all of these areas, too.  A simple anonymous survey can be effective in collecting information about what your employees want and suggest for a better work environment.  Even simple changes can lead to a happier team that feels better supported.

For more information please call us at (760) 203-4299 or visit our website at: www.ssainsuranceservices.com

Since 2013 SSA Insurance Services has been helping organizations of all sizes to promote and protect the health and wellness of their most important asset: their employees. Stephanie San Antonio and her team do this by working with employers to design, implement, and maintain a company culture that is in line with their mission and values, and building a comprehensive benefit package that attracts and retains their top talent.  Because their team believes in putting health first, all SSA clients receive a complimentary wellness program tailored specifically to their business.  Call SSA at (760) 203-4299 for more information on how they help design a benefit program and company culture that work hand in hand to create an environment where people are inspired to stay healthy and work hard to help their company reach success.

Contact us: 858.505.0024