The benefits of a workplace wellness program—healthy employees, higher employee engagement, productivity and retention—are well known.
Recently, I've been working with top talent to collaborate on different projects that provided insight into what keeps them performing at their best and living a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
Here are ten original employee wellness program ideas that will delight your dream team and impact workplace health.
I'm not going to cover the usual stuff: fitness classes, healthy eating, walking meetings, gift cards, and book clubs.
Also, I'm assuming your office already has healthy snacks, a break room, and provides flu shots every year. You don't need to hear about that.
Let's get started.
List Of Employee Wellness Program Ideas
1. Vacation Planning Services
Offer vacations that make your top talent promise you they’re never coming back. For example, Ciao Bambino is a startup that offers vacation planning services for premium family travel experiences.
Some companies offer unlimited paid time off. Go one step further and also provide a vacation planning service. Your talent wants to spend their vacation between the Caribbean islands and Norway to go surfing and see the aurora borealis? No problem.
They'll be in love with you when they get back.
2. Unlimited Event Attendance Policy
Do you have people on your team that are eager to participate in world-class events related to your business? What about Comic-Con fans or fans of TED Talks?
Grant your top talent access to as many international events as they wish to attend with unlimited free event passports.
3. Pet Perks
Many people nowadays have pets — I have a dog and a cat that are part of the family. Let's face it; pets are a big deal to many people, with the industry making millions by meeting pet owners' expectations.
Why not offer complete care for the pets of your team members, including grooming and health insurance?
Taking care of pets also provides health benefits for your top talent, giving them one less thing to stress about.
4. Digital Wellness
You want your team to be as productive and focused as possible, so there's no room for tech gadgets and phones to become a source of stress and distraction.
Digital wellness coaching sessions are the perfect tool for helping people achieve personalized solutions that promote a tech-life balance.
They help keep mental health under control, as well as help team members avoid physical health issues that can be attributed to digital technologies, such as eye strain or poor posture.
5. New Job Rotation Opportunities
Offer top talent the opportunity to take a crash course with top-notch professionals in the area of their choice. After they finish the course, assign a tutor, and offer them hands-on work hours in the new knowledge area.
6. Make Them Thought Leaders
Something special happens when you share your knowledge — you learn a lot. And top talent knows this.
Help your team members build careers as thought leaders or influencers in your industry or business space. Offer courses on how to speak in front of a camera, edit videos, or anything they need to perform better with online media.
When they shine, they're also conveying an image of success for your company.
7. Opportunities To Steer The Ship
Even technical top performers expect to have an active voice in your company. Offer the real deal by letting them become part of the board of directors, even if it’s for a short while or for one meeting. They will appreciate the opportunity to share their opinions and thoughts.
You'll be surprised by how much benefit this will bring to the company's strategic planning.
8. Improve Your Work From Home Experience
The experience of remote work can go from heaven to hell very quickly.
If you want your remote employees to perform at their best, you need to provide them with an optimal work environment.
That's why you should offer a remote work consultant to help your stellar team members with setting up their work environment. They can be responsible for finding that perfect standing desk, for example, with amazing ergonomics.
You can also offer online yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, and other wellness activities that contribute to employee health by lowering blood pressure and reducing burnout, for example.
9. Work Remotely From Anywhere
This idea is great for your fully remote workers and the digital nomads on your team.
Provide a working experience with scenic views. Set up exceptional accommodations in the mountains, by the sea, or near a tropical forest. Let them choose where they want to stay and for how long.
You can also offer them the opportunity to exchange some of their working hours for working with a local environmental protection program of their choice.
It's a great way to get some physical activity and outside enrichment.
10. Time For Personal Projects
It doesn't matter how hard you try. Your top talent will get itchy feet eventually and seek something new. But, as the saying goes, "If you can't beat them, join them."
Offer time to start a new project or develop a business plan they might like to pursue in the future. Your team will be grateful and learn valuable soft and hard skills that will only add to their performance.
Of course, you can combine these alternative but powerful employee wellness programs but remember that wellness programs are ineffective without a basic package that includes good salaries and employee benefits like healthcare coverage, gym membership, and other perks.
Additionally, getting to know your team members and gathering feedback goes a longer way than you would think.
Further resources to help you
- 10 Best Employee Wellness Platforms For Employee Health & Well-Being
- How To Create A Holistic Approach To Employee Wellness (with Anjan Pathak from Vantage Circle)
- What Is ‘A Wellness Action Plan’ And Why It Benefits Employee Mental Health
- How To Find Balance In Our Online And Offline Lives (with Dr. Anastasia Dedyukhina)
- 10 Best Employee Perks Programs to Automate Rewards
For more on employee wellness, check out expert Anthony Clay's insightful presentation from People Managing People's Remote Work Summit.