Corporate wellness insights

6 Strategies from the Great Place to Work 2019 Summit that Employers Should Adopt

Posted by Team WCS on 03.12.2019

Earlier this month, we attended the Great Place to Work For All Summit in San Francisco to celebrate the best workplaces in America (including many of our clients!) and learn more about how companies are building healthier, happier workforces across the country.

We attended as a leader in workplace wellness, and came away from the conference with these 6 concepts at the top of mind. Here’s what the best workplaces in America are buzzing about—and how you can implement these ideas in 2019.

Our recommendations are based on almost 15 years in the wellness industry, where we’ve supported over 2.8 million employees. Learn more about our recommendations and how we can help by filling out the form at the bottom of this post!

1. Meditation and Mindfulness Matter

Many people still think about physical exercise and nutrition when they think about corporate wellness programs. But more and more, companies are guiding employees towards meditation and mindfulness practices.

What we recommend: Provide employees with a month-long meditation challenge to introduce them to meditation habits. In our Full Circle wellness programs, we offer employees with ongoing resources, including on-site workshops, online seminars, and more to provide key information about mindfulness strategies. For the most personalized approach, start a health coaching program so that employees can discover a sustainable mindfulness practice that works for them in one-on-one sessions.

2. Encourage and Incentivize Vacation Days

The situation is common: Employers provide Paid Time Off, but employees feel guilty taking off—or that taking those days could stall their performance—and so those vacation days go wasted. Meanwhile, research shows that taking vacation actually boosts your ability to perform when you return.

What we recommend: Make taking vacation days a part of your culture. Build a custom communications plan that includes reminders to schedule time off. You can even go one step further and incentivize employees to take vacation, or build a strong network of internal wellness champions who help change your company culture from the inside out.

3. Address Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is a hot topic this year, and with good reason. Financial planning is a major source of stress for employees, and is therefore closely linked to overall mental and physical wellbeing.

What we recommend: Take financial wellness seriously. You can also talk to your wellness vendor about communicating best practices to employees and offering customized financial wellness challenges that not only make financial planning a sustainable habit, but demonstrate how living a healthy life can be affordable.

4. Build Trust By Listening to Employees

This is a big one. Employees want to feel heard by their employers—and when programs for employees are implemented without the trust or buy-in of the group, engagement rates drop.

What we recommend: Talk to your wellness vendor about the best engagement strategies for your unique employee population. You might have a tight-knit, concentrated workforce at one central location, or thousands of employees with diverse functions across many locations. You might have employees that fall into one major age bracket, or many. You and your wellness vendor should not only design a program that not only fits your employee population’s needs, but also incorporates regular feedback from them—whether through an established survey schedule, physical suggestion boxes, feedback given to internal champions, or other strategies.

5. Build in Break Time

The concept of “stepping away” came up several times at the conference—and we couldn’t agree more that it’s a key strategy for wellbeing, whether you’re helping employees step away from the computer screen or the production line. Built-in breaks and personal time during the day helps employees refocus, reduces stress, and increases overall productivity and satisfaction.

What we recommend: Educate employees on the importance of taking breaks—and build it into your company culture. Have managers set an example, and talk to employees about their plans to step away from their work. Ask your wellness vendor for specific resources that encourage break-taking too!

6. Make Meetings Active

We have loved watching the trend of standing and walking meetings grow over the last 15 years! There are so many benefits of active meetings, and many leaders at the conference shared that this has become a standard practice in their offices.

What we recommend: Not every meeting can be a walking meeting, and that’s okay. Different workplace environments also make it easier or harder to spend time outside. This is another reason to work with a wellness vendor who can help you make a customized plan that matches your worksite set-up. Challenges, handouts, and step trackers are all great ways to encourage employees to get up out of their chairs, whether for a meeting, a brainstorm, or just a personal break.

Want to talk to us directly about your wellness program needs? Contact our team today about biometric screenings, flu shots, health coaching, and a wide range of customized wellness services, including those mentioned above!

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Wellness Corporate Solutions (WCS) is a leading provider of biometric screenings, health coaching, and comprehensive wellness programming. Our mission is to spread wellness in the workplace.