Tasked with turning around wellness at work but challenged by the budget? Don’t let that hold you back! Here are 7 easy-to-implement strategies designed for anyone who is cash-strapped, bootstrapping, or just trying to create a more efficient H&W program.
1. Piggyback on Existing Spends
You probably already have company offsites and conventions. Expenses on these are already chalked into your budgets, so you won’t need to get additional expense approvals. These are a great starting point to kick off wellness initiatives and “walk the talk.”
- Instead of a weekend of just partying, include sporting activities spun into competitive games, outdoor hikes, and other activities that help employees get active while having fun. Even a hedonistic Goa getaway can include some hikes to nature reserves or even a game of football, a game much-loved by locals.
- Try and choose spa retreats or hotels in locations that allow for time in nature. India has an abundance of camping outfits now that will take care of everything from food and tents to activities like kayaking, rappelling, trekking, and gentle forest walks. This will help people unplug, connect to nature, and de-stress. Such locations also allow for lots of active time.
2. Rope In Your In-House Talent
Instead of spending on hiring an entire team of trainers and coaches who simply motivate employees, rope in employees who are keen on fitness, dance, sports, or health in general. For instance, a keen runner could lead running groups after hours or on weekends. A dance enthusiast could conduct dance workshops set to the tunes of the latest hits. Someone who leads nature treks on their weekends could be encouraged to lead office team groups on such walks. Of course, some people will still need professional coaching and trainers. Offer these as additional paid facilities available on request at special employee rates.
3. Leverage Support Groups And Public Domain Helplines
According to one ASSOCHAM report, a whopping 42.5% of employees in the private sector in India are living with general anxiety disorders or depression. Have in-house support groups for people with similar problems. It will give them a safe platform to share. This will also reduce the sense of isolation that comes with some issues. Offer helpline support or professional counselling or make employees aware of such options that already exist in the public domain.
4. Bring in Experts, For FREE
Many wellness- and health-focussed companies with organic produce, fresh juices, cold-pressed oils, all-natural wholesome snacks, preservative-free bread etc. would love to showcase their wares to your employees. Spend some time finding vendors and companies that could be of interest. Have them organize workshops that allow them to showcase their products and even sell them while also offering useful tips to your employees. For instance, a healthy whole-grain flour producer could conduct a cooking workshop of healthy bakes. Someone making healthy fresh-pressed juices could conduct a mocktail session. Get creative!
5. Remember, Many Wellness Initiatives Are Already Free!
While they will take up time to roll out, you won’t have major additional spends on things like having a fitness challenge for employees. Or using visuals to encourage people to stop smoking or to take breaks to get up and walk around.
Offer healthier choices at the office canteen and cafes – think dhokla or idlis in place of samosas and kachoris, green tea instead of creamy masala chai, americanos or skim milk coffee instead of frappes with whipped cream. Posters with the calories and sugar and fat content of both options listed alongside could give employees that light-bulb moment.
6. Get Smart About Spending
It may seem like you’d get economies of scale by rolling out a single solution company wide. But you may wind up wasting a lot of money in the long run. Making people take tests they don’t need or offering programs they’re not interested in is money down the drain. It won’t make them healthier and will hit your H&W uptake rates as well. Instead, offering customizable solutions that are flexible – like diagnostic tests that are relevant to a person’s age/gender/medical conditions is money well spent.
7. Give Your Wellness Program a Health Check Too!
Use your funds to make your program more efficient. Rope in a health & wellness partner who can track your program returns for you with follow-up diagnostic tests. This will help you deliver tangible, trackable results, making your spends go further.