Health week is upon us. Whether you’re an employer or employee, you can help change your workplace culture. Many employees actually want to improve their health, and the amount of time spent at work is what is preventing them. Many employees also want to be educated on how to improve their health. But why should companies try to improve employee health?
The statistics show that organisations with effective health and productivity programs report higher revenue per employee and lower days of absence (BN Wellness Survey). So, what steps can employers take to improve employee health?
How to improve employee health
Introduce healthier food
Diet is supposedly 70% of achieving health and fitness goals. Providing a fruit bowl or two for employees or offering healthier food on the cafeteria menus is a great way to help employees improve their diet. After all, a typical full-time employee will spend a significant amount of their day at work, so increasing the healthy options available to them can only be a good thing. Often, the easier and quicker option for lunch for employees is an unhealthy one. Giving employees not only a healthy but convenient option will offer a huge helping hand to employees with dietary goals.
Introduce exercise-based activities
Whether it’s putting on gym classes or allowing employees time out to go for a run during the day, employers can do a lot to encourage employees to take up some exercise during the day. Again this goes back to employees feeling like they have limited time for improving their health due to how much they work. If employers can look to incorporate exercise-based activities during the working day for employees, this can go some way to helping employees get a certain amount of exercise in per day or during the week. It helps if the company is situated close to a gym of course, however whether it’s intense exercise or just going out for a walk, any exercise outdoors can only be good for improving employee health. Companies can even use these activities to raise money for charity, like we at caboodle did with our 80 days and Route 66 challenges.
Introduce health and wellbeing employee benefits
Health and wellbeing employee benefits can also offer a big helping hand to employees who are trying to get healthier and fitter. Cost is often one of the main reasons people struggle when trying to get fit or stay healthy. With employee benefits, companies can introduce ways to save on a number of types of therapy, check-ups and gym memberships among other things. Employers can also use their employee benefits platform to provide education on how to get healthier and fitter.
Encourage cycling to work
Cycling to work is gaining in popularity every year. We’ve written previously about the benefits of cycling to work and how it can help improve employee health. This can also be encouraged through the introduction of employee benefits. Some benefits providers offer cycle to work schemes which is a government backed initiative. Employees can save money on tax and national insurance when purchasing a bike through a bike scheme. For companies situated in busy cities, encouraging employees to cycle to work makes even more sense as in many cases it can actually be quicker to cycle to work than to drive.
Promote a healthy living culture
When thinking about company culture many people think about a culture that looks to directly improve productivity and output. However, implementing a culture that promotes improving employee health can also provide benefits in terms of productivity and output as well as overall employee happiness. People are much more likely to get on board with improving their health and fitness if their colleagues are doing it too.
Other useful tips
Rewarding employees for improving their health can go a long way. Offering encouragement and acknowledging employees who reach personal targets or milestones shows that you care. Rewards could include a gift card for example or an extra days holiday. This can also go some way to implementing a culture of improving health and fitness.
One thing to note is that it’s important that employers find the right medium when trying to improve employee health. While some employees will be highly determined to set out and achieve their fitness goals, not everyone wants the same thing. It’s highly likely that some employees wouldn’t have any interest in taking part in healthy living initiatives set out by their employer and employers should therefore be respectful.
If you have health and fitness goals you’d like to achieve, why not suggest some of the things mentioned here to your employer? The benefits of improving employee health for a company are there to be gained, as are the benefits for employees.
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