10 healthy ideas for a fit-for-business workforce!
- Posted in: HR Leaders voice
10 healthy ideas for a fit-for-business workforce!
As January raced away from us, so too did those noble plans for healthy eating, more exercise and trimming down the weight. It’s a perfect time for employers to lend a hand and offer their employees support to stick to their new year’s resolutions, to help them stay healthy and happy in 2017 and every year.
We know that absence is a huge challenge for businesses and extremely costly. The recent CIPD Absence Management Report (2016) highlighted that;
- Stress is reported as the most common cause of long-term absence.
- 47% of companies say stress is in the top 5 most common causes of short-term absence
- 34% say mental ill health is also in the top 5 of most common causes of short-term absence
Can companies afford not to invest in wellness strategies? The business return from well-planned health and fitness initiatives can be tremendous, not just encouraging less absence, but resulting in greater productivity and more positive attitudes all-round.
Wellness strategies offer employers a great way to help employees achieve personal goals that are important to them, whilst helping them to be healthier, happier and more confident individuals.
So, how can businesses provide the right support without incurring huge costs? Here are a few ideas for wellness programmes to help build a healthy, happy workforce, without blowing the budget:
- Sports and social clubs- Identify common interests that would motivate staff to get together, such as Running, Netball, Badminton, Hockey and Football to name but a few popular sports. Find those employees who are keen sports enthusiasts and encourage them to share their passion by helping to organise activities to bring individuals together, to encourage and support each other, whilst having fun. You can also encourage cycle to work, with even a competition for the team that cycles the furthest over a given period.
- Introduce Healthy Eating Programme – Create fun, social networks that can encourage and support weight loss. Why not use a quirky label that relates to the nature of your business – one bank runs a “Drop the Pounds” club! You could involve weight loss competitions for departments or individuals, offering healthy eating plans and weekly weigh-ins.
- Arrange health check MOT’s for all employees – invite your local medical centre or Health Club to do free MOTs, measuring, for example; Height, Weight, Blood Pressure checks, Body Mass Index and Lung Function Assessment (PEFR). You might even extend to a consultation with a qualified doctor.
- Offer Taster Exercise Classes – set up taster sessions for Yoga/Pilates, Meditation, Insanity, or Abs classes at convenient times and easy access locations on-site. Encouraging your exec team to attend too can certainly increase the numbers attending, even if it’s only to see the MD put through their paces!
- Promote Corporate Membership at your local health club – hold sign-up sessions on-site at lunchtime and invite a Personal Trainer to present health and fitness benefits, offering discounted rates for employees. If your organisation is lucky enough to have a gym on-site, why not hold gym competitions, or provide taster sessions with personal trainers to encourage use of your fabulous facility .
- Work with your providers to promote your employee wellness benefits – fitness weeks, healthy roadshows on-site and intranet-based webinars can all help to get the message across and ensure employees are taking full advantage of your wellness initiatives.
- Run themed social events that bring people together– arrange short social events focused on helping employees to feel great and stay healthy, such as ‘colour me beautiful’ styling events, make-up demonstrations, Juice Plus or Nutrition sessions.
- Build an event calendar to spread activities through the year – co-ordinate with national events and campaigns, such as ‘Love Your Liver’, ‘Dry January’ and ‘Stop Smoking’ campaigns.
- Help employees focus on personal goals – Why not offer drop-in coaching sessions to help individuals review their personal goals and help them plan for success.
- Offer mind AND body support – workshops, discussion groups and possible Ted Talks could help employees focusing on topics, such as better dealing with stress, mental toughness and developing a positive mental attitude.
These suggestions are relatively simple and easy to implement, though it is surprising how many companies struggle to get their wellness agendas off the ground.
Building your health and fitness support around your employees hobbies can be a great way to engage them and drive participation. Sharing great photos and shouting about successes in company updates, on intranets and in other internal communications, can also be a great way to build interest.
If carefully thought through, the right wellbeing initiatives can drive a healthy improvement on a company’s bottom line. That’s one resolution we could all benefit from!
Written by Alyson Fadil People Director at Sofology, (Edited by Carol Brown) who has kindly allowed us to republish and share with credit.
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