Home Health How Employers Can Encourage Better Health Habits?

How Employers Can Encourage Better Health Habits?

by Tushar Sisodiya

Employees are important assets of any business or organization. By putting an effort into employee wellness, you will not only encourage better teamwork but also reduce the number of sick leaves, thereby, increasing productivity.

In the words of Rob Wittman, “Individuals will achieve healthier lifestyles when prevention and wellness programs are accessible and available in their workplace, through their health provider, and in their communities.”

Here, I have prepared a list of workplace health promotion strategies that would help you boost employee health. Pick out a few favorites and speak with your team about ways you could work together to create better employee health.

Once everybody agrees on a plan, continue to assess the outcomes regularly. And remember, not to forget to gather feedback. Maybe try doing different activities each month, every two months or six months, as required.

To make it interesting, you can even reward your employees with small prizes. But be careful not to make it competitive, otherwise, this will add to employee stress levels. And you would not want that? Or would you?

8 Ways To Improve Employee Health

  1. Focus on General Prevention

Research about the overall factors that affect your employee health. Then, think, as an employer, as a manager, what can you do to make your employees’ health a priority?

  • Arrange regular medical checkups at your workplace.
  • Organize seminars where various health-related topics are discussed.
  • Offer coupons for regular medical checkups.
  • Offer health insurance.
  1. Encourage Healthy Eating

According to a study, unhealthy eating is linked to loss of productivity. Unhealthy eating may lead to diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc. in the future. Promoting healthier eating at the workplace will be a win-win situation – for both the individual and your business!

  • Provide a fridge for employees to bring in healthy lunches.
  • Buy healthy lunches for team meetings.
  • Install a juicer or sandwich press in the office pantry.
  • Ensure that the vending machines contain water and low-sugar snacks and drinks.
  1. Develop a Smoke-Free Workplace

Smoking is injurious to health. Every year, about seven million people die from tobacco use. Now, don’t you think reducing the effects of smoking at the workplace is of paramount importance?

  • Develop a smoke-free company policy.
  • Encourage employees to talk to the medical consultants about quitting smoking.
  • Ensure your workplace and company vehicles are smoke-free.
  • Subsidize nicotine replacement patches or therapy.
  1. Encourage Physical Exercise

The best way to encourage better employee health is to encourage employees to exercise. Exercise doesn’t, necessarily, mean hitting the gym or lifting heavy weights. The following are a few tips that you can follow to ensure that your employees’ health is not at risk.

  • Encourage walking meetings (around the block, anyone?)
  • Encourage your employees to take stairs instead of climbing the elevator every time.
  • Have a fitness coach or yoga instructor come in and run sessions in the office.
  • Buy employees a gym membership as an incentive or gift.
  1. Take Measures to Improve Mental Health

An employee’s mental health is as important as his physical health. While you take steps to improve their physical health, here is what you can do to look out for their mental health in the workplace:

  • Arrange counseling sessions that are free to all the employees.
  • Train managers on mental health strategies.
  • Encourage positive communication in the workplace.
  • Run a daily meditation course.
  1. Avoid Long Chair Time

54% of the people who follow a sedentary lifestyle are likely to die of heart attacks. Yes, FIFTY-FOUR PERCENT! Hence, it is high time that you start bringing changes in your lifestyle as well as help your employees avoid long chair time. What can you do?

  • Encourage stand up meetings.
  • Ask your employees to eat lunch away from their screens.
  • Encourage your team to take regular breaks during the day.
  • Run a 10-meter stretch program each day.
  1. Organize Friendly Wellness Competitions

Turn a dull office environment into a goal-driven, healthy, and fun workplace.

  • Organize daily, weekly, or monthly fitness challenges.
  • Challenge your employees to take a 30-day challenge of not having processed foods.
  • Reward the employees who achieve the goals of maintaining a certain weight.
  • Organize short and fun fitness competitions like arm wrestling, push-ups, and more.
  1. Reduce Alcohol Intake

As an employer, you have an obligation to encourage better employee health, and some methods include:

  • Avoid regularly providing alcohol at the workplace.
  • Educate your employees about the risks of high alcohol consumption.
  • Provide non-alcoholic options at company events.
  • Encourage your employees to talk about their alcohol consumption to their doctor.
  1. Encourage Healthy Weights

When you encourage your team to have healthier body weight, you are indirectly encouraging them to live a longer and happier life.

  • Encourage your employees to participate in weight management programs.
  • Invite a dietician to speak to your team.
  • Educate employees about ways to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Encourage your employees to follow a balanced diet.

In Closing

The modern workplace is more than just a place for business. It’s a place of inspiring ideas, wellness, and positivity. If you truly want to create a productive work environment, you need to encourage your employees to develop healthy lifestyle habits.

Proper eating, exercise, stress management, and having the support of your workplace makes a huge difference in how an employee performs at work. The least you can do is perform your part to help encourage a healthier workforce.

Importance of employee health-

  • Reduced sick leaves
  • Happier and more motivated employees
  • Increased productivity

Remember to monitor any employee wellness initiatives that you put into place and constantly ask your team for feedback, either by using employee surveys or in person. This will push your business towards a successful future.

Let me know what steps you have taken for the betterment of the health of your employees. I’ll be glad to read. Also, let me know in the comments sections, what do you think about the tips mentioned above?

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