Community Engagement: Expand Employee Wellness into Your Community

When you make workplace wellness a priority, you take steps to increase physical activity during the workday, support healthy eating choices, and promote healthy habits that employees can share with their families.  Another important piece of employee wellness extends beyond the company’s walls:  community engagement

Food pantry volunteers sort donations

Look beyond your work site into the community where your company and its workers live.  Employees who feel connected to their community are healthier, happier, and more productive.  Connecting employees in their communities offers additional benefits:

  • Increased employee productivity because of improved health of current and future work forces
  • Stronger company brand recognition due to increased, repeated exposure among potential clients
  • Improved community relations, goodwill, and branding
  • Stronger relationship and processes to support community-based problem solving around other issues affecting your company (e.g. economic development, education)

The three big ways: 

You can strategically align employee volunteer opportunitiescommunity events, and charitable giving priorities to maximize impact. 

Volunteer Opportunities:  Once you’ve stared a workplace wellness plan, you can introduce opportunities for community engagement that encourage staff to support schools, child care centers, youth organizations, neighborhoods, and places of worship in their unique wellness initiatives.  Engaging employees in community partnerships such as these not only fulfills a community need, community connection improves employee retention, boosts morale, and creates opportunities for team development.  

Children exploring at a greenhouse

Community Events:  Collaborating with a partner to plan and host wellness events – big or small – means reaching more people.  It also helps overcome common challenges such as finding adequate space, locating and engaging appropriate content experts, or recruiting volunteers to staff a larger event.  

Charitable Donations:  Sometimes employers are asked to donate food or supplies for special events in the community.  Juice boxes and cookies are a simple choice, but these aren’t in the best interests of children.  Use a food donation as an opportunity to offer a healthy choices.  Items like mini water bottles, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains or low-fat dairy are much better options.  

Want to learn more about workplace wellness and community connection, download Jump IN’s free guide right here.  

Interested in more workplace wellness support?  Jump IN for Healthy Kids offers five employee wellness guides to help your work site launch its wellness efforts with tips and tools to get you up and running.  Download the guides here.  

Good luck and be well!