Encourage employees to take care of themselves

Flu season, illnesses, tough political times, economic hardships, grief, difficult relationships — all of these things and more are affecting your employees on a daily basis. Obviously, a lot of this is happening outside of your company's walls, but it can still cause problems during work hours.

There's scientific research based on the correlation between your work and your health as well as how your health can affect your work. There's also research based on how being a good boss means actually taking care of your employees' wellness.

Of course, managers already have a lot to do, but a big part of being a supervisor is creating a stable work environment. Everyone knows that a happy worker means a better worker — which means better results for you and your company.

The best way to take care of your employees is to help them take care of themselves. Taking these steps can help engage your employees, make them feel comfortable and happy at work and in turn make them and their work feel more valuable.

It's easier said than done, but here are some tips to help you out:

  • Remind them to get annual check-ups. This means medical, dental and vision care, and even psychological care. Every few months, put up some fliers in the workspace or send out an email blast. Pro tip: Send an email right before lunch. This a great reminder for those who need to schedule their appointments during lunch time.
  • Encourage social groups after work. This could mean Bible reading groups, book clubs, company sports leagues, chess clubs or movie nights. Socializing and relationship-building is great not just for networking and friendships, but it also shows the company understands that there's more to life than just work.
  • Consider starting a small library at your work. This can start out as a fun donation project for people looking to get rid of books from their homes. Reading books is said to have increased productivity, health, empathy, intelligence and a number of other benefits.
  • Give continuous feedback. Encourage surveys and have recommendation boxes — these can be great ways to gather information about your employees that you never would have realized before.
  • Introduce your employees to self-care. This could mean a seminar, a lunch-and-learn, an HR rep-lead counseling session or simply fliers and emails. You can easily google "self-care ideas" and print them out, then post them all over your office.
  • Introduce healthier food options. You don't necessarily need to ditch the sodas and chips, but provide choices like fresh fruit and nuts in your cafeteria, break room and vending machines.
  • Offer incentive programs for people to be healthier. Maybe if they can quit nicotine, start an exercise program, begin therapy or start a social group, they can get some sort of reward or incentive at your workplace.
  • Talk to HR and ask them for help. A lot of HR people have great ideas — they could offer lunch-and-learns to take care of yourself, they could even make deals with insurance companies to offer free goodies for your employees.
  • Consider getting more interactive, fun things for the office. This could mean a new TV, bean bags or snacks in the break room, a central charger station with chairs, better seating in the cafeteria, etc.
  • Ask a pet adoption agency to come out during lunchtime. Adoption fairs are great for the agency to help them advertise and clearing out their pets, and also it's fun for the employees, who get to cuddle a puppy or kitten during their lunch break.

These are just a few ways to get your employees feeling better and taking care of themselves. No one wants to be bored at work or depressed; people want to have fun and feel as though they can really make an impact at their company.