Workplace Wellness Plans. How and Why?
A little over 4 years ago I wrote a workplace wellness article called, Staying Healthy While Working: You and Your Employer Win! However, it seems that in 4 years we have actually gotten unhealthier as a society. Without question, our country’s lack of health and fitness has reached epidemic proportions as our life expectancy in the US continues to decline.
Luckily, most of us have healthy food and lifestyle options available, making it easier to make immediate improvements. But, it comes down to our own motivation to make the required changes. Below are some steps we can do as employers and professionals to help ourselves and our colleagues lead healthier lifestyles.
Workplace Wellness and Employers
There is no question that healthy employees are less expensive, happier, and more productive employees! Here are some tips you can use to promote workplace wellness:
- Give your employees time to be active each day.
- Implement wellness programs, as many companies have, that incentivizes employees to perform and track healthy habits. Reimburse employees for health club membership fees or an organized walk/run. My employer, DLC, has a wellness program that incentivizes employees for certain healthy activities.
- Ask your employees how their exercise and healthy eating plans are going.
- When you order food for your company lunches and snacks order healthy food, such as salads and fruits, rather than pizza and donuts.
- Lead by example! You can’t expect your employees to get fit and healthy if you stroll into the office every morning with a box of munchkins – we still can’t run on Dunkin, despite the commercials!
- Sign your team up for a fitness event such as a Spartan Race or local 5k. Participating in these events together not only promotes health in your employees, but it also promotes camaraderie and team bonding. Coincidentally, team bonding goes a long way towards improving employee retention.
Workplace Wellness and Employees
You will spend less on healthcare, feel happier, and feel more energized throughout the day the better you eat and if you exercise daily! Here are some tips:
- Make time for exercise every workday. Walking, running, lifting, whatever. Before, during, or right after work. The trick is to build exercise into your schedule and do your best to make it one of your priorities.
- If you succumb to peer pressure or enjoy being around others, join an exercise and/or healthy food group. CrossFit, Yoga, Boot Camps, Cycling, Weight Watchers, a running or walking group. There is a group out there for whatever you are interested in doing.
- Eat more whole and minimally processed foods. Cut down on sugars.
- If you have kids, encourage them to exercise and eat healthy with you. Stop buying them breakfast cereal with marshmallows or any cereal named candy. Eat healthily and make exercise a priority as a family.
So don’t sacrifice your health for your career. You have to be around to enjoy the fruits of your labor – make healthy living a priority and reap the rewards! Your employer will, too…win-win!
About the Author – Sean Hastings, MBA, Client Services Director, DLC
Sean serves as Client Services Director for DLC’s Chicago market. He has over 18 years of experience providing accounting and finance consulting, interim, and permanent placement solutions to public and private clients in the Chicago area.