Modern leadership are often looking for ways to increase employee productivity. Our lives are filled with long work hours, constant electronic distractions and (often unhealthy) eating on the run. On top of that, the CDC reports that nearly a third of Americans are sleep-deprived. So is it any wonder that the Limeade Insights team reported that “having more energy” is the #2 well-being goal?
Why employers should find ways to increase employee productivity
Over time, employees who are lacking energy can zip quickly down the road to burnout. This leads to increased absenteeism and turnover, and decreased productivity and innovation. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, U.S. businesses lose an estimated $300 billion when employees hit the breaking point. So what’s an employer to do? Try these five tips for re-energizing your employees:
1. Set a policy around working after hours.
Laptops and mobile devices make it so easy to respond to emails 24/7. And there are certainly times when employees need to burn the midnight (or weekend) oil to meet critical deadlines. But it’s not healthy for this to occur on a regular basis – so much so that companies like Volkswagen, BMW, and even Goldman Sachs are all cracking down on it. Employees need time to rest and relax and to take care of themselves. And happier employees are ultimately healthier and more productive.
2. Create energy challenges.
Get employees to compete in activities that increase their energy. This can include getting more sleep, turning off mobile devices at 6 p.m., taking a daily walk or even signing up for a social media “de-tox.” Provide incentives along the way, as well as rewards and recognition for the top winners.
3. Stock the office with healthy, energizing food.
Help your hard-working employees reach for healthy snacks when hunger strikes. We’re talking trail mix, yogurt and fresh fruit. If budget allows, provide these snacks free of charge. And if you’re able to go a step further, offer a free, healthy lunch at least once a week to encourage employees to take a break for an energizing meal and socializing.
4. Offer unlimited vacation time.
Don’t be alarmed – some tech companies are making it happen (and with great success). Of course, this won’t work for all business models, so if it’s not feasible for your company, try enforcing that all employees at least take their accrued time off. You can help by not allowing rollover days and considering ways to incentivize employees for taking vacations.
5. Create a fun working environment.
Never underestimate the power of Nerf ball guns, basketball hoops and foosball tables. They go a long way in getting people away from their desks and building morale. Encouraging employees to take short breaks to have fun with other colleagues is a great way for them to reduce stress, enjoy their time at work, and – most of all – have more energy. At Limeade, weekly game lunches are an employee favorite.