July 9, 2015 is known as Intern Appreciation Day! We have had many different interns at Spaces, Inc., and we are proud to call them part of the Spaces family. Companies with internship programs have the opportunity to teach interns about the industry, but can also use new talent to test out programs like workplace wellness. Using an intern to test out workplace wellness will encourage employees to take part in the program, increasing productivity and engagement. Giving interns the responsibility of implementing such a program also shows appreciation and can help spread wellness concepts to other companies.
Survey Interns on Wellness
On the first day of their internship, survey the interns on their definition of wellness and their own ideas of how to initiate the concept in the workplace. You can then present your own office wellness programs or implement some of their ideas of what workplace wellness means if it fits in with your office culture.
Showcase Examples of Wellness
Assign the intern a go-to person in the office who is big on wellness programs to “buddy up” periods throughout the day. The office employee can showcase some of the wellness activities that your culture promotes, such as taking the stairs, eating healthier office options, taking regular walking breaks or showing them areas of the office set up for wellness. This is a great way to start the internship out on the right foot because it gives the intern a positive social experience immediately. This will reduce intern nerves and stress the first day, making them feel welcomed and comfortable.
Structure Intern Tasks Around Wellness Concepts
To help interns incorporate wellness into their day-to-day activities, structure their tasks around wellness programs. Have them run communication errands to and from different employees. Offer green and healthy food options in the break room or kitchen for free. Perform assessments while walking around the office or outdoors. The intern will know these are wellness initiatives and will get into the habit of starting these routines going into future offices.
Watch It Spread
The health and happiness benefits of having an intern enter and utilize a workplace wellness program will affect, not only the intern, but also everyone in the office who might be resistant to new programs. They will see the intern perform wellness and will take on more tasks themselves. As everyone in the office migrates to the wellness program, happiness, health and productivity will increase.