5 Ideas for Holiday Workplace Wellness

This month we welcome a guest post from Human Resources Manager, Susie Alexander. Susie is responsible for employee relations, benefits, payroll, compliance, performance management, wellness, training, employee development, and visas, as well as some recruiting.

The holidays are a time for parties, cheer, and busy schedules! Even amidst the holiday craziness, it’s important for employees to engage in activities to stay mentally and physically healthy. Did you know that Whereoware was a finalist for SmartCEO’s 2016 Healthiest Companies? We’d like to share our top 5 ways for an organization to support their employees in staying healthy for the holidays.

PHYSICAL HEALTH

1) Holiday Themed Fun Run or 5K
Organize a team of employees to partake in a holiday themed fun run or 5k. It could be a run where participants are invited to dress up in funny holiday outfits or get rewarded each mile with some hot cider. Want to include those who can’t or don’t want to run? Have a sign making party to allow those individuals to watch and cheer on the runners.

2) Healthy Snacks + Meals
Planning to have on- or off-site holiday meals? Skip the pizza and offer healthier options such as wraps or salads. Your employees with food allergies and sensitivities will thank you for offering different options, and everyone will like the change of pace (yes, pizza does get old). Do you offer free in-office snacks? Swap the candy bars, chips, and sodas for organic snacks and sparkling waters. Even though holiday sweets can be a tempting way to provide a treat for your employees, offering seasonal fruit options like pomegranates, oranges, or rambutans can help your employees to make better choices for their health, while still getting a seasonal snack option.

3) Water Intake Challenge
Water, water everywhere and everyone’s drinking soda? Challenge your employees to drink more water by hosting a water intake contest. Set up a spreadsheet or collaborative online document for employees to log how much water they consume every day for a month. Up the ante by offering prizes to those who drink (and log) the most water!

MENTAL HEALTH

4) Encourage Employees to Take Time Off for the Holidays
The holidays are a busy time for everyone – between family parties, company events, and the end of Q4 scramble, employees may feel too busy to take any time off. However, it is so important for employers, especially those in leadership positions, to encourage employees to unchain themselves from their desks and take personal time off. Will your office be closed for the holidays? Communicate the days clearly to your employees. If you offer personal time that expires at the end of the year, make sure everyone knows when the last day is to use the time. Have managers and team leads create and share holiday schedules to show who is taking off time and when to ensure coverage and support.

5) Host a Goal Setting Seminar at the Beginning of the New Year
New year, new you- right? Host a seminar at the start of the new year on best practices for goal setting. These can be both personal and professional goals, and can either be an individual task or you can ask participants to share their goals and encourage one another. Starting the year off with your best foot forward is beneficial for all staff, including upper management. You can also tie in your organization’s relevant values or vision statement goals, like continuous improvement or caring about employees and the community, to showcase corporate dedication to wellness.

As the year end draws near, think about how your organization will support a physical and mentally healthy holiday season. Use our 5 tips as jumping off points and tailor to fit the needs and culture of your company. Does your firm encourage a healthy lifestyle? Share your ideas in the comments.