Employee Wellness in the Workplace and Increased Performance
Are there benefits for companies that encourage wellness in their teams to get out there and do some exercise?
At the beginning of the year, we discussed the benefits of wearable technology as part of a way of encouraging a healthy, productive and creative workforce, read the blog here. However, at a more fundamental level, what are the benefits for a company that encourages its teams to get out there and accept a physical challenge?
Better physical health
The NHS says that exercise can cut the risk of major illnesses in half, singling out heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer as the diseases that are less likely to pose a risk to someone that is physically active. Staying healthy reduces costs for the health service, but from a company perspective, it also reduces the number of days that employees take off sick.
A lot of us enjoy a bit of hard work and a certain amount of pressure, but studies show that long-term stress can actually damage the brain, and is said to have a particular impact on memory. Exercise, by contrast, improves cognitive function, improves mood and enhances the capacity for learning. Making sure that you encourage your teams to exercise regularly could well help them counteract the impact of stress more effectively.
Improved team work
Getting people to work together outside of the office environment is simply a good way to promote teamwork when they get back to their desks. It is also another good way to break down barriers between departments, which can potentially increase cross selling, help spread best practice and lead to the development of innovative, joined-up solutions to problems that a business faces.
Making sure that your staff stay motivated is a good way to encourage them to stay with your business, so making sure that your firm supports them as they work towards both professional and personal goals can be a good way to keep them in the fold. Having the firm involved in fitness challenges even at a very basic level can help build and maintain engagement.
Finding the right level of fitness challenges for your business can take a bit of work, there are plenty of local and national charities that could benefit from your teams’ participation. The positives for your business could be significant.
As we said when we discussed wearable technology, it’s important to fit the challenge to both your company environment and the specific needs of your team, but it’s also important to make sure that it’s fun. You are asking people to participate in an extra-curricular activity, and even if the benefits are clear to you, many people may not have the time to commit because of activities that they already do outside the office. People will join the gang if they can, but it will not be fun if they feel pressured into it.
Ultimately, if you can put a framework in place, which encourages your team members to make themselves healthier and happier, the personal and professional benefits could be considerable.