This one should be on top of every organization’s list of workplace wellness trends to implement really. Rather than offering employees a range of wellness benefits for when it is effectively too late – i.e. when people experience a lot of stress, have an aching back, their eyes hurting from staring at a screen, etc. – companies should focus on prevention.
Because when done well, prevention results in employees that are well in the broadest sense of the word. Physically, mentally and even financially they are healthy and, by extension, happy.
Prevention, therefore, should be the starting point for employee wellbeing.
Instead of sending their people to the awesome company massage therapist to relieve their tense muscles as a result of work-related stress, managers should, for example, strive to create a work environment where employees don’t find themselves working under so much stress to begin with.
What do preventative benefits look like?
Here too, there are countless preventative benefits employers can offer their people. Here’s just a small selection:
- Train managers to identify (mental) health challenges
- Adaptive workplace design (see also below)
- Regular health check-ups and immunizations
- Ways to encourage people to be more active such as offering standing desks or activity trackers to raise awareness of physical activity
- Workshops and/or counseling about for example healthy eating, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol use etc.
A word on the role of the manager is in order here. Apart from the above-mentioned, mostly healthcare-related, preventative benefits managers play an important role when it comes to prevention too.
After all, they are the ones able to check in with their team members regularly to ask them how they are doing, both mentally and physically. As such, they are probably also the first ones to notice when one of their people isn’t feeling well – and to help them take action straight away.