Page 8 - Scene Magazine 42-07 July 2017
P. 8

Healthy Employees
The trend seems to be health. In fact, the older the workforce becomes the more I see a focus on health. Groups are forming for healthy reasons. Conversations are being had at our office about recipes, exercise activities, creating menus, alternative options for health, and just recently, oils of all kinds. I for one think it is valuable to be able to learn from everyone at our office about both the successes and the “oops” moments.
But it does bring to mind a ques- tion. How can an employer help their employees focus on health?
A workplace health and
wellbeing program could be just what your company needs. It refers to activities or initiatives that are designed to make healthy choices easy choices in your workplace, and have a
positive impact on the general health and wellbeing of your employees. These programs may also have a positive influence on the health and wellbeing of your employees’ families and communities.
A workplace health and wellbeing program does not have to be expensive or consume significant resources, and it can bring considerable rewards to your organization. A healthy workplace will also complement your workplace
safety systems by supporting the health and vitality of your workforce. There is solid evidence that health and wellbe- ing programs can improve employee productivity and efficiency and therefore your business bottom line.
Typically, a program may focus
on healthy eating, physical activity, sedentary behavior, social and emo- tional wellbeing, smoking cessation and minimizing alcohol and drug use.
How you do this depends on the needs of your employees and the culture of your workplace. While the small business might not be able to build and staff their own exercise room at the office they might be able to offer gym memberships or join up with other exercise groups at lunch or after work. Maybe the small business cannot afford to have a nurse on staff but they might be able to support their staff with chiropractic, or other wellness care, options. Possibly a nutritionist might be a bit much to expect for a small business to offer but maybe staff can get together to talk about new recipes, or share new foods that they have tried. As the staff works diligently to get healthy together it also creates accountability in a new way. The net effect is simply positive and I can
say that it is partially because of my
co-workers that I continually strive to stay healthier.
Clearly then, the workplace can
have a direct influence on the health of their employees – this may include their physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The impact can extend beyond personal health to families and the community
at large. Promoting good health in the workplace therefore offers the oppor- tunity to create positive health changes in a very wide audience. It’s no surprise then that the World Health Organization has identified the workplace as ‘one of the priority settings for health promotion into the 21st century.’
This trend seems to be catching some footing in the larger corporations as well. Building a Culture of Health:
A New Imperative for Business was
the theme of a recent conference co- chaired by John Quelch, a professor
at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Business School (HBS), and Howard Koh, Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at Harvard Chan. Nearly 300 business, policy,
and academic leaders attended the invitation-only conference. The goal was to explore whether companies can improve their footprint for the benefit of society as well as their bottom line.

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