Health and Fitness: Year-Round Employee Engagement
Attitudes are changing about health and fitness in the workplace, not only for employees, but employers too. Employers are learning the value of a healthy workplace leading to a healthy workforce. To encourage this healthy behavior, employers are increasingly offering benefits such as preventative health care to their employees.
While once a year health checkups bring awareness to employees and promote healthy living, imagine the ROI of keeping health and fitness engagement continuing throughout the year. If longterm health and fitness are truly your company goal, then this post is for you!
Introducing Oh My Green’s twelve-months of Blissed-Out Fitness Plan, designed to keep employees and employers engaged together with a common fitness goal of feeling your best, all year round!
January: Healthy Office Thinking and Practice
Before putting together plans to get your office crew in shape, think about the where, what, how, and why of health and fitness. Health professionals uniformly tell us health and fitness are a lifestyle. Look to someone in your life that you consider to be healthy. How do they go about their business?
Most likely they have a lifestyle including a well thought out diet of nutritious foods, a general plan for exercising throughout the week, a reasonable understanding of how their body and mind work, and a good outlook and understanding of how work, family, and themselves fit into the picture of their daily routine.
Chances are if you asked how they do it they’d shoot you a quizzical look. Most people with healthy and fit lifestyles started far from where you see them today. Their habits and lifestyle choices are a result of routines put in place from years of good habits. It’s organic to their way of life.
Practicing healthy office thinking needs the same attention. Nutrition, exercise, and education all go in the mix making effective ways to move teams and team-members towards healthy living. It needs to be organic.
February: Assessment and Goals
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan for fitness. Each person starts at their own level, will advance at their own pace, and have their own set of goals. That doesn’t mean there aren’t common standards to look at to figure health and fitness – there are. Just like there are ways to make goals less personal and more meaningful too.
Perhaps the biggest barrier in the way of healthy and fit living for most is overcoming personal body image. It’s difficult to imagine a person changing their body if first they can’t change their minds. Assessment and goals consider body-image, overall goals, and the gap between the starting point and the desired end.
This should be for the company as well as the individual team members. Does the company offer nutritious food selections on-site? Does the company offer exercise opportunity on-site? What is the company’s overall stress level, the company’s overall attitude on physical and mental fitness, and what about wellness? Are any of these things out of line with overall health and fitness? If they are, what can be done to bring them in line.
Joining overall, tangible, company assessment and goal outcomes and individual team members goals and assessments unifies a vision of health and fitness. This makes participation less a personal assessment and more an overarching team goal.
March: Exercise Education and Training
The basics of exercise include definitions of intensity, frequency, and duration. Like assessment and goals, there is no single prescription of exercise for everyone. Exercise ability depends on capacity, fitness levels, and understanding. Let’s get realistic here – most offices don’t have many Olympic level athletes requiring elaborate training equipment and education. But everyone interested in exercise and fitness should understand how exercise works and what the benefits are.
Look to leverage in-house expertise for education and training. If you have someone who is committed to exercise and fitness as a lifestyle, have them share their knowledge. If you don’t, contact local gyms and fitness facilities. Most facilities have trainers who are more than happy to lend a hand educating people interested in fitness. They’ll want to recruit clients, so the motivation is built in.
April: Nutrition Education and Training?
What is the caloric content for the human body? Where can good calories be found? What makes a good calorie? Answering these questions makes good food choices easier.
There is no shortage of bad food calories in today’s modern diet. Navigating this food maze takes education and training. Making this training and education in the office is a benefit to all.
Consult a nutritionist to give a training and education session at the office. You can also keep information available daily for team members to refer too. Posters, pamphlets, and access to quality nutrition in kitchen and break areas set a companywide appreciation for good nutrition.
May: Mental Health Awareness
Mental health is often neglected in health talk sessions and programs intended to help employees. But statistics show large numbers of adults in America, and around the world suffer from ￼depression. Stress and anxiety also make the rounds routinely.
This month is a great opportunity to talk about mindful exercises and stress relief techniques in the office. You can schedule a mental health professional to give a short workday session, and you can invite a meditation expert to offer a class of tips and techniques.
There are a wide array of mental health issues facing people today. By bringing the conversation to the office you reduce the negative stigma associated with depression and other illnesses of the mind.
June: New Summer Adventures
By the time June rolls around you’ve got good momentum heading into summer activities. If you’re in a colder climate these are the months of longer days and warmer temperatures. Time to get outside.
Look for new opportunities to get people involved in outside activity. Beach runs and swims. Softball and volleyball. Bicycling. Fitness runs. All great ideas to get outside and enjoy the sun. It is also a great time to reinforce healthy living and fitness as families begin to start off on their summer vacations.
July: Family and Friends Involvement
Living a healthy lifestyle is 24/7. That makes getting families involved an important factor. July is a month of company picnics and outings. That’s a great opportunity to introduce family and friends to some of the education and ideas employees have benefited from.
It’s also a time to invite family members to attend a company sponsored fitness activity like a 5k or fun run. If you get families involved in healthy living, the benefit you’re giving employees reaches beyond the office and any path they may choose down the line. You’re helping make healthy living organic for them.
August: Coaching Sessions
Now you’re in full swing with a companywide fitness effort. For the past seven months, you’ve engaged and informed employees with healthy living plans. You’ve introduced the company as actively participating in employee wellness. And you’ve helped people raise their fitness and health levels.
It’s time to step up the game by talking health and fitness coaching. Going back to March’s exercise planning, reach out to gyms and trainers to offer more formal sessions. Whether you do the sessions in the office, or simply make scheduling available is your call.
September: Body Awareness
Fitness includes awareness of health issues. In September help employees realize the benefits of self-examinations for abnormal lumps or other tell-tale signs something needs medical attention.
This is also a great time to sponsor an in-house health screening. Get cholesterol and A1C levels and do a simple stress test determining potential problem areas. It’s also a great time to recognize employees that have come a distance towards their goals.
You also get numbers you can work with in the upcoming year.
October: Healthy Cooking Classes
Backing up April’s nutrition information, October is the chance to explore new ways of preparing food. The fall is traditionally the harvest season. Traditional cornucopias of food and feasting begin to fill the imagery of advertising. It’s a great time of fine-tuning employee’s aspects of healthy shopping and healthy cooking.
It’s also a great time to bring in different cultural aspects of food preparation. Open sessions of cross-cultural cooking events. This is a great time for employee engagement around food.
November: Holiday Health Planning
Fall is in full swing and holiday parties are just around the corner. This is the time where temptations may exceed determination. Taking the time now helping employees realize gains made throughout the year and offering “staying on track” insights are most meaningful here.
Revisit the ideas in fitness, nutrition, exercise, and coaching to show how to navigate the holidays smartly. Make sure that holidays are a time of festivities, and festivities are fun. With the new insights everyone has about health and fitness, those fun festivities can be healthy too.
December: New Adventures for Winter
In the North, the slopes are fresh with powder and the days are getting shorter. It’s time to think about activities that happen in the winter.
Indoor basketball, volleyball, and outdoor ski trips come to mind. Round out the year with a celebration and good fun too. Take all you’ve learned and put it into practice.
Next month, do it all again!
Employee Health and Fitness: Being a Company Partner
Health, fitness, and wellness are ideas on every manager’s mind in some form. Whether you’re considering how to make the office a haven for health or simply looking to introduce simple ideas for employee wellness, health concerns are key to costs and productivity.
This 12-month employee fitness plan is designed to help you engage employees throughout the year. By keeping employee health and fitness front and center monthly the company becomes a partner in healthy lifestyles.
It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Share and share alike!
Thanks for reading.