8 Employee Wellness Ideas That Would Actually Work

A businessman commuting to work
AlamySimply providing showers to freshen up in will make it more practical for employees to bike to work and exercise on breaks.

By Alison Green

Employers are increasingly launching wellness initiatives aimed at creating a healthier workforce and lowering their own health care costs. But many employees roll their eyes at these efforts or are even actively alienated by programs that push them to make lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or changing their eating habits; they find the initiatives invasive and paternalistic.

What's more, one study by RAND researchers found that workplace wellness programs that encourage employees to lose weight, manage their stress better or make other lifestyle changes, with the aim of saving employers money on health care costs, actually resulted in no net savings at all.

Rather than pushing employees to make lifestyle changes and putting the burden on them, employers would do better to focus on what they themselves can do to promote wellness. Here are eight things that employers could do that would actually work to promote wellness – without alienating employees in the process: