As an employer, the health of your staff should be at the forefront of your mind. And, encouraging your employees to eat healthier food is one of the best ways to tackle lots of issues in the workplace.
People that eat wholesome, nutritious foods are far more productive than those that don’t. Good food also helps the brain work more efficiently, and healthy people have fewer days off sick than those who don’t take care of themselves.
It makes sense, then, to give your staff all they need to make better choices with regards to the food they eat at work. Here are some ideas that can help you encourage healthier eating in the workplace.
Keep it in-house
If you have space, make sure you have a staff restaurant that serves tasty, wholesome, nutritious food. If your employees are always going out for lunch, you have no idea what they might be eating. Even a store-bought sandwich can have as much as 600 calories – and some salads aren’t that much better. Providing excellent catering facilities will encourage your staff to stay at work over lunchtime. And, you will be able to have more of a say as to what they consume.
Order your canteen
On the subject of staff kitchens, ask your caterer to look into arranging their meal options the right way. A school study found that when healthy food was easier for children to reach, they were more likely to choose that option. It’s simple behavioral psychology – you are presenting better choices for people to make. It’s worth looking into as the result can have powerful benefits.
There’s a reason why your community doctor has so many health posters up at their practice – it’s because they work. You should consider doing something similar in your workplace. Putting up posters or health information will attract the eye. And, even at a subconscious level, it can make a genuine difference. It’s a low-cost, high-impact method that can bring excellent results regarding the eating habits of many of your staff.
Don’t stop at creating posters – you can also go a lot further to encourage healthy eating. You can offer employees plenty of material or resources on how to eat well. Point out that healthy eating can save them money, too – and the impact it can have on their performance. You can also go so far as to give them meal planning advice or healthy shopping lists. While it might seem like a step too far for some, there is no denying this country has healthy eating crisis. And, as an employer, you will see plenty of benefits from providing materials to your staff for little cost.
Choose better suppliers
As a business owner, you are responsible for everything that comes into your company from suppliers. Food should be no different. Make sure you find the healthiest suppliers of food products that you can, whether for your canteen or your snack machine. You could find out about Hampton Creek products, for example, or a local supplier of health foods in your area. Create a space for the healthier options, and employees will respond in a positive way.
Healthy snacks at work desks
Many modern, forward-thinking companies are starting to supply employees with fresh fruit and snacks every day. You can put a fruit bowl on every desk, and ensure that everyone is within walking distance of a water dispenser. You will you be giving your staff a healthier alternative to the snack machine. And, you will be boosting productivity by cutting down on the time spent traveling to and from eating areas.
Incentivize healthy eating
Having a healthy eating policy can bring plenty of rewards – including a lot of recognition. It’s a good idea, then, to look around for some healthy employer awards, which are becoming more common every year. It will help employees focus on their eating and also brings everyone together t do something for the company’s benefit. More people than ever before are beginning to value companies with similar outlooks to their own. So, by getting recognition for healthy eating in the workplace, you will also be expanding your market reach.
Include healthy eating in your policy
Of course, saying how you want your employees to eat healthy food is one thing. But why not go the whole hog and include it in your company policy as a goal? It shows your team members that you have a commitment in the healthy eating arena. And, it will be a constant reminder that you have their best interests at heart. Not many companies do this these days – particularly in the SME sector. It can make an enormous difference, though, when you are trying to attract the best talent.
Hire specialist speakers
No business owner is shy of hiring motivational speakers that encourage sales teams to ‘smash’ their targets. It’s all about the money, after all. But fewer business owners would even consider hiring a health food specialist to speak at a company event. The benefits of doing so speak for themselves. When you are trying to make more profit, it is your bottom line that counts more than the number of sales you make. And, as every business leader should know, employee costs can make up an extraordinary amount of that bottom line. Give people the right environment and they will work harder for you, be better at their jobs, and take fewer days off sick. No sales motivational speech will give you all that.
Form a fit club
Businesses all over the country are taking a lot more interest in the health of their employees these days. And, one popular way of focusing on this important subject is by creating a fitness club. You could bring in the likes of Weight Watchers, for example, or another weight management program. Make sure you reward those that are succeeding in their goals, too.
If you want a healthier, more productive workplace, the onus is on you to deliver. Follow these tips and you should see some success in this area. And, with a little luck, you will create a healthy environment and an attractive place to work.
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