Carebook is lucky enough to have a nutritionist with workplace health experience on who sets up our team challenges at work.
Josée Thibodeau has put together a few specific things that every organization can do to help their staff be healthier. This works for a family, too!
Josée strongly believes that building a healthy culture is the most important thing employers need before they can help individual employees take control of their health and wellness. If you start with a genuine and sincere respect for the people on your teams, you’re in a good place to start helping them with their health journeys, too.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
Look at your organization from thirty-thousand feet first. It’s important that all efforts are feeding into the larger objective. From the way people communicate with one another (Respectfully? Open and honest?) to what’s in the vending machines (Soda? High sugar foods?), every effort must be made to cultivate a place that encourages health and wellness. Before you invest in any ad hoc initiatives, look at the overall needs, culture, and policies so every effort you make is part of a big picture of health and wellness.
BUILD THE STRATEGY TOGETHER
Having a “top down” health and wellness strategy where a lone leader dictates the plan won’t necessarily get the engagement you need. Involve your employees, and build your wellness workplace strategy together to increase impact, engagement, and chances of long-term success.
NURTURE WELLNESS IN MANY WAYS
Long-term health and wellness is more than putting up a bike rack or offering healthy snacks. Wellness must be cultivated in every aspect of your culture. For example, do you allow for flexibility in schedules to accommodate individual needs? Do you provide the opportunity (and encourage) employees to get outside or exercise during their breaks? When you’re weaving health and wellness into a culture, everything counts and no effort is too small.
TALK THE TALK, WALK THE WALK
It’s easy to encourage health and then bring in pizza for fast lunch meetings. Instead, improve food choices in the office by providing healthy snacks, fruits baskets, or healthy lunches during meetings. Also, celebrate the efforts of employees to stay healthy by encouraging (and modeling!) short walks or stretch breaks throughout the day.
ALLOW FOR DISCONNECT
Communicate your expectations about getting away from the office. If you don’t want people working 24/7, let them know you don’t encourage them sending or answering emails after hours. Also, encourage lunch breaks and eating mindfully… not at desks.
It’s really important that anyone who deals with your employees has the education around what it takes to make a healthy work environment. Provide them with tools and training, to better manage their own stress, and to properly address health challenges a team member may encounter.
EVALUATE AND CHANGE
Although some of your workplace health and wellness challenges might have a start and end date, cultivating team health doesn’t start and end. It’s an ongoing process and it always kicks off with a genuine respect for your people and an ongoing commitment to culture. Measure effectiveness of your initiatives. Don’t just look for hard return on investment, but see other value it brings—like team building, improvement of morale, a stronger, more connected culture, employee engagement, productivity, etc.
If you’re part of a future-thinking organization and want to join the movement of better health for everyone, please contact us at Carebook.