CBHS Corporate Health | Feb 20, 2020
As an employer, there are regulations that mandate a responsibility to create a healthy and safe environment for all employees. Issues that present are always dealt with as they arise but why not prevent them from arising in the first place?
Creating a healthy and safe environment is more than just preventing physical harm and injury. It also includes the things we can’t often see the consequences of until it’s too late. These include mental health conditions and diet and lifestyle related preventable diseases. Addressing the mind, body and lifestyle of employees can help to retain staff, reduce absenteeism and build a more resilient workforce that improves productivity.
What you can do
- Survey your staff
What better way to understand the health risks and needs than to ask? You can be as thorough or as simple as you wish. This easy activity will give insight into trends that groups of your employees might all be facing that could be impacting their happiness and productivity.
- Analyse your responses
Group common health risks together and see the areas you need to focus on.
- Promote health and wellbeing
Organisations that implement appropriate health and wellbeing strategies for their workforce can effectively reduce health risk factors. Having a calendar of events and activities that promote healthy habits at work is an effective strategy that benefits individuals and business.
- Role-modelling healthy behaviours from top down
Involvement of upper and middle management is crucial to engage other staff and maximise uptake of your wellness initiatives. Acceptance and encouragement from those at the top has been shown to improve overall attendance and engagement.
What can you do with a limited budget?
There are many free government resources that could help your business implement a wellness plan. In most states and territories there is a Get Healthy at Work program that can empower you with effective ways to:
- Reduce tobacco and alcohol use
- Increase physical activity and commuter travel
- Increase healthy eating
- Improve mental wellbeing
Many resources can help you promote wellness in the workplace and raise awareness of its importance. Quoting some of the evidence that identifies the benefits of wellness plans at strategic executive meetings can help you engage decision makers.
Professional registration bodies run annual challenges and health promotion activities that you can jump onboard with. By registering with these you receive free resources, tips and ideas to help you run a successful campaign. Coming up this month is a healthy eating campaign called Smart Eating run by the Dietitians Association of Australia.
If you don’t have time to run an event, try these tips to promote healthier food and drink choices for your employees:
- Provide healthier free food items in staff kitchens. Replace your chocolate biscuits with a healthier wholegrain muesli bar with choc chips.
- Hold monthly birthday celebration morning teas rather than individual days. This reduces cake and treats in the office and keeps temptation at bay.
- Use the services of a nutrition professional to assess your internal catering and develop guidelines for your provider to produce a healthier menu. Or simply use the government food and drink guidelines to select healthier choices.
- If you have a vending machine, change over to a provider who only stocks healthy options.
- Introduce a healthy eating challenge and reward those who achieve their goals. Rewards should be non-food related and reflect healthy behaviours. It might be as simple as a gym voucher, entry into a community fun run or sporting event, or ticket to a cooking class.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you keep it going. Remember, if it’s out of sight it will be out of mind. Regular wellness activity will keep healthy living a priority. And that’s good for business.
CBHS Corporate Health is experienced in this field. We can help you identify your workplace wellness needs, and plan and implement a range of health and wellness initiatives throughout the year.
Check our website for more information on the services we can offer.
Then contact us at email@example.com
We’re here to help.
Disclaimer: All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.