During the summer months, we seem to get inspired to work out more and get in better shape. Summer is also a perfect time to foster an atmosphere of health and well-being in the workplace.
Here are some of the initiatives we've found to be effective in promoting a healthy office:
Hold a Health Fair — Create a fun and educational day focusing on health. Bring local vendors into the office to offer free massages, exercise classes, stress reduction workshops and other activities. You might also invite family members of employees to attend.
Establish a mediation or yoga group so employees can learn breathing techniques and other ways to de-stress.
Start a walking club. You don't need to have access to a fitness club to get in shape. Organize a group for a daily or weekly walk first thing in the morning, during lunch or after work. By exercising together, people will get more motivated, and get to know each other better.
Invite your benefits provider to come in and educate employees about prevention benefits they can access. Many health plans offer memberships to weight-loss programs or health clubs for free or reduced costs. Some also provide health education or web-based information.
Create your own weight-loss clinic. If you can get enough interest, Weight Watchers or other organizations might provide workshops right in your office. Set group goals that you can work together to achieve.
Getting healthy together is a great motivator, and can reinforce a strong sense of community in the workplace. Not only will it help everyone feel better, but it can also help decrease absenteeism and increase productivity.
I'd love to hear about some of the workplace wellness programs that have worked well in your office. Please include your comments below.
NANCY MOBLEY is founder and CEO of Insight Performance, a human resource consulting firm focused on emerging and mid-market companies. Clients include biotech, medical device, manufacturing, banks and technology companies. @InsightPerf