F. Wholesome workplace culture
65. Wellness wall
Have all your wellness initiatives displayed clearly in the office. This cements your commitment to employee wellness, and your team will appreciate your effort.
66. Wellness newsletter
This serves as a complement to the wellness wall. Compile success stories and tips from your employees and send it all out in a newsletter.
67. Quote of the day
Who doesn’t love an inspirational quote? Motivate your team with relevant motivational quotes! You could even allocate a space for anyone to write something cheerful.
68. Wall of Fame
Acknowledge the successes of your employees. Whenever you make the newspaper or receive a certificate, frame it and hang it up for everyone to see. You can even make your own award system for top performers, like “employee of the month” but with more creativity and inclusivity.
69. Thankful Thursdays
Encourage a culture of caring and appreciating by gathering everyone regularly for a sharing session. This isn’t to celebrate the top successes, but to highlight instances of good teamwork and acknowledge the biggest hearts in your team.
Gratefulness is an important part of mindfulness. It’s a form of spirituality that everyone can practise. Encourage your employees to note down what or who they are grateful for each day. This is a great way to combat stress and worries.
71. Stress and advice jar
Whether it’s a professional or personal worry, there’s bound to be someone else in the office who has some good advice. A jar system is anonymous too, so it’s still a safe space to talk about work-related issues.
72. Random acts of kindness
Bring your team together by pledging to do random acts of kindness. It’s always worthwhile to put a smile on someone’s face, and their happiness will be contagious! If you’re not sure how to go about the “randomness”, here’s a ready-made year-long calendar of kind acts.
73. Business casual / casual attire
Consider changing the dresscode of your office to business casual (or even plain casual for those who have no meetings). This will drastically change the atmosphere of your office, because people feel much more comfortable when they’re not in dress shirts and court shoes. Having a relaxed atmosphere will enable better collaboration too.
74. Attire theme
For even more attire-related fun, organise designated dress-up days. Pick a fun theme like “80s” or “Hawaiian” and let your employees come to work creatively dressed!
75. Obscure holidays
Who doesn’t love to celebrate? Pick some obscure holidays and celebrate them with your team, like Caramel Popcorn Day on 4th April (not to be confused with Popcorn Day on 19th January) and Men’s Grooming Day on 16th August. Check the Days Of The Year calendar for inspiration.
76. Office plants
They don’t even have to be real plants, greenery has incredible effects on physical and mental health. If your employees have green thumbs, you can get real plants for their desks or the shared spaces; if plants are likely to die in your office, then fake ones will add a welcome splash of colour without the effort.
77. Encourage customisation
People only put down roots when they intend to stay, so encourage your employees to decorate their own workspaces. Besides calendars and coasters, bringing in plants, family pictures, and fancy stationery are good signs. Organise contests to reward those who creatively make their space aesthetically pleasing and homely.
78. Encourage naps
Even though this sounds counterproductive, you should let your employees nap. Most people try their hardest to stay awake, drinking caffeine and pinching themselves. But tired people don’t produce their best work. The optimum nap time is less than 30 minutes, and the boost in alertness and productivity outweighs the time “wasted” sleeping.
79. Daily breaks
Don’t expect your employees to have their noses to the grindstone without any breaks. Normalise taking breaks to drink a coffee, nap, chat, stretch, and even read a book. These breaks should not be much longer than 20 minutes, but when taken between 3pm and 4pm, it provides much-needed mental space from the monotony of the work day.
80. Put on some tunes
Some people work better when it’s quiet, but it can help to play music in the office. Instrumentals are less intrusive, but playing pop hits can lead to some impromptu singing along, which can be really fun and stress-relieving.
81. Sponsored happy hour
Stock up your office pantry with some drinks, or take your team out on a Friday night. Once you let loose with your coworkers, you feel a lot closer to them.
G. Care for your employees
82. “Who We Are” wall
It’s important for your employees to understand and agree with the company’s mission and vision. Put up your company’s statements on a wall, along with other guiding principles, in an area with high foot traffic. It’s good practice to display who you are publically, and also ensures that you remain faithful to your ideals.
83. Staff page on website
Give your employees some recognition by putting up a staff page on your website or blog. Let them choose their photos and write a short paragraph about themselves. If you want your employees to take pride in their work, you have to show that you’re also proud of them.
84. Unlimited leave
The prospect of unlimited leave sounds very millennial and very unprofitable, but employees must still satisfy their performance metrics each month or quarter to maintain their position in the company. If they really enjoy their role and like your company, they won’t be looking to escape. You can also review their targets if they seem to be meeting them too easily.
85. Volunteer leave
Give your employees a fixed amount of leave each month or quarter to volunteer. This will allow them to pursue causes they’re passionate about and contribute to society, and it reflects well on your company.
86. Birthday leave
Give your employees a day off on their birthday. Everyone deserves the opportunity to spend the day relaxing. Also give them a day off in lieu option if they choose to or need to work on their birthday.
87. Flexible working hours
Even though you set the number of working hours, let your employees shift their office time earlier or later than 9am to 6pm. This accommodates the different lifestyles your employees have, and enables them to work at the time they are most alert, which boosts productivity. Let them set their own start and end time, as well as lunch break timing.
88. Remote working day
Offer your employees one remote working day a week, where they can choose to work from home or at a coworking space. This eliminates long travelling times and the monotony of seeing the same spaces and faces every day. It also enables them to work in a place that makes them feel more comfortable, and perhaps be more physically present in their children’s and parents’ lives.
89. Flexible paid time off
Don’t restrict what your employees can do during their paid time off. Let them choose to spend their time on leisure and self-development as they see fit.
90. Celebrate work anniversaries
Show your appreciation for your employees by celebrating their work anniversaries. While it may be out of your budget to take everyone to lunch every year, a personal letter from their manager or even the C-suite
91. Long service rewards
Celebrate and reward employees who have been with the company for 5 years or more. Recognition can come in the form of certificates, lunches, or even private offices! It’s important to show that you value loyalty to the company.
92. Lunch with new hires
It’s just as important to make newcomers feel welcome. Take them to lunch and let them get to know the rest of the team. It’s a great opportunity to talk in a less formal setting.
93. Celebrate accolades
Constantly celebrate the achievements of your employees. For example, in the sales department, every closed sale should be publicised and commended, even though it’s an expected part of the role. This sends a clear message that you are invested in your employees’ success and want to validate their good effort.
94. Gift cards
When your employees successfully clear big projects, reward them with gift cards. You can give one to every team member, or have a raffle.
95. Weekly awards
When the Public Holidays are few and far between, the weeks can drag along. Come up with fun weekly awards for all the quirky things your employees excel at, like brewing the most fragrant coffee or amassing the most impressive stationery collection.
96. Sponsored retreats and offsites
Put “work hard play hard” into action. Whether you go overseas or stay local, your employees will appreciate the change of pace. Set aside some time for brainstorming, plan some fun activities, then get your team and go!
97. Paid paternity leave
It can be difficult for a company to let their employees take paid time off, especially for SMEs. However, progressive companies who really care about their employees should consider giving paid paternity leave beyond the 2 weeks mandated by the government. It is important for new fathers to bond with their children and relieve some of the burden on the mothers.
H. Successful and effective wellness programmes
98. Wellness calendar
Make sure you think about your employee wellness strategy and plan out the year. Your initiatives should be spaced out well to be effective year-round. Compile a wellness calendar and make it accessible to the whole team.
99. Survey employees
At the end of the day, the most effective employee wellness strategy is one that caters to the needs and wants of your employees. Don’t be afraid to survey them directly.
100. Wellness Co-Manager
Designate a random employee on a rotational basis as the Wellness Co-Manager. This gives team members a direct stake in the success of the programme, and the programme benefits from each person’s unique touch and viewpoint.
Overall, the elements of a good strategy vary from company to company, depending on the team size and other demographic factors, like gender and age. Ultimately, what matters is the principle behind it: a genuine care for your employees’ wellbeing and a determination to make work inclusive and fun.
Employee wellness should become part of your company culture. Instead of offering financial rewards, try to make incentives and prizes wellness-based. At boxgreen, our team members are good friends outside of work. We aim to foster a culture of health and wellness in other companies as well.