Editor's Note: We recently updated this post with new insights.
June is National Employee Wellness Month—a time to focus on what your organization offers to help employees thrive. But summer isn't only the perfect time to prioritize well-being; it's also a season of renewal.
Right now, your employees need help and support in renewing and rediscovering their well-being. Across the country, employees are burned out, stressed, and on edge, and it's affected their well-being in multiple ways. Some may be practicing unhealthy eating or exercise habits, silently struggling with their mental health, or withdrawing from social relationships and connections.
By prioritizing wellness and developing healthy coping mechanisms, employees are equipped to handle whatever life throws at them—whether it’s a public health crisis, an economic downturn, or the next pressing work deadline.
Here are some ideas for celebrating National Employee Wellness Month while addressing the six key dimensions of well-being—emotional, financial, occupational, social, physical, and purpose.
June Wellness Challenge: Create It
To celebrate Employee Wellness Month, encourage your employees to express themselves creatively.
The Create It challenge is an opportunity for employees to tap into both sides of their brains and spend 500 minutes over the next 30 days pursuing a creative passion.
They can play music, write poetry, learn a dance, paint, draw, garden, decorate, or even work on a project around the house. The only requirement—it has to be fun!
Emotional Well-Being: Teach Mindfulness
Emotional resilience involves calming and redirecting your mind after a difficult experience. This is an excellent skill to have and something your employees can significantly benefit from in personal and professional situations.
You can help your employees continue to develop emotional resilience through mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness teaches us to be present and acknowledge our thoughts without judgment. When stressful situations occur, mindfulness helps us approach them rationally without anxiously spiraling about the future.
Mindfulness is also easy to teach to remote workforces. Plenty of skilled mindfulness educators are available to lead online workshops with your employees. The great thing about mindfulness is all you need is a quiet space to meditate and a comfortable place to sit.
Related Content: Employee Wellness and the Future of Remote Work/the Hybrid Workplace
Financial Well-Being: Provide Resources
Money is a significant source of stress for most employees even in the best of times. According to Ceridian, 82% of U.S. employees say they often think about personal finances while at work, which costs organizations a staggering $664 billion in lost productivity.
From retirement planning and inflation to rising house costs and student loans, your employees may be enduring more financial stress than you think. As an employer, you can serve as a trusted source of information by providing coaching on topics such as making a budget, creating a savings program, avoiding scams, and navigating state and federal financial benefits.
If company-wide raises aren’t in the books, you may still be able to give your employees more financial ease by providing weekly or monthly remote office allowances or taking on a larger share of their workplace health coverage premiums.
Related Content: The Business Case for Financial Well-Being
Occupational Well-Being: Focus on the Future
Employees become disengaged when they feel their jobs are dead ends, with no hope for advancement or professional growth.
Occupational well-being offers a sense of satisfaction with work. It also can create optimism about the potential jobs can offer—that they will lead to more opportunities for growth and career advancement.
This month, encourage your employees to think about what they want their jobs to look like moving forward—whether that involves staying remote or returning to the office. If your company hasn’t already incorporated a coaching element into your wellness program, this is a great time to do that. Whether it's in-person with a life coach or using virtual coaching and mental health technology, coaching allows employees to share their aspirations and work toward their goals.
Social Well-Being: Host Events
Whether you host in-person gatherings or virtual happy hours for your hybrid workforce, these valuable sources of social connection are essential to your employees’ well-being.
Companies may have to try a little harder to bring remote workers together socially, but the health and well-being benefits make these moments of connection worthwhile. Some virtual event ideas include:
- Game nights such as trivia, board games, or escape rooms
- Dance parties, yoga sessions, or cooking classes
- Walk-and-talk meetings
Even if a majority of your employees work remotely, these social gatherings will motivate them to convene in-person after work or for a planned team event. These interpersonal and workplace connections have a tremendously positive impact on how your employees feel about themselves and their jobs.
Related Content: Generation Lonely: How to Foster Social Belonging for Gen Z Workers
Physical Well-Being: Introduce a Wellness Challenge
Experts agree that one of the best ways to manage stress is to exercise and get sufficient sleep. Physical activity and high-quality sleep reduce stress hormones and stimulate the endorphins that combat depression and anxiety.
The beginning of summer is the perfect time to launch a new wellness challenge at your workplace. Even though some or all of your employees may be working from home, they can still work together to achieve fitness and sleep goals. A steps challenge, for example, will get your employees out in the fresh air, while a goal-oriented sleep challenge will help them quantify their sleep and prioritize their well-being each night.
Related Content: Why Healthy Sleep and Productivity at Work Go Hand in Hand
Purpose: Personalize Mission Statements
Setting goals is easy. Achieving goals takes hard work, discipline, and resilience to bounce back from setbacks.
That’s why it’s essential to not just have a goal, but also a purpose reminding you why your goal matters.
For example, quitting smoking is physically and emotionally draining. If you decide to do it just to please your doctor, you might not have the drive to push through the cravings. But if you quit smoking to be there for your children, you’ll have a stronger motivation to carry on.
You can help your employees find their purpose this month by encouraging them to write mission statements. This video explains how that process works.
Enjoy Employee Wellness Month!
We hope these suggestions inspire you to celebrate National Employee Wellness Month every month at your workplace. For help implementing any of these ideas or to discuss your company’s wellness program, feel free to reach out. At WellRight, we’re here to help.