Everyone knows that happy people make good employees. They are more productive, take fewer sick days and make a manager’s job that much easier. But what does it take to make them happy? That’s the question every good boss needs to ask themselves. There are several things management can do to make employees happy, but helping them stay healthy is one of the best.
Provide a Healthy Work Environment
This goes beyond making sure you follow federal and state safety guidelines. This means providing your employees with a healthy place to come to work. Things like air quality are obvious, but also consider things like ergonomic workstations, natural light from windows, healthy snacks in the vending machines and maybe even a lounge where employees can de-stress during the day. All of these things add up to healthier and happier workers.
Offer Healthy Group Programs
Nothing keeps employees motivated to improve their health than working together on them as a group. This allows them to have accountability partners as well as giving them the chance to socialize and commiserate together. Consider sponsoring a cleanse like a 21 day diet for interested employees. They can work together with other employees and strive for a common goal.
Other programs to consider include exercise or dance classes, Yoga for meditation, smoking cessation or a healthy cooking class. Whatever route you pick, let the group dynamic work on the participants. It helps build rapport between them and gives them a sense of camaraderie as they “fight” a common foe.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s all well and good to want employees to be healthier. However, it’s a totally different corporate feel when you actually encourage a healthy lifestyle, and there are several ways of doing this.
- Make corporate events healthy ones. Think things like a 5K run or team bonding over obstacle course training for things like this.
- Reward healthy goals. Recognize employees who reach specific milestones like quitting smoking or losing weight.
- Have health-conscious management personnel. That doesn’t mean to hire or fire based on a gym membership, but leadership does come from the top, so encourage your top people to embrace a healthy lifestyle first.
- Offer corporate fitness. Maybe there’s room for a gym in the building that employees can use before or after work, or even on their lunch hour. If not, look into getting a corporate membership at a local fitness center where employees can go for free or get discounted rates.
The Bottom Line
If you own a small business or are thinking of starting one, it’s in your best interest to promote health and fitness to your employees. Start at the top by modeling this lifestyle yourself and encouraging management to do the same, and then watch it trickle down to your workers. Recognize their accomplishments and offer them the tools they need to get healthy and stay that way. They’ll thank you by being happier and more productive as well.