Wellness programs are an accessible way for companies to care for their employees’ health. However, gone are the days when some healthy snacks in the office and the occasional yoga class were good enough. Modern work wellness programs are all about mental and physical health while also featuring plenty of other benefits such as team building.
Wellness programs are an excellent way for organizations to show employees that they care but it can be difficult to come up with ideas for the program – so here are 23 of the most fun, fresh, and interesting wellness programs to implement in 2023.
Ideas for wellness programs in 2023
1. There’s an app for that
There are plenty of apps that track any number of wellness factors such as nutrition, sleep, and physical activity. Make sure that employees know of them so that they can access and make use of them. If they are paid, consider subsidizing or even fully covering them.
2. Nutrition education
It’s important to recognize that wellness goes beyond just physical activity. Employees must know what their bodies need and don’t need and how to create a balanced diet while getting all of their macronutrients, micronutrients, and not needing to cut out what they like. Nutrition education is the key to unlocking lasting, sustained health.
3. Walking meetings
Meetings that are done virtually can be taken outside. Employees can use their phones to join the meeting and use that time to simultaneously take a walk for their mental and physical health.
4. Meditation breaks
It’s been proven time and time again that meditation works wonders for stress relief and overall wellness. The option for meditation breaks should be provided so that employees can enjoy a well-deserved period of relaxation.
5. Mindfulness breaks
Mindfulness is a type of meditation, but it’s the easiest and most accessible option. Employees can contemplate what they’re thinking, feeling, and experiencing. It provides a welcome reset and chance to refocus.
6. Mid-day functional fitness
Functional fitness is fitness that’s focused on helping the body perform at its best in everyday life. This means improving flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Yoga and Pilates are excellent options for classes that offer excellent benefits without taking too much time.
7. Flu shots
Having health professionals come to the office once a year or arranging for employees to go to a nearby clinic means that you can ensure they are all getting their flu shots and any other vaccinations they may need.
8. Cooking classes
It’s important for employees to learn how to make simple, nutritious food. Cooking classes can be taught by either outside providers, online tutorials, or even other employees. They aren’t just simple, but they’re fun and educational too.
9. Health improvement challenge
Challenges are a great way to motivate employees to reach goals. A health improvement challenge has employees set a goal to improve any aspect of their health in a quantifiable way, e.g., lowering cholesterol by the end of this quarter or eating healthier (food can be logged as proof).
10. Adequate water challenge
A straightforward task but one that no one ever seems to complete: drinking enough water every day!
11. Adequate sleep challenge
Similar to drinking enough water, it’s difficult to get enough sleep every night. With this challenge, employees are tasked with doing whatever they must to get enough sleep for a whole month.
You have to be able to find out what works, what doesn’t, and what can be added or removed to your workplace wellness program. Surveys are the way to do that. Ask employees often and ensure their anonymity to encourage their candor.
Enjoying this article? Check out our 2020 version here.
Employees need incentives to want to participate in wellness programs. Some common examples are vacation days, money, subsidies, vouchers, gift cards, and gifts.
14. Relaxed team-building activities
Team building activities are excellent for stress relief and improving mental health. Examples of relaxed activities include scavenger hunts or stress circles where employees can share what’s on their mind.
15. Exciting team-building activities
Tournaments are a great example of an exciting team building activity. Employees form teams and work together while getting a good workout in. Some ideas include tug of war, badminton, marathons, and soccer.
16. Teacher for the day
On one day of the week, employees can become teachers and lead classes where they share knowledge that they have on some aspect of health. This can be nutrition, cooking classes, or exercise.
17. Have a laugh
Laughter truly is the best medicine. Give your employees opportunities to laugh with each other, whether with games like charades, hangman, and some improv, board games, or even a DIY standup comedy show.
18. Improve on ergonomics
It’s important for the office to be as geared toward employee wellness as possible. This includes high-quality chairs with great lumbar support, excellent ventilation, air filters, healthy snack availability, and office items (like keyboards and mice) that minimize the risk of pain.
19. Provide mental health support
It’s important to provide support for employees’ mental health. This can come in the form of a therapist, counsellor, web-based services, and/or stress circle.
20. Offer items around the office for some childlike fun
Card games, hula hoops, and maybe even a football or two can be made available around the office so that breaks can be taken to have some fun and loosen up.
21. Subsidize wearable tech
Technology that can help employees track their wellness should be subsidized so that employees can enjoy greater access to tools that can help them on their fitness journey.
22. Healthy cook-off
Competitions are excellent ways to push people to participate. A healthy cook-off will feature people competing to make the most delicious and nutritious dish to win some prize.
23. Surprise impromptu contests
Impromptu contests can be held to see who can do the most squats, pushups, sit-ups, or the longest planks. The element of surprise makes it exciting and fun!
Health is wealth
These are just some things that you can implement into your 2023 wellness program. It’s important to your program fun, accessible, and flexible so that your employees can truly get the most out of it.