7 Employee Wellness Activities to Keep Your Company Culture Thriving
By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday April 20, 2021
More Canadians than ever before are working virtually, and experts agree it’s likely here to stay. This presents some exciting (and daunting) opportunities for workplaces to adapt how they build and maintain their company culture.
Creating and Maintaining a Remote Company Culture
Creating a company culture while most or all employees are working remotely is challenging, but rewarding. In our experience, we’ve found that focusing on four distinct pillars of health and wellness has created a well-rounded understanding and appreciation for health and wellness in our workplace. These four pillars are:
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
- Social Health
- Financial Health
We’ve got a variety of remote health and wellness activities for each of the four pillars to get you started!
Mental Health and Wellness Activities
Canada’s mental health crisis is worsening in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and proactive workplaces have an opportunity to put employees’ mental health at the forefront.
Activity #1: Schedule a Hobby “Show and Tell”
Consider scheduling a weekly hobby “show and tell” where employees can share their passion and talk about what interests them outside of work. It allows employees the opportunity to learn more about each other, and encourages them to pursue their own interests.
Did You Know? Promoting Employees’ Hobbies Makes Your Business Better
Activity #2: Host a Not Myself Today™ Meeting
Not Myself Today helps companies build mentally healthy workplaces by providing free resources and information to help you talk about mental health in the workplace. They’re focused on three outcomes, all of which directly help to create a more mentally healthy, informed workforce:
- Building greater awareness and understanding of mental health
- Reducing stigma
- Fostering safe and supportive work cultures
Consider hosting a virtual meeting to go over some of the key resources! We’ve been using Not Myself Today at Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. for years now, with great success.
Bonus: Offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
One of the best ways to support employees’ mental health is through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers resources and professional counselling services to deal with a variety of issues.
How an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Improves Mental Health
Physical Health and Wellness Activities
One of remote workers’ top concerns is how to work enough exercise into the day. Employers can encourage employees to get active during the work day without sacrificing productivity (in fact, it may increase it!)
Activity #3: Desk and At-Home Exercises
Consider slotting out specific times in the day to hop on a virtual call with employees and exercise together. For example, when we were in the office, our Kingston employees regularly hosted quick, 5-minute stretch breaks at 2:00 PM to get up and out of their chairs. Now, we encourage employees to stretch at their desks!
Here’s a few ideas for other activities you can try:
- Utilize exercise stations, like treadmill or standing desks, if possible
- Stretch breaks
- Yoga session(s)
- Create an ergonomic workspace
- Pick your favourite office exercise from this list of 25
Activity #4: Get Competitive (And Fit)!
It’s no secret — people love a good competition. Consider hosting an exercise or wellness competition internally, such as a step competition, or a “get outside every day” competition and up the ante with a prize.
Social Health and Wellness Activities
Humans are social creatures, and with social and physical distancing still in effect, Canadians are feeling the social impacts. Fortunately, opportunities to be social at work remotely are numerous!
Activity #5: Celebrate Events and Milestones
You may already do this (in which case, great!), but celebrating milestone work anniversaries, birthdays, and other important life events virtually is an excellent way to keep people social and keep your culture thriving.
At Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc., we use our intranet, Jostle, to announce many of these milestones and get together virtually for larger celebrations! We celebrate work anniversaries and other major milestones on our quarterly All-Staff meetings.
Activity #6: Host a Lunch and Learn or Coffee Chats
Any opportunity to get your employees together virtually is great for their overall social health! Lunch and Learns serve as a chance for employees to socialize while learning about something new. It could be about a new product you’re launching, or about something unrelated to your business entirely, just for fun.
Likewise, simple 15-minute meetings in the morning just to drink coffee and catch up (similar to what used to happen in the office) can work wonders for your employees’ social health!
Financial Health and Wellness Activities
Finances remain one of the top stressors for Canadians, which the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated for many.
#7. Host a Financial Webinar Series
We brought in a Financial Advisor in the summer of 2020 for a 3-part webinar series on personal finance and best practices and employees learned a lot. We also got the opportunity to remind employees about the various financial perks that BBD offers to employees; GRSP contribution matching, education bursaries for post-secondary, and more!