It’s hard to believe we’re already in the month of September. Hopefully, you have had a successful and productive 8 months so far and are gearing up for a strong finish in the remainder of the year. Many of you are working through your second busiest time of year with the approaching September and October filing deadlines. This, along with the looming holiday season means heightened potential for caving into not-so-healthy habits and deviation from personal health and wellness goals.

We explored the concept of employee wellness and the considerations employers should take to improve employee wellness in my last blog, “What Does Employee Wellness Really Mean” and in our August web seminar “Promoting Employee Wellness in Your Firm: An Exploration.” In both, we shared ideas for achieving wellness, including improving physical, mental, emotional and spiritual factors, as well as methods for gaining program buy-in from leadership and employees and motivating employees to participate.

In this post, I want to share some ideas your firm can consider for improving overall employee wellness in the remaining months of 2014. By beginning your plan now, you’ll have more time to gain the appropriate approval and market each activity or event. Consider trying one or two of the following ideas in your firm before year end:

  • Provide flu shots at your office before the sniffles begin. Search online for local flu shot providers and contact local clinics or pharmacies to organize a flu shot clinic at each office location.
  • Cater in healthier meal options during the fall busy season hours. Most restaurants will supply lighter, healthier options for catering orders if you ask them to.
  • Review our blogs on easy exercise and health habits to adopt during busy season to help maintain physical health, here, and share these ideas with employees.
  • Offer a stress management course and/or meditation or yoga classes in your firm to alleviate added pressures during these next few months.
  • Plan a holiday or year-end office party for employees to celebrate accomplishments, the vitality of the firm and the prospects for next year. Include employee family members, if possible.
  • Conduct a gift or toy drive for a local charity or other community outreach during the holidays.
  • Hold a pumpkin bowling competition on your firm’s lawn or in your parking lot.
  • Create a “gratitude wall” during the week of Thanksgiving and ask employees to share something they’re thankful for on a note card to include on the lunch or break room wall for everyone to read.
  • Create a holiday season challenge that will keep employees moving. Partner Jennifer Wilson pursued a personal goal last holiday season to run at least one mile each and every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. Consider having your employees commit to doing at least some form of physical activity each day (whether that’s 10 push-ups, crunches, and lunges or a mile each day like Jennifer did). Make sure to allow employees to choose the level of exercise they can safely commit to.
  • Coordinate a healthy holiday food day. Encourage employees to find recipes for appetizers, main courses or desserts that are lighter options and bring them to the office for a healthy holiday food day. Ask them to place copies of the recipe they used next to their dish so others can make the dish later.
  • Throw a firm social hour and invite local college accounting majors to attend and meet your firm’s people. You could have a theme event like a caramel apple bar and share information about your firm and its services and clients.
  • Plan a firm-wide, ugly sweater work day. And take a picture to share on your corporate social media accounts.

As you plan your wellness activities and events, be sure to make participation optional for employees. Share the value of the events as you market them so people are motivated to join and encourage team members to do the same.

We always enjoy learning about the wide variety of events, activities and initiatives firms are doing to improve employee well-being. What does your firm do to enrich employee wellness? We’d love to hear from you in the comment box below!

Warm regards,