Get Heart Smart and Increase Employee Engagement

Make Your Wellness Program Count, Reduce Absenteeism, and Celebrate American Heart Month

ďCardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year.Ē( This number is expected to rise to 23.6 million by 2030.

So what does this have to do with employee engagement?

Including a wellness program to promote heart health in your organization is a smart way to increase employee engagement, reduce absenteeism. Hereís how to implement smart health strategies:

1. Ask! What do your employees want? What activities do they like? If you have a group of outdoor enthusiasts and start a bowling club, itís probably going to fall flat Ė or vice-versa.

2. Make Heart Smart Partnerships: Start a hiking club. Partner with a local sporting goods store. Get discounted gym, pool, or yoga studio memberships. Cultivating partnerships with local organizations is a fantastic way to motivate employees to get active while supporting local businesses. Itís a win-win situation!

3. Increase participation! Itís critical to create a solid communication and marketing plan to increase these heart-smart incentives. Give gift certificates to a local shoe store for employees who participate in local runs and/or competitions. Set organization goals. Have different departments download apps like Google fit or Pacer and mark their steps during the month. Support global celebrations like May Bike Month, giving employees perks who ride their bikes to work.

4. Get flexible: Provide extended lunch, or late-morning starts to employees who use on-site gyms or other membership opportunities. Itís not fair to provide these opportunities to employees then not the flexibility to use them.

5. Make at-work opportunities: Yoga, Zumba, dance class Ö all can be part of an organizationís wellness plan Ė at work. Many employees are parents who, after they leave the workplace, have to rush home, organize family responsibilities and more. Providing on-site wellness programs is a great way to bring healthy opportunities to employees.

According to a Circadian study, absenteeism costs organizations billions of dollars each year. On average, each hourly worker costs an organization $3,600.00/year and $2, 650.00/year per salaried worker.

By creating programs to promote health and wellness, youíre also promoting employee engagement Ė giving employees a reason beyond work to be there, and, all the while, getting heart smart.

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