Jun 6, 2017

June is National Employee Wellness Month! Celebrate by Making Your Small Business Healthier and Happier with These Expert Tips

If it’s one thing we love at TriNet, it’s watching small businesses succeed. However, when you are climbing your way to the top, it is easy to forget to stop for a moment to take care of yourself─and to encourage your hardworking employees to do the same. Fortunately, our HR experts always have your back. In honor of National Employee Wellness Month, many of them are sharing some of their best tips for implementing wellness into your work.

Erin McGinty

Erin McGinty

Schedule some “me” time
When you’re starting or growing a business, work can take up nearly all your time. Add to that kids, family obligations and your personal commitments, and you can quickly run out of time for self-care. Sometimes months will go by before you find a moment for yourself. While it’s easier said than done, taking even an hour away to do nothing but relax is vital to success in all other areas of your life. The time you step away will allow you to return to your hectic life with recharged batteries, fresh eyes and a focused mind. Start by scheduling one hour a week on your calendar to get a massage, hit the gym, sit at a coffee shop alone or even take a nap. Whatever rejuvenates you is perfect. By having this sacred hour scheduled at the same time every week, others learn not to ask anything of you during this time and you always have something to look forward to.

Erin McGinty
Executive Director, Benefits Consulting


Mike Travers

Mike Travers

Take a stand on stress
When you’ve been hunched over a desk, diligently working for hours on end, something as simple as standing up and stretching can make a huge difference in your energy level and overall well-being. Studies show that when you stand up, your body remains active and you reap the benefits of the extra metabolic functioning that can help reduce your chances of diabetes and heart disease. Make it a habit to stand up for at least a few seconds every hour or two. If you are on the phone or have a conference call, consider standing up while talking. You often project better over the telephone from a standing position rather than slouched in a chair anyway. There is also evidence that the more you sit, the greater your mortality risk. For me, that says it all. 

Mike Travers
Senior Benefits Consultant 


Mindy Turba

Mindy Turba

Sweeten your snack offerings
We are so used to finding candy dishes in our places of business. What would happen if that candy dish was replaced with nuts or dried (or even fresh) fruit? Would your employees indulge in a healthier snack? Think about how much more energized and focused they would be. How would that affect their work and your company’s overall performance? Sugary snacks tend to give a quick burst of energy that also fades quickly. Higher-protein items will keep your blood sugar levels more stable, along with your energy.

Mindy Turba
Senior Benefits Consultant


Jenna Brown

Jenna Brown

Water down your wellness program
Remember to stay hydrated. Especially as we move into the warmer summer months, it’s crucial to drink plenty of water (the commonly followed recommendation is eight 8-ounce glasses a day). Not only can hydration help stave off any potential illnesses (thus cutting down on employee sick days) but higher water consumption has been shown to increase energy, which leads to a more productive staff. Encourage your employees’ water consumption and spur team pride by providing the entire company with reusable water bottles that have your company logo on them. Not only will this help your employees stay hydrated, it will reduce waste from disposable cups and water bottles.

Jenna Brown
Principal Human Capital Consultant


Gabriella Neubert

Gabriella Neubert

Grow through gratitude
I am a firm believer that the simple act of acknowledging the things people do for us is a modern-day wonder drug that can fill us with optimism and self-confidence. This positivity, in turn, rubs off on our colleagues and our customers. Studies show that simply expressing gratitude to someone can reap immediate increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms. To implement this in your workplace, encourage colleagues to recognize each other’s contributions. This can be done through personal letters as well as, or in addition to, public forums such as the company intranet, team meetings or even a white board in the break room. The result is a workplace culture of appreciation and gratitude, which is wonderful for employee retention.

Gabriella Neubert
Senior Human Resources Consultant


Holly Mitchell

Holly Mitchell

Harvest a bounty of health
If you’ve got the outdoor space, consider creating a team or company garden. This can be a low-cost and fun activity with abounding impact. Gardening provides great health benefits—such as physical exercise—that are inclusive of everyone’s abilities, a chance to get out in the fresh air and, as any gardener can tell you, wonderful stress relief. Gardening is a good team-building activity that allows collaboration and socialization outside the office. Additionally, it’s an opportunity to help employees improve their healthful eating habits by challenging them to use the garden’s bounties to create dishes to share with the team.

Holly Mitchell
Senior Human Capital Consultant


Nicole Gouig

Nicole Gouig

Step to it
Some employees just need a little incentive to make healthy changes. Provide employees with a free fitness tracker that they can use to reach their exercise goals. Build team cohesion by setting a group step goal and working together to reach it. Enjoy a healthy reward (such as a catered organic lunch or fun activity) when goals are met. Encourage employees to increase their fitness activity by participating in strolls together at lunch, before and after work, or on weekends.

Nicole Gouig
Human Capital Consultant


Jackie Mena

Jackie Mena

Break away your stress
Workplace stress is at an all-time high but you don’t have to accept this as just part of the job. One strategy that helps combat stress is very simple: take breaks. Taking 5-10 minute breaks between tasks can help you stay focused and more productive over all. Treat the break like a reward for getting each task done. Encourage your employees to take breaks by setting the example.

Jackie Mena
Senior Human Capital Consultant


Debra Fox

Debra Fox

Kick isolation out
Growing a small business often means long hours in the workplace that can start early in the morning and not end until well after the sun goes down. In addition to depriving you of ever seeing daylight, toiling away indoors for hours on end can start to feel lonely and isolating even when you’re among colleagues. Eventually, weight gain, stress and depression can set in. Those who relate to this scenario should find time every day to enjoy the outdoors for at least 15 minutes. Step outside to sip your coffee. Walk around the block while taking a call on your mobile phone. Enjoy your lunch on an outside bench or even move a team meeting outdoors if you can. A little bit of fresh air and a chance to stretch your legs outside can go a long way to keeping you focused and healthy. 

Debra Fox
Senior Human Resources Consultant


Take wellness lying down
As tempting as it is to skimp on sleep, especially for an entrepreneur or startup employee, don’t do it. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults ages 18 - 64 get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep can impair your reasoning, problem solving, alertness and concentration. Sleep loss and poor-quality sleep can also lead to accidents and injuries on the job. On the other hand, getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night can improve work performance, increase productivity, reduce stress and sharpen decision-making—all important traits for growing a successful business.

Virginia Capezio
Senior Human Resources Consultant


Marissa Rodriguez

Marissa Rodriguez

Offer more than one way to wellness
One of the top reasons employees don’t participate in wellness programs is they want to do wellness their way, rather than having it defined for them. Employers should consider implementing a “wellness your way” incentive program, where they incentivize employees to make healthier life choices that work for them. For example, provide free gym memberships or give stipends to purchase things like exercise equipment, healthy meal delivery services or a weight-loss program. Employees will appreciate the autonomy and flexibility with this approach.    

Marissa Rodriguez
Human Capital Consultant


This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance. 

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