Team Building: Offering A Workplace Wellness Program - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Team Building: Offering A Workplace Wellness Program

Photo: Mullin

If you want to become a destination workplace for landscape employees, one benefit to consider offering is a workplace wellness program. A wellness program could include anything from having an on-site gym or fitness classes to mental health resources.

Research has shown that promoting employee health and well-being can result in a positive impact on company performance.

One study found that employees who reported higher levels of well-being were more engaged in their work, had better job performance, and were less likely to miss work due to illness.

Creating A Wellness Program

When creating a wellness program at your landscape company, ask your employees what they’d like more access to, whether it’s gym memberships, mental health resources or weight loss programs. Once you’ve determined what you’ll offer, set specific and measurable objectives and timelines.

For instance, if you choose to provide regular health screenings, just sharing the results is not going to help your employees unless you provide them with the tools to change and track their behaviors.

Buy-in from the top down is critical for your program to be successful. Regularly assess your program to see what’s working and what’s not and make changes accordingly. Seek additional feedback from your team as the program goes on. A good wellness program can result in fewer absences, greater employee retention and higher productivity.

At Mullin, based in St. Rose, Louisiana, they have an onsite gym and a personal trainer who comes twice a week.

“I think sometimes companies tend to not focus on wellness and health,” says Nubia Gutierrez, human resources manager for Mullin. “That has been something that we have been striving to get better at just because we’re outside all the time and it’s hard labor.”

At Local Roots Landscaping, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they send out regular wellness surveys where staff can report how they’re doing. Employees can also log into a portal and say if they are struggling and need to talk to someone.

“Use discernment to direct them to the right way because I don’t think the company needs to fix every problem, but I think it is in my responsibility to make sure they are being helped in some way shape or form,” says Patrick Murray, managing partner of Local Roots.

Increasing Participation

No matter what wellness benefits you offer, you want to make sure you empower and encourage your employees to take advantage of them.

Incentives and rewards – both financial and non-financial – have been shown to increase employee participation in workplace wellness programs, according to the Incentive Research Foundation.

A study by the Salt Lake County government found that offering free annual health screenings, personalized feedback on results, financial rewards for maintaining healthy behaviors, and educational programs and promotions led to a nearly 10% increase in wellness program participation over a 5-year period. The program also led to increased physical activity and overall improved health among participants.

Fitness incentives like gym memberships, fitness trackers or fitness classes can all be awarded to employees who participate in a company fitness program or meet certain fitness milestones.

Other incentives like extra vacation days or flexible working hours could be given to team members who adopt healthy behaviors like going to regular check-ups or quitting smoking.

To promote mental health, offer incentives for employees who seek counseling or therapy, attend mental health workshops or participate in employee assistance programs. You can destigmatize mental health with a culture of openness and support so individuals will feel comfortable taking advantage of your offerings.  

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.