Matthew Gates 4m 984 #healthycompany
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
A Healthy Company is a Happy Company
Most companies would never think twice about the healthy and non-healthy habits of their employees, expecting them to just show up and do what they were hired to do. If they cannot do the job, they might just let them go instead of investing into those health habits of their employees. Unhealthy employees lead to sick days and unexpected call outs. If the employees do not call out, they risk affecting the health of other employees. By encouraging healthy employees, a company will be healthy itself and remain healthy throughout the year. The way to healthy employees and ultimately a healthy company is through health incentives, motivation, and encouragement.
For those companies who offer a cafeteria area or a place for employees to take their break, usually there is nothing but what the employees bring. However, a company can change this by actually buying some fruit for their employees. The cost of fruit is relatively low, and such would fruits would be apples, oranges, bananas, and other fruits that last for at least a week at a time. Employees will be more likely to eat them if they are looking for a snack, are bored, or just taking a break. By asking the employees what fruits they would prefer, this will help a company to choose fruits and restock them in the kitchen each week. It will also empower employees to actually want to eat the fruit, since they are the ones who chose the types of fruits to be provided.
While this may not convert every employee into eating healthy, this will certainly help employees who forget to take food to work or prevent them from running out and grabbing quick “fast-food” unhealthy snacks. The offer of fresh fruits is enticing and employees who see other employees eating fruits are more inclined to eat fruits themselves. For a nice quick snack, the company can even buy some peanut butter, which can be used in conjunction with a banana, for a tasty and healthy snack.
Removing all sugary drinks, sodas, and any vending machines that contain this stuff and replacing it with water, seltzer, and other drink alternatives is a good way to inspire healthier consumption of liquids.
INCENTIVE & MOTIVATION
Having incentives, initiatives, and motivators that inspire healthier eating lifestyles, training sessions on better healthy eating habits, and alternatives to common greasy and unhealthy foods can inspire employees to develop better habits.
Creating a type of competition among employees with points, rewards, monetary incentives for better bringing in healthier lunches, especially for those who cook a very healthy lunch for the entire office, is a great way to get all employees involved. Having a potluck is another way to get everyone cooking and showing off their healthy recipes.
Whether employees come up with vegetarian or meat dishes, healthy eating can be found in every meal.
A healthy atmosphere is a happy atmosphere. One employee exercising is probably not going to create an environment where everyone wants to follow suit for a healthier lifestyle, but creating exercise programs, reward systems, and challenges will definitely motivate employees to develop a healthier lifestyle.
Whether it is just for exercise and fitness or for actual weight loss, there is plenty a company can do for its employees that will motivate them. A company can model the American television show, The Biggest Loser. Only one trusted supervisor who is not participating in the challenge will know the starting weights and finishing weights of all participating employees. Not only can the company offer exercise programs, fitness programs, and healthy eating programs, but assisting employees in their weight loss, and holding the participating employees accountable will ensure they remain in the program. The one who loses the most weight after 30-60-90 days wins a monetary reward or a week long vacation.
There can be additional challenges, especially during the holiday seasons, in which the employee who gains the least amount of weight might win a special gift in the New Year. There are many programs or challenges a company can come up with throughout the year, including riding bike to work week, public transportation week, encouraging walking time after lunch or during breaks.
Offering Yoga sessions, group runs, group biking, group hiking, or anything that gets the employees out and about before or after work will be very beneficial to any company. There is a lot a company can do to make sure their workers are more than just workers, but guaranteeing some sort of healthy lifestyle help is thrown into the mix.
A company might want to consider hiring a fitness professional, teacher, personal trainer, or health counselor in order to assist employees with healthy eating habits, exercise programs, and lifestyle changes. Losing weight is not always easy and depression may occur.
Having a health professional or mental counselor on-call with knowledge of exercise and fitness can really help employees who are interested in living a healthier lifestyle or losing weight. Having support groups or meetings amongst employees may also be a great idea to help employees bond with each other and help each other along the tough journey.
When a company becomes an active and caring overseer in any employee’s life, it creates a bonding experience for the entire corporate culture. In addition, employee loyalty to the company will increase, especially with successful weight loss and healthy habits, in which a company and its leaders should feel proud for causing the utmost happiness of its employees and a healthy workplace environment.
If you are an employee of a company who is looking to get healthier and do not want to do it alone, make suggestions to the company, or find people with common interests in getting healthy with you. It will bring you and your co-workers closer and serves as a great bonding experience for everyone.