Employers12 December 2018

What does a healthy workplace achieve?

Emma
Emma
Author

A healthy workplace is good for everyone. There’s a huge link between productivity and health, and healthy employees aren’t just less likely to take fewer ‘sick days,’ they’ll be less stressed, more likely to stick around longer, and be much more productive, and engaged. If you’re managing a team, encouraging a healthy workplace is really important.

The Australian Government has identified five key areas that make a healthy workplace.

According to the Healthy Workers website, the five key achievements that mark a healthy workplace include: encouraging employees to eat well, move more, maintain a healthy weight, be smoke-free, and reduce consumption of alcohol. Read on for tips on how to do this.

1. Encourage workers to eat well

Fresh fruit and healthy snacks in the workplace are one way you can encourage workers to eat well. A monthly (or weekly) fruit box doesn’t cost a huge amount and helps staff feel rewarded too. If you’re a team leader in charge of organising a monthly morning tea or birthday event for a staff member, make sure there are some sugar-free options available and remember to cater for those with dietary requirements.

2. Encourage workers to move more

Whether you send a weekly update encouraging staff to use stairs rather than the lift if they’re just going one or two floors, or by ensuring everyone takes their lunch breaks away from the desk, there’s lots of little ways you can encourage staff to keep their bodies moving. Using fitness-based performance incentives such as a gym membership or a fitbit could work well, too. And pat staff on the back when they walk more or achieve health goals. By rewarding healthy behaviour, you create a much healthier workplace culture.

3. Encourage workers to maintain a healthy weight

Again, keep the cakes, pies, and pastries out of the weekly or monthly team catch-ups, and focus on healthy snacks. Also encouraging work-life balance (such as leaving work on time) is another great way to ensure your workplace has a healthy culture.

4. Encourage workers to be smoke-free

Help your teams to become smoke free, by actively supporting quit smoking initiatives. This can be done via time off for doctors appointments and counselling sessions, providing appropriate and helpful resources, and celebrating milestones and successes as team members navigate the quit smoking journey.

5. Encourage workers to reduce consumption of alcohol

If you’re in charge of the social club, don’t make every event alcohol-related. And definitely don’t just include alcohol-based performance incentives or gifts in the workplace. Try rewarding staff with a nice lunch out in a healthy restaurant or a trip to the movies or an early knock-off so they can spend more time with their families.

A healthy workplace means healthy and motivated staff who are going to stay with your organisation longer and be more productive. It makes financial sense to keep everyone healthy.

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