How to Encourage Wellness in Your Millennial Employees

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

The production of your workforce should theoretically only have a couple of factors. If your employees have the skills and work ethic to get their jobs done, then surely your involvement is at an end, right? Unfortunately, there are multiple variables that can have a major impact on worker output and job satisfaction. One major item that often gets overlooked by employers is the health and wellness in their millennial employees. 

The fact of the matter is that healthier employees feel better and are usually more productive and content. Not only that, but they typically have far fewer illnesses and medical visits that might take them out of commission. To encourage wellness in your millennial employees and their health efforts, you might consider implementing an office wellness program. 

Steps for Designing a Program to Encourage Wellness in Your Millennial Employees

When designing your program, you need to take stock of your workforce and what will motivate them. You can look at motivational leaders that create wellness content and share with your team. If your team includes millennials, you will need to focus your efforts on their specific mindsets and areas of concern. Here are three ways to get your millennial workers moving and improving their health.

1. Focus on the Spine 

Millennials are no longer the young guns in the office. With elder members currently creeping into their late 30s, long-term health problems are likely manifesting within the age group. One such health problem is back pain.

Millennials are especially prone to spinal cord injuries and damage for more than one reason. First, they are at the age when it’s likely they have had at least one instance of recreational or vehicle accident trauma. Second, millennials are the first generation to commonly spend hours each day hunched over a smartphone.

With those things in mind, it’s no surprise that back pain has become a major problem for the age group. Not only that, but poor posture can also affect breathing functions and exacerbate panic attacks. Thankfully, there are steps you can take as an employer to encourage better spinal health.

Adjustable desk equipment can go a long way toward getting your workers in more posture-friendly positions. Alternating between sitting and standing options allows employees to reset their backs and avoid slouching for hours. To really increase results, you could also provide employees with balance boards for when they stand at their desks. These contraptions engage core muscles, which helps to support the back.

2. Embrace Health Gamification

Generally speaking, few things motivate people to perform tedious processes. And for most, dietary changes and adhering to new fitness routines qualify as tedious. Your secret weapon for motivating your millennial workforce just might be gamification.

Gamification works by taking something unpleasant or boring and turning it into a game where competitors earn points. With the popularity of smartwatches and fitness trackers, the data needed to “score points” is easier than ever for participants to access. You can either encourage a competition between individuals or groups within your office or provide incentives for individual performances.

Collected data also appeals to millennials because it can be converted to a visual format and shared. Participants of an office wellness program can be motivated to continue their efforts if successes are posted and shared. 

For example, maybe a group in your office has a competition amongst themselves regarding their daily step count. Those individuals might periodically post their results in an office social channel such as Slack and therefore motivate each other. As an employer, you could provide small rewards once participants reach selected milestones. Even a $5 coffee gift card can go a long way toward encouraging participants and building goodwill.

3. Make Fitness Convenient

An employer-sponsored gym membership is certainly nothing to sneer at. Unfortunately, it still requires employees to take the time to travel to their gym of choice. And with peoples’ schedules seemingly more jam packed than ever, the obstacle of a drive can be a major deterrent. 

So what can you do to make fitness more accessible to your workers? If you have the available square footage, creating an in-house exercise space can be just the ticket. With just a couple of treadmills, a yoga mat, and basic free weights, you can give employees quick workout options. Nabbing 10 minutes of exercise throughout the day is far more convenient than leaving the office to head to a gym.

If you are fortunate enough to be involved with the development of the area surrounding your office, you can advocate for walking trails. A short one-mile path can give your workers the option for 20-minute walks during good weather. This not only encourages fitness, but it can also provide a much-needed reset during the day and result in better performance. Group walks are a great way to encourage office bonding and team building.

Set Everyone Up for Success

Placing a priority on the health of your team is a good idea for everyone. A happier, more resilient team is going to produce better work for you and be less prone to illness and injury. If a decent percentage of your employees are millennials, make sure to focus on what will motivate them. 

At the end of the day, taking an interest in your employees’ well being encourages both good work results and appreciation.

Image credit: Tirachard Kumtanom; Pexels

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.