A Healthy Diet At Work
Maintaining a healthy diet outside your home is mostly a challenge for those who don’t have time to cook their own food. It’s almost an all too common scene everyday: cheap sandwiches, oily hotdogs, or that sugar frosted bagel everyone at work seems. If you’re an employer, the #health and wellbeing of your employees are your top priorities. The first step towards that goal is promoting a healthy diet in your office.
While employers must first and foremost ensure that the workplace is safe and healthy for all employees – and make sure the risk of work-related accidents is minimal – it is also important to encourage a healthy lifestyle for your workforce. This includes promoting both healthy eating habits and physical exercise at least three times a week.
A healthy diet and a physical exercise program translates to better health overall, which results in less absenteeism, a reduction of long-term health care costs, fewer sick leave days, increased productivity and efficiency. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by Buck Consultants in 2008 on 628 major employers showed that 74% of companies successfully managed to reduce health care costs after starting a healthy diet plan. While making sure your employees are on a healthy diet 24/7 is close to impossible, taking the right steps towards a healthy diet at work is easy. Your employees will welcome the positive interest in their well-being.
So what can you do to encourage your employees to keep a healthy diet at work?
1. Know your employees
As a thoughtful employer, the first thing you need to do is know your employees and find those ways to best support them in this endeavor. Keep in mind that no matter how good your intentions may be, there are certain individuals who may not want to support your plan and it is best to perform a survey beforehand. Ask what type of program they prefer and discuss what kind of ideas you wish to test. Inform your employees about the scope of the plan and any other relevant details.
Doing this first step right will help you avoid difficult and awkward situations that might only embarrass employees or hamper your efforts.
2. Provide healthy alternatives
Snacks are everywhere. Your employees can find them in conference or meeting rooms, in their personal workspace or cubicle, the reception room, the kitchen and even in the hallway. They tend to be highly caloric, have a lot of additives, sugar and salt, and are, in a way, the face of future health-related disasters just waiting to happen. Think about it, even outside lunch hours the employees will quickly grab a bite from what’s at hand without much consideration, and it’s either a bag of chips or a candy bar.
Try to overcome this problem by gradually replacing the junk snacks with healthier alternatives. Instead of chips, see if you can stock machines with dried fruit. Offer skim-fat milk and natural juices instead of the sugary drinks you find in your typical break room. Also, make sure to bring in a healthy basket of fruit and vegetables once a week into the lunchroom, as an alternative. If the workspace has a cafeteria, make sure to contract vendors who provide healthier items.
Another great idea is to contact a catering company that can offer healthy meals at special discount prices for large companies. If you can strike a favorable arrangement, you can encourage healthy habits through simple economics.
3. Create an incentive program
People respond well to incentives and your employees are no exception. Create an incentive program for employees who managed to change their diet or who have given up on junk food. You could create either a financial incentive or a special package incentive plan (free days off, a vacation or a special benefits plan) to further motivate your employees. This idea works great, especially because it will motivate other employees as well in the long run. If your business already uses a service like Workflow Orlando for routine physicals, you can easily tie this into a workplace initiative for better health.
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- 3 Simple Ways To Promote A Healthy Diet In Your Office - July 17, 2015