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February 13, 2015

How to Increase Employee Wellness in the Winter

The winter months can have a negative impact on employee health and well-being.  Short days, gloomy weather, and chilly temperatures can take a toll on the motivation needed to keep wellness levels up. But winter is the time when employee wellness should have even more attention:  According to an article in and a recent study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, the wintertime has a higher rate of mortality than any other season. The winter doldrums affect more than employee physical well-being, however, and can spread to slow workplace performance and drain motivation. That’s why putting special emphasis on employee wellness during the gloomy winter months should be a priority.

Here are some suggestions that can help your organization meet these winter wellness challenges:

Add extra incentives during winter months

Incentives are a great way to show employees the value of participating in a wellness program. So much so that according to a recent study and infographic from, 78 percent of organizations with a wellness program use incentives to drive participation. By adding even more incentives during the winter months, you are likely to see higher participation rates and an overall increase in your employees’ wellness.

Promote friendly competition among employees

Competition drives us as humans to challenge ourselves and become better than others. Why not use this drive to promote your wellness program? Fun and easy tasks, such as creating a wellness leader board or chart to track everyone’s progress, facilitate competition in a way that’s fun. We’ve used this approach here at MI with great results.

Create indoor challenges that are active

Staying active is critical to employee wellness, but it can be difficult to find activities during winter months that produce the levels needed for wellness. This is where creativity takes over. By creating challenges like taking the stairs instead of the elevator everyday for a week or conducting a walking meeting instead of using the conference room are great ways get your employees active and help keep them well.

The importance of employee wellness programs is no longer a secret. Higher productivity, less absenteeism, and lower medical costs and health risks are just a few positive impacts workforce wellness programs produce. To learn more about employee wellness programs or to inquire about starting your own, contact a Marketing Innovators wellness specialist today.


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