So, that’s it for another year. Dry January is over. New year resolutions to exercise more have been scuppered by bad weather, or good programmes on the television, or….. And for those who missed it, ‘Veganuary’, that encouraged people to try a vegan diet for a month has finished. But, February may be the perfect time to encourage people to adopt healthier life styles and revitalize flagging resolutions.
Is there a place for employers to become involved? We believe that there is and have recently published a short e-book on practical steps to introduce a Health & Wellbeing Strategy. An effective strategy not only enhances the lives of individuals but makes good business sense. A healthy workplace is an attractive selling point to job seekers. Healthy employees are more effective employees. Management action can significantly reduce sickness absence, particularly because of minor illnesses which remains the most common reason for absence.
The breadth of a health and wellbeing strategy can be scaled up or down to fit the size of an organisation or its maturity in delivering employee developments. Larger, multi sited organisations may choose to invest more but there will still be benefits for SMEs by providing staff health related information, accessing the Fit for Work services or encouraging people to self -organize, whether it’s lunchtime walking groups, diet clubs or sharing health lunches.
The introduction of a health and wellbeing strategy is a “safe” vehicle to generate staff engagement. Too often organisations only engage with staff on tricky issues; for example, staff cuts or changes in working practices. A strategy gives an opportunity to have a dialogue with staff about something that is positive and voluntary. Seek people’s ideas. Ask people what they want and involve them in developments. You may unearth some hidden talents and interesting ideas, e.g. there are various ‘apps’ that allow people to track health and manage certain conditions; no doubt you’ll find people willing to trial. Identify what works for your organisation and get started.
So, start the year afresh and take steps (large or small) to improve employees’ health and wellbeing. Benefits will follow.
New E- Book
An effective employer brand is an organisation’s secret weapon in the war for talent.
Our new e-book on employer branding is available on: Bookboon
Whilst you're there, why not also take a look at our practical guide to drawing up a Health & Well-being Strategy
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