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The companies that receive the “Best Places to Work” award have invested in innovative approaches to make their employees happier. By supporting your employees’ happiness and well-being, you’ll keep them from thinking that the “grass is greener” elsewhere which will improve retention, minimize absenteeism and boost productivity.

According to one survey, 93 percent of employers believe there is a direct link between a healthy workforce and high productivity, and they’re right.

Here are five strategies you can implement to put your company in the running for the “Best Place to Work” this year.

Offer Flexible Scheduling

When employees have a measure of control over where and when they work, it tends to have a big impact on their productivity and wellbeing. Have you thought about offering a day or two where they can work remotely? What about allowing them to create a work schedule that suits their lifestyle by letting them adjust the times they start and finish their work day?

Employees who have long commutes in rush hour traffic will appreciate this flexibility, especially new parents who have to take their children to daycare. Consider letting employees work an extra hour for four days so they can take 1/2 days off on Friday afternoons. Offer employees a fitness break during the day to support other areas of their life and give them greater control over their daily schedule.

Improve the Office Environment

Creating a productive work environment for your employees is critical to the overall success of your company. Look for ways you can improve the natural lighting. If there are no windows in work spaces, use warmer tones to promote calmness and relaxation. In conference rooms, use middle tones that welcome workers while keeping them alert.

Simple adjustments like bringing plants indoors can help boost mood and productivity as well as create a more comfortable feel in the office. Can you reconfigure the workspaces so that cross-functional teams can work and socialize? Then create more private areas where employees can concentrate on detailed projects.

Support Healthy Habits

Promoting healthy habits among your employees is good for your bottom line. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that employee absenteeism in the United States costs $225.8 billion annually. You can’t force them to develop healthy habits but you can encourage everyday habits that promote good health.

Offer healthy snacks that encourage good nutrition or schedule annual flu shots or blood pressure screenings for all employees. Consider offering a fun fitness challenge, encourage employees to form a team and participate in a charity walk, offer on-site exercise classes at lunch time. Click here for a few ideas to help you get employees excited about your fitness program and encourage a healthy lifestyle in and out of the office.

Recognize Employee Performance

Employees appreciate recognition for their good work because it confirms their efforts are valued. When this happens, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work. The cost of an employee recognition system is quite small and the benefits are large when implemented effectively.

Offering a sincere “thank you” to them can give your employees a boost. Employees enjoy recognition (especially day-to-day recognition) through hand-written notes, electronic cards and public praise from those they respect at work, given in a timely, specific and sincere way. Give them a day a week to dress casually or offer a day or two of paid lunch every week. You can even add a section in your employee newsletter to announce awards when they’re presented.

Make sure your managers are looking for opportunities to recognize others and take the initiative to do so. Also encourage team members to recognize the good work of other team members. This creates the opportunity for them to be recognized on the spot for their own good work. On the spot awards, and gift cards show the employee they are making a difference and boosts morale.

Invest in Their Professional Development

Offer a career mentorship program or tuition reimbursement for professional development courses that will enhance their careers. This shows the employee that the company supports them and cares enough to help boost their professional value which in turn can add to their standard of living. Keep a knowledge database of employee skill sets so that employees know their colleagues’ backgrounds and strengths. Encourage them to depend on each other and create mastermind teams within the organization.

By creating an environment that prioritizes employee health and wellness, your company can increase their competitiveness, retain employees and improve their bottom line. It’s a win for everyone!

Countless Aerobodies clients have successfully instituted cost-effective programs to positively impact employee wellness. Download our brochure Worksite Wellness & Health Promotion Solutions for affordable options that work. Contact us at (866) 659-3400 or email contact@aerobodies.com to support your work-life wellness initiatives.