Happy and Healthy Staff?
Staff are the key to every business and there are very simple and inexpensive methods to encourage staff to be healthier at work. We've listed some ideas here that are easy to implement. Staff feel valued and happier at work which has been shown to increase staff retention and productivity.
Support healthier living - generally people respond well to help or motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Flexible break times could allow staff to introduce physical activity during breaks, helping staff wellbeing and aiding concentration, attentiveness, and productivity. Encourage lunchtime activity, eg
- visit a gym,
- go swimming,
- attend yoga or relaxation classes.
Provide advice on healthy eating for staff. Eating certain foods helps to maintain blood sugar level which can influence mood, tiredness and ability to concentrate.
Ask staff for their suggestions as to Health and Wellbeing policies and respond quickly to them.
Consider offering subsidised health insurance - sometimes both a staff perk, and a way of helping people back to work speedily.
Improve the working environment by furnishing it with plants - this makes the room look nicer and helps to improve your air quality
Consider offering free fruit and healthy drinks (water, herbal teas) to staff. If they prefer to bring their own healthy lunches, do you have adequate refrigeration facilities?
Create a library of healthy living and personal development materials - dvd's, relaxation cd's, books, videos for staff use.
Produce a booklet about all the local leisure facilities which can be particularly popular with new staff.
Provide a range of support leaflets related to stress and other health issues
Encourage staff to stop smoking - consider sponsoring smokers to quit by subsidising cognitive therapy sessions, hypnotherapy or quit-smoking courses and providing morale and support
Provide training to managers for recognising stress and depression in employees. Identifying signs of stress at an earlier stage allows the member of staff to receive support sooner and can faciliate faster resolution of any problems.
Consider building in time for people to improve their health. For example, introduce a comprehensive 'health time' scheme which gives staff up to 15 hours each year if full-time to undertake an activity that either physical fitness, mind/body balancing psycho-social well-being or mind/body relaxation. Use a wide range of activities such as rock-climbing, dance classes, massage, self development, meditation etc.. Offering a wide range of options can lead to a positive evaluation from staff.
Support staff through stressful situations - offer stress counselling and a line of support
Provide information on exercises that staff can do at their desks, especially in organisation where people are required to sit at a desk for long periods e.g. call centres
To help people walk or cycle to work look at upgrading showers, installing personal lockers for clothing and equipment, secure bike shed and personal alarms for safety.
Hold a staff wellbeing day - examples of services would include providing healthy living advice, postural awareness, nutritional advice, life coaching, massage or relaxation sessions for staff
Consider an occupational health scheme - Services provided could include health screening, discounted health care services (dental, optical, chiropody, acupuncture, massage), private healthcare insurance, lifestyle advice, gym, counselling and health promotions.
Run a health fair, day or regular health checks which can pick up unidentified conditions e.g. high blood pressure. Also take the opportunity to invite NHS and other health and fitness professionals to provide advice and information
Provide healthy nibbles at meetings - diced fruit and nuts rather than biscuits!
Combine product launches or staff conference with health promotion - reward your staff for their hard work and make the day varied and fun too
A garden can be a great place for staff to meet and relax in - set one up and encourage staff to use it for relaxation
Take part in national health initiatives e.g. men's health week or No Smoking Day
Offer counselling for those looking at giving up smoking, drink or drugs
Run an annual positive living day that include workshops on health eating and relaxation, sampler classes in activities such as yoga and meditation. Add fun-filled activities such as juggling and laser clay shooting
Subsidise or offer vouchers to relaxation therapies such as facials or massages as these too can improve the health of employees
Analyse data from any actions implemented to determine costs and benefits - including cases of work related stress, reported cases of personal stress as reasons for absence and staff turnover against the industry average. A strong retention rate can bring significant cost savings in terms of recruitment and induction savings.
Consider a holistic approach to staff health and wellbeing - introduce various initiatives including flexible working, job sharing, creche facilities, confidential counselling and occupational health,
If you are interested in discussing how complementary therapies can help your staff and their health and wellbeing, please phone Hazel Stopford on 01457 835491.