What are the merits of a wellbeing programme in your organisation?
Take a moment to reflect on how many people you come across who have had to take time off sick, quite a few I expect therein lies the problem on average employees in the UK are taking around 9 days sick time off every year in the private sector and 15 in the public sector. The cost is enormous on a national level but to a smaller to medium business, it means an interruption to your business, rescheduling, missed targets and potential damage to your reputation.
The smaller your business the greater the effect on your success, not having the ability to absorb those interruptions. If you are the only employee having to take time off could have a huge effect on your income.
Working in any business today is stressful, With increasing tensions a head down target driven approach will take it toll on most employees and especially managers and business owners.
Causes of sickness in the workplace
Are many but being overweight, lack of exercise and stress are the biggest factors, these cause high blood pressure, diabetes, knee, hip and back pain, depression and heart attacks!
First of all what does having a wellbeing programme mean to you and your company. It’s no more complicated than looking after everyone including yourself in the workplace with the purpose of developing a healthy living culture.
Change the culture by encouraging healthier attitudes towards being healthier and joining in activities, developing an awareness of the negative effect a stressful environment has on your employee’s, with this in mind look at way’s you can help and support them.
Changing culture for healthy living is like introducing “No Smoking Areas” in restaurants in the 1980’s It takes a long time to catch on. When I was a young manager the idea of no smoking was totally alien to most of my colleagues along with allowing children into pubs and restaurants.
How times and attitudes change, now is your opportunity to help drive a healthy living revolution.
It is well known that encouraging people to be healthier and to exercise more, will develop a more positive working environment, People enjoy sharing their activity experience, employees will respond positively to some time out for lunch time activity with the benefit that this drives up energy levels and productivity especially later in the day. employees who have a workout early in the day will be much more energetic and positive thinking when they arrive at work, unlike their colleagues who turn up with coffee and doughnuts to kick start their day.
There is nothing better than enjoying a brisk workout like a run or high energy class after work to work off the stress of a busy day and clear the head, ready for a good nights sleep.
So how can you make it real, encourage discussion around the following topics and offer positive encouragement when recognising individual effort to make a change. In most cases taking the decision to start exercising or losing weight will have been a big decision not taken lightly.
1. Talk about exercise,
2. Discuss if your lunch options are healthy,
3. Encourage group activities,
4. Learn how to support people who are reluctant or too embarrassed to change,
5. learn how to recognise at-risk people and find way’s to support them.
If this is out of your comfort zone ask a professional for guidance in developing a wellbeing programme which is easy to implement.
As an example I was involved in one organisations decision to support a Charity ride event by employees cycling from London to Paris. We trained 10 non cyclists alongside 10 active cyclists for the 250 mile ride over a period of six months. The company benefitted from the increased camaraderie of the workforce, enjoyed the extra energy and bathed in the satisfaction that they had supported 10 people in changing their lives as well as raising £15000 for a worthy cancer charity. The company site involved has one the best site financial results in the group.
Bottom line and main benefits to your organisation or small company will be less sick days and cost as people become healthier, higher energy levels at work with improved productivity.