Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wellness at the Workplace--Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Wellness at the Workplace has always been such an important topic to me, especially since life can be full of so many stressors that we have to deal with, both in our personal and our professional lives. So, I've decided to throw out a few suggestions as to what an employer, or manager could do to help improve the climate at the workplace.  Of course, any of the workers could also get something started.  I just feel that if more bosses tried to help their workers with their mental and physical health, the rewards that would come back to them and to the workplace would be well worth any effort made.  It would be time and effort well spent, a win-win situation.

Here are my suggestions for the boss:
1.  Learn everyone's name, first and last, (and the correct spelling), as soon as possible.  While you're at it, find out what everyone is passionate about.  Don't forget to share your passion as well.

2.  Put everyone's birthdates on your calendar, and acknowledge each one of those birthdays.  Is there a way that person could be treated special?  Leave work 15 minutes early? Have a latte delivered? Receive a card signed by everyone?  What about celebrating 'half birthdays'?  That could be a lot of fun.  There could be just 1/2 of a cake, and then the serving sizes would be more realistic too!  I know, I'm a bit overboard at times on the moderation/wellness thing.

3.  Some insurance companies cover a weight loss program, such as Weight Watchers.  If enough people get on board, Weight Watchers might even hold meetings at the workplace.  Some businesses are starting 'Biggest Losser' competitions, and pass around a trophy each week to the person who lost the largest percentage of weight. 

4.  Along those same lines, it's fun to share healthy recipes.  There could be a board located in a central area, where people could post recipes.  Or, how about a healthy lunch potluck.  Bring a dish, bring the recipe.

5.  It's easy to have a salad bar or a potato bar lunch, where everyone signs up to bring one of the ingredients.  As an added bonus, activities like this can help build camaraderie.

6.  During the dreary months, when moods are especially low, it's fun to offer a 'Secret Pals' activity.  Have a form for people to fill out, if they're interested, listing favorite snack, beverage, magazine, candy bar, fruit, hobby, etc.  This activity works best if the person organizing the activity does NOT have a secret pal, and administers the activity, keeping track of who picked whose name, and perhaps even delivering the gifts for them.

7.  Is there somewhere in the budget where the boss can make sure there's a basket of fresh fruit always in plain view, and offered gratis to the employees?  Or, could there be one day a month when a fresh piece of fruit is delivered to every employee's mailbox or desk?  Again, the costs can often outweigh the benefit of having a happier staff. 

8.  How about having a little fun at the beginning of a staff meeting?  You could share a joke;  people could be encouraged to share what's going on in their lives;  there could be a drawing;  use your imagination.

9.  Set a precidence with (voluntary) blood pressure checks, perhaps on a 'Wellness Wednesday'.  The local hospital might know of someone who would be willing to stop by and do that for you free of charge, once a month.

10. Furnish a board in the lunchroom where staff can feature pictures of their loved ones, and pets.

This is getting long, but there is so much more to say.  Look for part two, coming soon.  Meanwhile, I hope things are going well for you as you continue to work on your own personal wellness goals. 

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