Healthy successful businesses, need healthy, happy, productive staff.
But you already know this right? “And that’s great” you might say “but as an employer I can’t make my staff eat healthily or exercise regularly” and you would be correct. No, you can’t make them choose healthy options and activities but you can cultivate a working environment where health and wellbeing is seen as a crucial component of any productive team/department.
The clever innovative businesses of the future will place as much emphasis on staff health and wellbeing as they do on monthly targets.
A regional study by Bupa revealed the following findings about workplace wellness and how it affects performance, morale and productivity.
These findings should be taken very seriously by any business, especially the ones who don’t have a structured, engaging, Workplace Wellness Initiative.
As alcohol, drug and food habits have changed significantly over the last decade we have seen a huge decline in health and wellbeing and an increase in illness, disease, mental health problems and stress.
This shift in our lifestyles can wreak havoc with productivity and staffing and can often lead to periods of absence. Absence as we know has a major impact on any business especially if it’s long term absence.
Implementing a Workplace Wellness initiative can be very daunting and it’s like bump starting a car – the hardest thing to do is to get it started, but once it’s going more and more people will come along for the ride.
Once a company is fully committed to implementing a Workplace Wellness initiative they then become engaged with their staff and this boosts morale. When staff morale is high it has a knock on positive effect, absenteeism often declines and productivity increases.
- Write to every member of staff informing them that as an employer, the health and wellbeing of your employees is extremely important to you and that you are looking to implement a Workplace Wellness Initiative. Tell them their input is very important, you can’t do it by yourself and you need their help. This immediately engages the workforce and creates impetus, you are not telling them this is the initiative you are going to implement, you are involving them, asking for suggestions from them around how the company can help them. Full time employees spend most of their waking hours at work and messages from work can be very influential in their decisions and choices – if they are engaged.
- Ask for wellness champions from each department, these champions will gather ideas and suggestions and ensure every idea gets seen by management. Beware of the extreme suggestions such as the company buys bikes or pays for gym memberships for all staff, this will be short lived and often has a small take up rate. It doesn’t need to be extreme or costly.
- You could set up a few simple office challenges e.g. The Water Challenge – set up an auto e-mail for every 2 hours reminding people to drink a glass of water. Just a 2% drop in hydration can result in a drop in performance by up to 30%. You could run a Weight Loss Challenge (I can facilitate this for businesses in Liverpool) or just have a Wednesday Weigh – in. You could create a quiet area which acts like a Lifestyle Library, supply personal development books, self-help books and healthy cookery books. A healthy eating day once a week is normally very well received, on this day all unhealthy food is banned for participants, no chocolate, cakes, sweets, crisps, junk food or energy drinks. There could be weekly and monthly incentives for the best performers, e.g. an early finish, a late start, being the boss for a few hours, healthy cookery books, small healthy food baskets (I can advise on this) and Newsletters with health tips and recognition for staff who are embracing the change and getting healthier.
- The key is to keep it simple, fun and engaging, let staff know you want your company to be at the forefront of staff health and wellbeing.
I could talk about this all day and I have many more solutions which will help you, if you’re serious.
So lead the way in your organisation and support healthy, happy, productive staff by implementing a Workplace Wellness Initiative.
Delivering excellence in nutritional health and wellbeing. http://www.ahealthynewu.co.uk/
Personal Wellness Coach / Independent Herbalife Distributor / 07970516915