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How Small Businesses Can Promote a Culture of Health
A culture rooted in health and wellness is one of the best gifts you can give your employees. It’s also critical for your company’s success, as a culture of health inspires productivity that results in profitability.
That said, building a workplace culture of health isn’t a task to take lightly. It requires an ongoing effort from everyone in your business as well as tangible resources your team can take advantage of to better their health and well-being.
Small businesses can promote a culture of health by implementing the following tips.
Give Your Employees Something to Smile About
Contrary to popular belief, small things solidify your commitment to a culture of health in your business. For example, taking the time to give your employees something to smile about every day can do wonders for their health and your company.
Smiling is linked to various physical, psychological, and social benefits. For instance, it releases hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which inspires real feelings of happiness. Smiling has a miraculous effect on stress. And it invites social connection.
Small gestures that can make your employees smile include:
- Rewards for good work
- Ordering lunch for the team
- Having a meaningful conversation
- Daily shout-outs and compliments
- Sending notes of encouragement
- Letting your team go early some days
- Greetings when they come to work and goodbyes when they leave
You could also provide your team with meaningful work to prompt smiles.
Feed Your Team Meaningful Work
When employees aren’t challenged and inspired by their work, that dissatisfaction and unhappiness can spread throughout your company quickly. On the other hand, when your workers engage in meaningful work, that positivity promotes a healthy company culture.
Allow your employees to do work they’re passionate about. Of course, mundane tasks will make a daily appearance. But each employee’s role should primarily consist of responsibilities they can take pride in.
Offer Professional Development Opportunities
It isn’t just about addressing your employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health. You should also focus on ensuring your workers are thriving economically if you want to promote a culture of health.
Offering professional development opportunities is a step in that direction. Anything you can do to help your employees continually grow and move forward in their careers, you should do it. Not having a lot of room in your budget for professional development opportunities shouldn’t stop you. Instead, think creatively about how you can help your employees grow.
For example, you could allow your employees to shadow a coworker of their choosing to advance their skill set. Or you could provide resources for self-education in areas your employees are interested in excelling at.
Encourage Your Employees to Stay Active
Staying active is an integral part of being a holistically healthy person. Exercising regularly is wonderful for your physical body, but it also betters cognitive health, promotes eye health, keeps blood flowing through your body and to your brain, and reduces stress hormones.
You can’t follow your employees home to ensure they’re partaking in some physical activity every day. But you can encourage your employees to stay active through different activities and resources at work.
For example, you could host a health week a few times a year where you bring in medical professionals to conduct health screenings, counseling sessions, nutrition education, and so forth. Enter weight loss competitions as a team. Or offer resources like discounts on gym memberships, personal training, or sessions with a nutritionist.
Offer a Comprehensive Health Benefits Package
Many small businesses opt out of providing benefits to their employees. But you shouldn’t. One of the most definitive ways to promote a culture of health in your company is to offer benefits that address their holistic health.
A solid health insurance plan that includes care for mental health should be just the beginning of your benefits package. Add the following benefits when your budget permits:
- Paid medical leave
- Vision and dental insurance
- Health savings accounts
- Life Insurance
- Retirement options
- Childcare resources
- Financial planning
- Flexible schedules
- Access to a life coach
- Paid vacation, sick time, and holidays
- Short and long-term disability coverage
Making personal connections with your workers is also critical for promoting a culture of health.
Make Personal Connections With Your Workers
Creating and promoting a culture of health is impossible without open communication. That said, getting employees to open up to each other, let alone their bosses, is challenging to say the least.
But making an effort to create personal connections with your workers can help. When you have a personal relationship with each employee, you make space for them to be honest about what they’re going through at work and in their personal life.
Your employees will let you know exactly what they need to maintain their overall physical, mental, and emotional health in your conversations with them. All you have to do is listen and implement their suggestions.
Normalize Time Off
Unhealthy company cultures typically value profit over people. When it’s all about making money, it usually means long hours, huge workloads, and no time off for employees. Working around the clock is never conducive to a healthy work-life balance.
Normalizing time off is essential for a culture of health. Never give your employees a hard time when they need to take time off. Instead, encourage vacations and personal days. Also, if an employee needs to leave early or fit their schedules around personal obligations, let them.
Lead By Example
If you truly want to promote a culture of health, it has to start from the top down. In other words, you must lead by example. Doing so will help your employees feel comfortable following in your footsteps because you practice what you preach.
So, take vacations and time off yourself. Talk openly about mental health and your personal journey with it. Participate in all health-related activities and events you put on. Dig deep into what a healthy work-life balance is for you and your employees.
When you live a healthy lifestyle and are open about prioritizing holistic health and well-being, your team will be more likely to follow your lead.
Conclusion on Cultivating Good Health in Your Business
The key to creating a strong team is establishing a company culture rooted in health, positivity, and productivity. Commit to implementing some of what you learned above to promote a culture of health in your small business.