Does your company offer free snacks in the lunchroom, long out-of-office lunch breaks, and gift cards to local restaurants as productivity rewards?
If you answered yes, but can’t figure out why your employees are still dragging through the day without energy, enthusiasm or focus, then you might be interested to learn that those practices do more harm than good. Instead, consider benefits that offer better long-term effects for both your business and your employees — like healthy lifestyle habits.
Exercising is an important aspect of my own personal life, but in 2009, when I broke my hand, I was told that I would not be able to lift or continue my workout regimen until my hand healed. I realized I needed something that would take my hands out of the equation when lifting, so that I could continue to work out. Unfortunately, no helpful product existed, so I was inspired to invent the Isolator lifting strap, which sparked the growth of Isolator Fitness Inc. in 2010. Since then, we have been dedicated to empowering all people to reach their health and fitness goals.
Leading by example is the most productive way to run a company, and I strive to provide my employees with the guidance and tools that they need to enhance their own personal fitness so that they will be better equipped to provide a healthy example to our customers.
If you’re a company wanting to offer perks to your employees that will help them be happier, healthier and more productive, consider the following:
1. Encourage healthy meals.
Unlike many companies, there are no free snacks lying around our office, and you will never find me handing out gift cards for restaurants as rewards. Instead, I bring my own balanced meals to work and encourage everyone to do the same. Employees are invited to participate in team-focused lunches within their departments to discuss both work and personal agendas. Since the inclusion of these lunches, people are motivated by the examples of others, and fewer leave for lunch, which in turn wastes less company time and discourages people from making quick decisions about meals that often lead to fast food.
2. Offer flexible hours so employees have time to exercise.
I urge each employee to participate in physical fitness during their time away from the office by providing them with flexible daily hours. While full-time employees are required to clock 45 hours per week, they may choose when they come in and when they leave. This allows them the freedom to work out before or after work. Having the flexibility also gives employees a feeling of personal empowerment, which increases their ability to work both independently and in group settings.
3. Provide weekly massages.
Desk jobs can be troublesome for muscle development because sitting for nine hours per day can create muscle soreness and fatigue. These issues can cause employee attention to waver and productivity levels to drop. For this reason, once per week, I bring in two licensed massage professionals to give 15-minute massages that target loosening any tension in the upper back, shoulders and neck, as these are the areas that are most negatively affected by a desk job.
4. Have walking/standing meetings.
Meetings are unavoidable, but I encourage movement at ours. While tables and chairs are made available to those who would prefer to sit, every employee is given the option to stand or pace during the meeting in order to keep active. Rather than being a distraction, the movement is actually energizing and often leads to more ideas being shared and discussed.
The more educated and inspired employees become, the better equipped they are to lead the customers toward reaching their own goals. Perks that help your employees maintain their health also make them feel cared about; that leads to better engagement and retention — something that, no doubt, is crucial to any company’s long-term success.