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Monday, 28 March 2016

Health & wellbeing: are your employees bouncing with Spring energy?

Lamb Jumping

At this time of year, many of us are keen to get our health and fitness back on the right track after all those Easter chocolates and winter sloth. This counts for your team as well. You need everyone fully energized and firing on all cylinders, so it makes sense to encourage them to take care of themselves and live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

Here are some ideas for positive action:

Help people eat more healthily

Birthday cake and occasional treats are unlikely to do anyone any harm. But when your workplace traditions include fried breakfasts on Monday mornings, pizza during Wednesday meetings, chocolate on sluggish afternoons, and beers on Friday evenings, the health impact can quickly mount up.

The alternatives are simple, low cost, and highly effective. Maybe encourage staff to bring in their own healthy bakes to share? Have fresh fruit available to snacking instead of biscuits? Arrange for local juice providers to supply energy-boosting pick-me-ups during busier periods?

Creating new traditions and having healthy snacks easily available could be just what your employees need.

Get people moving

Sitting behind a desk all day is a pretty unnatural state for a human being and to a certain extent, most of us are stuck with more sedentary ways of working.

But small changes can make a huge difference. For example, encourage staff to walk to their colleagues’ workstations instead of sending emails, and set an example yourself by moving around the office every hour.

You might find that some people would be interested in:

  • A cycle to work scheme with secure bicycle parking.
  • Exercise during lunch or running/cycling to work – if you could provide lockers for kit.
  • A lunchtime walking club.
  • Subsidised membership of the local gym

These are relatively easy, low cost measures to introduce that will improve energy levels.

Consulting with your team

If you’re going to really improve the level of health and wellbeing in your company, changes need to be what matters to your employees, not something that’s done to them. Ask what activities they want to see happen: it will mean you invest in activities that your staff actually want, not what you think they need.

These are the sort of ideas that I’ve seen employees come up with:

  • Team competitions towards a goal or milestone, and a reward for whichever team gets there first. It could be miles walked, pounds lost, or something entirely different, maybe with charity sponsorship.
  • Help to stop smoking
  • On-site vaccination during flu season.
  • Lunchtime meditation and mindfulness classes.

With workers spending more and more time in the office, businesses can make a lot of positive difference to the health and wellbeing of their employees, to ensure that some kind of balance is achieved. The business benefits can be plentiful when you get it right. Healthier and happier workers are more productive. Fact.

For more ideas to improve health & wellbeing, or help with consulting employees and implementing changes, contact The Human Resource on enquiries@thehr.co.uk.