With the cost of healthcare ever increasing, keeping your workforce as healthy as possible is a prudent move. Not only will you reduce costs, your business will benefit in countless other ways, from reduced absenteeism to increased productivity. Healthier employees are happier employees, and happier employees are better employees in every way.
Here are just a few tips for making your workplace a healthier environment:
Encourage More Movement.
We have always known inactivity is bad for us, but more research into the matter is shedding light on exactly how lack of movement affects our bodies, and the news isn’t good. There is even a new term that has been floating around—‘’sitting disease.’’ Encourage employees to take a brisk walk during those short breaks away from the desk, rather than just a bit of stretching or congregating near the water cooler. You can encourage movement in other ways, such as holding meetings while walking. This little change up can also offer other benefits such as enhanced creativity and brainstorming sessions.
Don’t Discourage Vacation Time.
In the workaholic culture that is America, many see vacation as some sort of lack of dedication to the job; many people find some weird pride in not having taken time off in a decade. But, if you want to create a healthier workforce, cultivate a message that taking time off is good and encouraged; if your office has been a bit stingy with vacation time, look into modifying that policy. People need time away to recharge.
Get Employee Feedback on What is Most Important to Them.
The key to creating a healthier workforce is zeroing in on the issues most important to your employees. Take a survey to find out what concerns they have, and work on ways to address said concerns. If a lot of people want to quit smoking, perhaps you can set up a cessation program to help. If finding ways to cope with stress at work is a major concern, you might consider things such as setting up some massage chairs in break areas, or arranging workshops where your employees can learn about meditation and other stress-reduction techniques.
If people find lack of motivation to make healthy choices to be a problem, perhaps you can organize fitness challenges and other activities where people get that extra boost of motivation to succeed.
If your office keeps food on hand in any form, ditch the unhealthy treats in favor of more nutritious fare; there are a growing number of vending machine companies that only stock healthy foods, for example. Get rid of the soda machine, and replace it with one that dispenses healthy drinks, like natural fruit juice and teas. Encourage employees who like to cook to make some healthy treats to share with everyone. Have everyone look up healthy recipes and share them in the break room for everyone to see. If you have events where people are asked to bring food from home, ask for wholesome foods, rather than chips, cakes and the like.
Organize Regular Clean Up Sessions.
Mess equals stress, and a cluttered, disorganized workspace can lead to feelings of frustration and anxiety. An orderly space creates a calmer, more orderly mind. Consider setting aside a chunk of time daily or at least every couple of days where everyone in the office takes a few minutes to get their workspace in order.
This is just a small sampling of ideas to help you create a healthier work environment; implementing these ideas can surely get you off to a good start. It is important to remember that it can take time to get a program in full swing, so be patient. Evaluate strategies along the way to see what is working, what isn’t and where things can be tweaked for more effectiveness.