Probably the most common New Year Resolution people make every year is to get healthy, eat right, and exercise — and your employees are no exception.
Supporting employee New Year’s resolutions to get healthy can increase engagement, help them feel cared for, and lead to less sick days.
As a business owner, the level of engagement and happiness of your employees depends in part on the extent to which they feel supported in both professional and personal goals. Creating and supporting common goals in the workplace, such as an employee’s Resolution to get healthy, creates a positive atmosphere in the office and can even save your company money, if healthier-happier employees take less paid sick days in the coming year.
Here are seven ideas for promoting health and wellness in your workplace that can help you and your employees achieve the goals you want to reach.
Employers Can Support Employee Resolutions to Get Healthy in 7 Key Ways
Bring in the Experts
When you want your employees to learn something new, what do you do? You train them! Unless your employees are experts on health and wellness, it’s fair to assume that they don’t necessarily have the tools or knowledge needed to adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Bringing in experts who can train and coach your employees on topics such as how emotional eating can crop up in the workplace as “I deserve it” reward eating, “Screw it!” emotional eating, binge stress eating, etc., can empower your staff with the tools to recognize the signs and use proven alternatives to avoid developing potentially unhealthy emotional eating patterns.
Provide Healthy Eating Options
Simple is the place to start when it comes to getting healthy. Supplying nutritious snack options in vending machines or communal eating areas is an easy way to kick things off. Adding healthy beverage choices to pop machines and reducing (or eliminating) access to chips and sweets can help minimize an employee’s temptation to stray from their healthy eating goal.
A couple other great ways to support employee’s goals to get healthy is to start an office cook book or have potlucks with healthy eating themes. Encourage employees to contribute healthy recipes to the cookbook and make some of these recipes at team or company potlucks.
Purchase desks and chairs that promote activity and good posture.
There are many options for convertible or standing desks that give employees a chance to get out of their office chairs all or at least part of the time. While it takes a bit of financial investment, having these options for staff who want them can significantly benefit your company over the long run. Here’s a list of top ten list of standing desks for great ideas for all budgets.
Likewise, all office chairs aren’t created equal. Investing in chairs with good ergonomic design or which support “active sitting,” offering employees access to chair-alternatives, and educating staff about how to maintain good posture, the importance of getting up and moving around every hour, and so on can all help contribute to a healthier work force.
Ensure access to refreshing, good-tasting water.
It can be difficult to remember to drink water, especially when you get on a roll working after your morning coffee. A combination of two great ideas will help your employees remember to drink more water. First, ensure access to refreshing, good-tasting water in the form of a water cooler. Second, purchase branded water bottles for all your employees that feature your company logo and a fun tagline that reminds them to fill up and drink up.
Organize outdoor activities and sporting events.
The best thing about many outdoor activities for your employees is they are often free! A few great ways to support employees who want to be more physically active are to:
- Organize a company basketball/soccer/softball or some other kind of team: If you have a bunch of sports junkies in your office, this can be a great way to bring people together to encourage physical activity and team work.
- Plan a hike: Next time you need to have a big team meeting or brainstorm session, make it planned around a short hike. Not only will employees be physically active, they’ll also have fresh minds when developing business plans and may even think more creatively.
- Start a walking group: There may also be a walking trail near your office where employees can walk as a group during breaks or on lunch hours. Encourage employees to form a walker’s group and hand out retro terry cloth wrist and hair bands in your brand colors at the group’s kickoff.
- Designate a work out room: Install treadmills, weights, exercise bikes and other equipment in empty office space to give employees a chance to work out before or after work, or during lunch hours.
Sponsor preventive care.
Health insurance plans aren’t always conducive to preventive care. Offering perks that give employees more access to preventive care can promote health in your office and reduce the chance employees will miss work due to illness. Your contribution to a healthy workplace can be an incredible way to demonstrate your personal care for employees.
One of the simplest and least expensive preventive care measures is cleaning! Making a quarterly all-employee deep clean of office and common spaces during work hours part of your company culture is another way to stop the spread of germs, with the adding benefit of helping to ensure your office always looks its best.
Skip the competition and put your employees on the same team, instead.
Unfortunately, weight loss competitions can lead to unhealthy eating and may create a food-shaming environment. Conversely, creating groups and a culture where health, wellness and weight loss goals are supported and cheered on can strengthen your team overall. This could be a great opportunity for you to bring in experts who can talk about in emotional eating, motivation, health and wellness, nutrition and exercise to ensure that employees adopt a safe approach and can turn their new habits into a lifestyle mindset, so they can release weight and maintain their weight loss.
Statistically, it’s probable that about half of your employees made some kind of New Year Resolution. Whether their goals are to get healthy, lose weight, exercise more, or something else altogether, implementing programs in your office to support those goals and dreams will remind your employees how good it is to work for you and will kick off the New Year right with inspired, engaged team members.