January 04, 2012 by
Happy new year and welcome to our first blog post of 2012!
Something about the changing of the calendar year makes it a magical time. It symbolizes a fresh start for many people, hence, the tradition of making resolutions.
In the workplace, this presents a great opportunity to introduce, reinforce or promote initiatives. I can’t think of any other time when people are generally receptive and open to new ideas.
Find a way to tie it in with your employees’ new year’s resolutions and you’ve got yourself an easy win. Supporting employees’ new year’s resolutions can be beneficial to your organization in more ways than one. It can help improve your employer brand, boost morale and increase participation for key initiatives. This can translate to increased revenues resulting from an energized employee base and lower costs.
Getting fit, eating healthy and losing weight are not only among the most common new year’s resolutions in America, achieving these things can directly impact an organization. Studies show that energetic employees are more productive. Improving general health can also lower healthcare costs and reduce absenteeism due to illness.
You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on health and wellness programs to support these resolutions. Here are some suggestions you can implement for your own organization, some taken directly from the netPolarity playbook. Enjoy!
Encourage employees to form exercise groups.
Here at netPolarity, our employees take advantage of nearby trails and parks to keep fit. We have several groups that run at lunch, and a group that plays basketball after work. This not only helps keep energy levels up, it builds camaraderie and reinforces the team mentality which is critical to our business.
Encourage employees to form weight-loss support groups.
Goals are always easier to achieve when you have support from your peers. Same is true for weight-loss, which is why groups like Weight Watchers and apps like myfitnesspal.com are so effective. These groups are easy to form in the workplace if you have enough people with the same goals (and chances are, you do). Just by virtue of being around each other, dieting employees can encourage each other, trade recipes, share lunches. Most importantly, having a weight-loss group at work provides crisis support. A dieting employee with an unsatisfied hankering for a chocolate bar at 2pm can be a cranky and unpleasant person to be around and can negatively impact everyone else. Having a support group to talk that person out of that craving can help save that employee’s waist line and everyone else’s day.
Make weight-loss fun by doing a contest, a la Biggest Loser. Participants put x-dollars into a pot, person who loses the most percentage body fat wins the whole thing. Ten people paying $50 each makes for a $500 prize — a nice sum to win — on top of achieving goals. Weight-loss contests not only provide a fun way to support employees in their weight-loss goals, it can also help spark that competitive spirit in them.
Reinforce the message through internal communications.
If you have an employee newsletter or an intranet for internal communications, wellness topics can be an infinite source of content. From low-calorie/cholesterol/fat recipes, to exercise tips, the possibilities are limited only by your creativity.
Here at netPolarity, we publish a “Do List” on Fridays, which features ideas for weekend activities, encouraging our employees to “go outside and play.” The idea is that fun, active weekends make for a happy back-to-work Monday. (Need any ideas for your own Do List? You can sign up to receive ours! I promise not to send you anything else and my feelings won’t get hurt if you unsubscribe.)
Got any employee health and wellness ideas to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below or email me: lisaa at netpolarity dot com.
Lisa Amorao is netPolarity’s marketing manager, blog admin, lead Twitter skipper and a self-proclaimed weekend adventurist. Lisa’s staffing industry experience spans more than 12 years, with roles in recruiting and account management leading up to her marketing career.
You can connect with Lisa on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter: @netPolarity.