Top Tips to Transform Your Company with a Healthy Workforce

icon-callouts-1 (7)When it comes to creating an energetic, focused and driven workforce, your employees’ health is key. While many employers have been offering things like biometric screenings, health risk assessments or smoking cessation programs for years now, those programs themselves don’t actually help employees lasting healthy behavior changes. They’re simply assessments.

We’ve all read the countless articles detailing how happy and healthy companies yield greater results. Leading employers know the importance of employees’ well-being and how it correlates to a better business. Employers are increasingly viewing wellness programs as a key component of their benefits package, with 44 percent planning to maintain or increase their investment in them, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Business Group on Health, in partnership with Fidelity Investments.

Looking to create a healthy, engaged workforce? Here are three tips to keep in mind:

Set the foundation
Your engagement efforts won’t do much good if your employees aren’t really able to engage in the first place. If your workforce isn’t getting enough sleep, for example, or they’re struggling to deal with life’s larger issues – like a sick family member or financial burdens– they’re going to have a hard time bringing their best selves to the job and focusing throughout the day. Addressing employees’ needs with a strong foundation of programs that help support all aspects of their lives – their physical, social, emotional, and financial health – is  a step in the right direction. Once your employees are better able to tackle other areas in life, they’ll come to work with more energy, focus and the necessary motivation to face the day’s biggest tasks.

Avoid repeating mistakes
It’s important to look to the future as opposed to what’s been commonplace. Insurer-led wellness programs, though backed with good intentions, aren’t always well-executed. Employee health isn’t just about weight loss or biometrics anymore, and wise employers are adjusting their strategies accordingly.

Show ‘em the love
Employers have a major opportunity to grow their relationships with their workforce by showing they care. Our recent survey  backs that up: While 75 percent of respondents either “love” their company or feel “pretty good” about it, just 25 percent of respondents felt their company loved them back.  Employers that take the time to focus on employees’ strengths and support their people across the board not only build trust and loyalty, but leave them motivated and energized at work and beyond.

Once employees are better able to manage life’s larger issues – whether that’s losing weight, becoming more financially sound, or simply getting involved in their community, or something different – they’ll be able to better engage. They’ll be sharper, more passionate, and more creative and will continue to be more engaged, striving for bigger and better goals both personally and professionally.

At the end of the day, employers and employees are in this together. Employers that take the time to truly invest in their workforce, helping them to make meaningful improvements in all facets of their lives, are poised to reap the rewards of a more energized, focused, and driven workforce.

What steps are you taking to create a more energetic and engaged workforce? Let us know in the comments below!

Exercise: The Key to Amped Up Employees

What’s one of the best things your employees can bring to work with them each day? Not a healthy lunch, or even sneakers for a workout (though both are great)! The one thing they can bring that’ll give them and your company the biggest benefit?: Their brainpower (after all, it’s what you hired ‘em for!).

Our brain’s health has a direct impact on our energy to tackle our daily to-do list, our ability to focus and think critically while completing tasks, and the motivation we bring to work each day. But few employers recognize how they can help their people perform at their peak, on the job and off. The answer isn’t to pour another cup o’ Joe or stay seated at our desks all day, eyes glued to the computer screen.

Rather, the secret lies in exercise. Encouraging physical activity not only improves employees’ bodies, but plays a major role in their brainpower, creativity, concentration, memory, and mood.

“Fitness has always played a huge part in my life, and it is very beneficial when it comes to business too,” Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, wrote on his blog. “Keeping fit refreshes the mind as well as the body.”

Is your company promoting lunchtime workouts, walking meetings, and other opportunities for employees to recharge their brains and bodies during the day? If the answer is no, it may be time to reconsider your approach. Check out the infographic below to understand more on how working out exercises both the body and the brain.

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How do you promote physical activity at your company? Have you noticed an impact on the quality of work coming from active employees?

“It’s Not Me – It’s You”: 3 Tips to Show Your Employees The Love

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When it comes to the employee/employer relationship, there’s trouble in paradise.

But what if we told you that the issue isn’t that your workforce is unhappy with your company, or that they’re bored with their day-to-day work? What if we told you that the issue was actually that they don’t believe you care about them?

Virgin Pulse recently surveyed more than 1,000 full-time U.S. employees (not our members) and found the majority of employees – 75 percent – feel their company is a great place to work. Unfortunately, many just aren’t feeling that love in return, with 25 percent reporting they felt their company valued them and showed it often.

When an employee/employer relationship is on the rocks, it negatively impacts company culture – meaning turnover is bound to happen. Multiple studies and reports have found if a person is unhappy with their job, they’re more likely to quit.

It’s not all bad, though: Support, involvement and innovation were the strongest predictors of job satisfaction in a study by Northern Arizona University investigating behavior health workers specifically, for rural behavioral health workers. Another positive? Low-turnover companies with highly engaged employees witness 65 percent lower turnover, while their high-turnover counterparts see 25 percent lower turnover, Gallup reports.

Improving the relationship doesn’t happen overnight, though. So what can you do to show your people a little love – right now?

  1. Make people feel connected to their work, and to the people at your company. According to our survey, interesting and challenging work was a major driver, with 33 percent of respondents saying it’s what they love about their jobs and companies.Boost that sentiment even further by recognizing your employees, whether via internal social outlets like your intranet, or by calling out their achievements in person, in a quick email, or at the next company meeting.The key is to create a culture where employees feel appreciated and supported across all aspects of their lives, while simultaneously making them feel they’re a part of something exciting and challenging,” said Chris Boyce, our CEO. “Creating a ‘we’re all in this together’ mentality and walking the talk motivates employees and helps to create a more energized, focused and driven workforce.”
  2. Ensure every employee at your company knows how they’re tied to your company’s mission – and that they know what it is and understand it in the first place. People are driven when they have a connection to their work, as our survey revealed, with nearly 22 percent of respondents saying their company’s mission and what it stood for drive their love.
  3. Hire employees who aren’t just great fits for the position you’re filling, but who also gel with your corporate cultur. According to Dharmesh Shah, CTO at Hubspot, “Culture debt happens when a business takes a shortcut and hires an employee with, say, the “right” the skills or experience… but who doesn’t fit the culture. Just one bad hire can create a wave of negativity that washes over every other employee, present and future – and as a result, your entire business.”

And employees agree! With nearly 12 percent of respondents to our survey saying they love their company because of the people they work with, the saying “one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch” fits pretty well here.

What tips do you have for showing employees a little love? Have a great idea that worked at your company? Share with us in the comments below!

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Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!

Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!