Blog Corporate Wellness National Wellness Month: Motivate And Support Employees For Win-Win Productivity And Retention

National Wellness Month: Motivate And Support Employees For Win-Win Productivity And Retention

National wellness month has exceptional benefits for employees, the work environment, the culture, and the company’s profit margins. You may wonder how August can help your retail, education, professional services, or technology company staff, especially as HR. Also, how do you recognize national wellness month in a way that supports and motivates everyone to pursue their best efforts each day? Let’s discover more about the priceless reasons for participating in wellness month, ideas on how to do it, and how it helps everyone upscale.

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What Is National Wellness Month?

The University of Texas explains national wellness month better than most (6). They describe it as a month to:

  • Celebrate fitness
  • Manage stress
  • Practice self-care

In comparison, Harvard explains wellness in broader terms if you’re the HR providing a wellness month or helping staff celebrate complete health (31). Whole health means the month celebrates and encourages well-being in the following parts of each employee’s life:

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Social
  • Community
  • Career 

When Is National Wellness Month?

August is national wellness month! That means national wellness month 2023 falls in the midst of summer, making it ideal for building healthier lifestyles while enjoying outdoor activities. Though August is national wellness month, WebMD suggests prioritizing wellness all year (7). 

Is National Mental Health Awareness Month Different?

According to a White House proclamation, national mental wellness month was in May (4). It focused on raising awareness of mental health, including workplace wellness. The month returns in 2024, but combining mental and physical wellness during August is important.

Mental wellness month should become part of your physical health month in August because the two connect and influence each other. The American Psychological Association says chronic stress may lead to higher risks of (32):

  • A faulty immune system,
  • Chronic pain and inflammation,
  • Digestive disorders,
  • Heart disease,
  • Hypertension,
  • Stroke.

Ultimately, failing to care for mental health in the workplace may lead to more sick days.

Read More: Does Chair Yoga Work? The Truth According To Wellness Experts

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A Shocking Truth About Wellness Programs In The US

Small-to-medium-sized businesses SMEs aren’t incorporating wellness programs. Here’s the data – Forbes reports that 46.4% of US employees fit into SMEs with 0-500 staff members (29). Meanwhile, 99.9% of US businesses fall under the SME category.

See also
The Power of Physical Activity: Supercharging Employee Productivity

Also, the US Small Business Administration chart shows that some companies with up to 1000 employees are still  SMEs (33). For example, those in retail, technology, education, and professional services remain SMEs beyond 500 employees but under 1000.

Forbes reported how 61.7 million US employees work for SMEs (29). It doesn’t seem shocking until you realize how few SMEs consider wellness programs. An NSBCA survey showed only 22% of SMEs, particularly smaller businesses, had wellness programs (30). 

This is a shocking revelation when you realize what a recent study proves. Colorado researchers compared wellness program participation between SMEs and large enterprises (35). They found that SME employees participated more openly than larger company’s staff did.  

Why Is National Wellness Month Important?

Wellness Month 2023 and forward the next few years can be a benefit for everyone in your company, whether you have ten employees or 1000 staff. It helps to know how does, as the human resources representative. This way the higher-ups will look at the data because they will want these benefits.

National Wellness Month: Why It Matters For Employers And HR

Global wellness month statistics show how the celebration and integration may boost a company’s profits and output. Let’s focus on the advantages of wellness month, programs, and benefits in the workplace. 

Wellness Benefits May Enhance Employee Satisfaction And Retention

The Society for Human Resources Management, or SHRM, says employees are less satisfied with their wellness benefits than over the past decade (5). Employee satisfaction in 2023 dropped to 61% versus 64% in 2022. However, the perceived satisfaction dropped a whopping 22%. It’s no surprise that unhappy employees aren’t willing to stick around or do their best. 

Effective Wellness Programs May Enhance Productivity

Washington researchers examined how effective wellness programs were catering to self-care, stress management, and overall health impact productivity (34). The results weren’t significant, but workplaces saw improved productivity when they communicated, encouraged, and tracked wellness programs. 

National Wellness Month May Reduce Health Costs

Celebrating national wellness month or using wellness programs may reduce company costs. Dr. Robert Mordkin told Employee Benefit News that preventive care may reduce long-term healthcare costs for companies (23). The highest health costs originate from:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Musculoskeletal disorders

Preventive Wellness May Cost Less Than Traditional Healthcare

Harvard analyzed various studies to see whether wellness programs could cut costs related to healthcare and absenteeism (40). The results showed that companies saved $3.27 in medical costs per dollar spent on wellness. Also, they saved $2.73 on absenteeism for every dollar spent on preventive health.

See also
5 Benefits Of Workplace Wellness Programs: A Content Employee Is Your Key To Success

national wellness month

National Employee Wellness Month Benefits For Your Staff

Avoid chronic stress leading to poor health by celebrating national wellness month (32). 

Improve Employee’s Mental Health

Colorado researchers confirmed how SME employees improved overall health when the company incorporated wellness programs (35). SME employees reduced:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse (smoking)

Reduce Chronic Disease Risks

Dr. Richard Milani shared the results of an experiment with Harvard Business Review (39). One employer studied how effective cardiovascular training helped employees and their spouses. Those who had a high risk for heart disease became low-risk staff. 

Improve Employee’s Lives Outside Work

Why would you care about your employee’s life outside work? You should care because their mental health doesn’t change once they enter the workplace. An SHRM workplace study found that burnout during work hours may be caused by an inability to wind down after work (12). 

Help Employees Follow Healthier Lifestyles

Harvard Medical School studied a wellness program over three years to see what improved (16). Employees followed healthier lifestyles in and out of the workplace at 18 months and three years. Most notably, employees managed their weight better and ate healthier. Fewer illnesses also help employees give their best at work.

Read More: Understanding The 8 Areas Of Wellness

How To Celebrate National Wellness Month At Work

National wellness month brings many opportunities in activities, ideas for change in the workplace, and corporate wellness programs. Let’s discover what awaits you and your staff.

Wellness Month Ideas

First, let’s look at ideas to celebrate and encourage health during national wellness month. 

Disconnect For A Day

The Society for Human Resources Management looks inside KPMG’s strategy to combat mental health challenges (19). KPMG will shut down company wide for four days to encourage employees to disconnect and recharge. Disconnection refuels long-term energy. KPMG plans well ahead to ensure minimal losses during the collective break initiative.  

Offer Health Monitoring Resources

Global X Research showed how over 50% of employees thought digital health monitoring improved ease of access and coordinated care (10). You can offer digital tracking by:

See also
5 Stages Of Burnout: What It Is, How To Recognise It, And How To Recover

national wellness month

Offer Financial Wellness Tools

According to ADP, 75% of employees want financial tools and inclusive support at work (25). While HR Drive reports the state of Maine will implement paid family and medical leave outside the direct family in 2026 (24). 

Celebrate And Practice Community Wellness

Small, meaningful acts energize your company’s culture because they matter to the staff (15). Doing something charitable that means the world to employees might improve their overall wellness and community or work culture. 

Help Employees Avoid Burnout

SHRM research shows that 42% of younger employees experience burnout weekly and plan to leave their jobs in the next 12 months (18). As HR or an employer, start providing the resources to prevent burnout and retain your favorite Gen Z employees by:

  • Prioritizing self-care
  • Reducing exposure to overwhelming triggers
  • Making connections and staying social
  • Taking breaks when necessary

Motivate And Educate Employees About Self-Care And Wellness

Scott Wallace from the Geisel School of Medicine says presenteeism costs companies 3-10 times all staff benefits (21). Self-care may prevent presenteeism because an unproductive or unwell employee will cost you more than a healthy one. Staff needs education, communication, and motivation about:

  • Preventive self-care
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Effective treatment for chronic disorders (including self-care)
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Exercise, stretching, and physical fitness

3 Ideas To Celebrate And Motivate Better Mental Health

Mental health spending is declining, but 45% of employees spent between $500 and $6000 last year (14). Make sure you provide the necessary tools and resources for employees to reduce these numbers further before it costs you more. Here are three ideas to help employees with mental health:

  1. Introduce personalized meditation and reflection guides in the workplace (9).
  2. Teach breathwork techniques to employees to use when they feel stressed (17).
  3. Download the Better Me Mental Health App on Android and Apple.  

3 Natural National Wellness Month Energy Boosting Ideas

Employee Benefit News shares how one company will provide productivity solutions and supplements (27). Here are three natural energy boosters in the workplace:

  1. Supply vitamin B12 to help employees feel more energetic (13).
  2. Add a cold-pressed juice bar for breakfast to boost energy levels (8).
  3. Add a high-fiber, low-fat, low-carb biscuit to the juice bar to enhance energy (41).
See also
Remote Team Management: Strategies, Tips, And Hacks To Building A Productive Remote Team

national wellness month

Host A Contest For National Wellness Month

Have an incentive to run for August this year and challenge employees to eat healthier and exercise. Let’s see some ideas employees can use to help them shed pounds during the contest. Educate staff with the proper meal and workout plans they need to succeed.

3 Workout Plans For National Wellness Month
  1. 30-Day Calisthenics Workout Plan
  2. Weight Loss Workout Plan for Men
  3. 4-Week Workout Plan for Weight Loss (Female)
3 Meal Plans For National Wellness Month
  1. 2000-Calorie Vegan Meal Plan for Weight Loss
  2. The Ultimate 1800-Calorie Meal Plan
  3. 1-Month Meal Plan to Lose 20 Pounds

What Are National Wellness Month Activities?

National wellness month activities are physical and mental. Let’s see what you can do. 

Ball Yoga

Did you know chair yoga is excellent for stretching muscles and improving physical fitness in the workplace? (1) Lose the office chairs and welcome yoga balls. Then, have a morning ball yoga session to loosen everyone up and increase focus. Leave the balls to keep employees going throughout the day. 

Group Breathing

A quarter of employees experience burnout, even with mental health support (3). The problem is employers and HR target mental health wrongly, forgetting to encourage better mental health in the workplace. Group activities also help employees feel included and supported in their professional community.

Try out meditation breathing techniques to help employees calm their nerves together (26). Make it a proactive morning routine before stress and burnout occur. The morning ritual won’t only make employees feel better. It also improves their focus for the day ahead (11).

Outdoor Physical Activity

August is national wellness month, and it’s summertime! UK researchers examined the effects of physical activity in nature to find it has higher advantages for mental and psychological wellness (36). Get your employees outdoors to enjoy summer each week while getting into nature and physical fitness. Book a kayaking experience for the staff (20).

A Gratitude Wall

Did you know gratitude is one of our favorite forms of emotional self-care (37)? Design a gratitude wall where staff can list anything they’re grateful for in their lives, at work, or to celebrate others in the workplace. Allow them to add images or words to decorate the wall.

See also
Has The Rise Of Chronic Health Conditions Among Gen-Z and Millennial Employees Changed Work Culture? 

The Pilates Challenge

The Cleveland Clinic recommends Pilates and stretching to relieve pain, strengthen the core, and improve posture (28). Try our 28-day wall pilates challenge as a workgroup to inspire, motivate, and benefit in ways that help you and the staff in your workplace (2). 

Use A National Health And Wellness Month Program

Wellness programs should focus on helping you educate, encourage, monitor, and collaborate. Hence, our Corporate Wellness Program has everything you need. Here are some highlights of our program:

  • The program focuses on fitness, nutrition, and mental health,
  • It has classes and group challenges to encourage participation,
  • Comprehensive tracking and monitoring on a simple leaderboard,
  • Access to weekly reports to show each employee’s progress,
  • Group chats, daily tasks, and easy access to a coach,
  • Complete onboarding and tech support.

FAQs

When Is Health And Wellness Month?

It’s every August! This should be when employers, HR, and colleagues promote workplace wellness. However, WebMD suggests everyone should pay attention to wellness all year, not only during August (7). 

What Is Wellness?

Harvard Business Review suggests national wellness month focuses on whole well-being (31). Leaders or HR can help employees improve mental, physical, social, financial, community, and career well-being. You will be providing employees with resources, activities, or programs on overall wellness.

What Are Wellness Programs?

We have programs like the Custom Diet and Workout Plan or the 28-Day Pilates Challenge. The Society for Human Resource Management says wellness programs must educate, encourage, and improve wellness in the workplace (38). The ideal program offers:

  • Healthy eating habits/plans
  • Immunization
  • Medical screening
  • Physical exercise
  • Recreation
  • Stress-management
  • Substance cessation
  • Weight loss
  • Workouts

Summary

August is national wellness month, when you can inspire, motivate, and support employees as HR or an employer. Start considering the benefits to you, the staff, and the company. Then, pick your wellness initiatives or join our program. Either way, start by recognizing wellness month, and don’t stop until you and your employees are happy, healthy, and unstoppable.

 

BetterMe

 

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 7 Yoga Ball Chair Benefits That’ll Make You Ditch Your Work Chair (2023, betterme.world)
  2. 28-Day Wall Pilates Challenge: Stretch Your Limits With It! (2023, betterme.world)
  3. Addressing Employee Burnout: Are You Solving the Right Problem? (2022, mckinsey.com)
  4. A Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2023 (2023, whitehouse.gov)
  5. As Employee Wellness Declines, Benefits Satisfaction Drops to Decade Low (2023, shrm.org)
  6. August Is National Wellness Month | The University of Texas (2022, utsystem.edu)
  7. August Is National Wellness Month: Let’s Make Well-Being A Priority All Year Long (2022, webmdhealthservices.com)
  8. Benefits of Cold-Pressed Juice Will Make You Ditch Your Fav Box-Brand Juice (2023, betterme.world)
  9. Better Me: Mental Health – A Personalized Relaxation and Reflection Guide (2022, betterme.world) 
  10. Biometrics in the Workplace: Wellness and Beyond (2023, shrm.org)
  11. Breathing For Focus: Improve Concentration & Reduce Anxiety With These Simple Steps (2022, betterme.world)
  12. Burnout: How Workplace Mental Health Extends Beyond Work (2023, shrm.org) 
  13. Does Vitamin B12 Give You Energy? (2023, betterme.world)
  14. Employee Spending on Mental Health Services Reveals Downward Trend (2023, benefitspro.com)
  15. Energize Your Workforce By Supporting Moments That Matter for Them (2023, benefitspro.com) 
  16. Health And Economic Outcomes Up To Three Years After A Workplace Wellness Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  17. Here’s How To Use Basic And Advanced Breathwork Techniques For Optimal Health (2023, betterme.world)
  18. How Emerging Professionals Can Avoid Burnout (2023, shrm.org)
  19. Inside KPMG’s Companywide Breaks: ‘Recharging Is Vital’ (2023, shrm.org)
  20. Is Kayaking Good Exercise? A Guide To The Surprising Benefits, Real Dangers And Safety Tips For Kayaking (2022, betterme.world)
  21. Is Self-Care the New Health Care? (2015, shrm.org)
  22. Launching A ‘Winning’ Wellness Contest (2012, shrm.org)
  23. Leveraging Preventive Care to Improve Employee Wellness and Mitigate Long-Term Costs (2023, benefitnews.com)
  24. Maine to Implement Paid Family and Medical Leave in 2026 (2023, hrdive.com)
  25. Make Financial Wellness Part of Your Overall Well-Being Strategy (2023, benefitnews.com)
  26. Meditation Breathing Techniques: A Must-Do In Stress Management (2022, betterme.world)
  27. New Startup Will Offer Wellness Solutions for Productivity and Menopause (2023, benefitnews.com)
  28. Pilates: What It Is and Health Benefits – Cleveland Clinic (2023, health.clevelandclinic.org) 
  29. Small Business Statistics of 2023 – Forbes Advisor (2023, forbes.com)
  30. Stress – A Crucial Reason for Small Business to Implement a Health and Wellness Program (n.d., corporatewellnessmagazine.com)
  31. Stressed, Sad, and Anxious: A Snapshot of the Global Workforce (2022, hbr.org)
  32. Stress Effects on the Body (2023, apa.org)
  33. Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North America (n.d., sba.gov)
  34. The Health and Cost Benefits of Work Site Health Promotion Programs (2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  35. The Impact of Worksite Wellness Programs by Size of Business: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study of Participation, Health Benefits, Absenteeism, and Presenteeism (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  36. The Relationship between the Physical Activity Environment, Nature Relatedness, Anxiety, and the Psychological Well-being Benefits of Regular Exercisers (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  37. These 8 Forms Of Self-Care Will Make You Feel Better (2023, betterme.world)
  38. What Is A Wellness Program? (n.d., shrm.org)
  39. What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs? (2010, hbr.org)
  40. Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings (2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  41. Your Guide to High-Fiber Breakfasts for Sustained Energy (2023, betterme.world)
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