We all know the holidays wreck havoc with our diets and stress levels. That makes workplace wellness efforts more important than ever during the holiday season!
“The busy holiday season can lead to poor food choices, a decrease in physical activity levels, and heightened stress levels. If not properly managed, these habits can lead to unwanted weight gain, decreased productivity, and other health issues, according to a press release MediFit released last year, ‘MediFit Releases Holiday Corporate Health & Wellness Infographic.‘”
Americans spend at least a third of the day at work. Provide easy ways for employees to make healthier choices such as the chance to work out at lunch, healthy food choices in the vending machines and cafeterias and flextime to help with family demands during the holidays. It will help employees and your business!
According to MediFit:
“By implementing health programs for employee education and use, employers can see a boost in corporate health, morale, and productivity as the year draws to a close.”
This infographic advocates maintaining weight during the holiday season, and not gaining. It may be unrealistic to lose weight during this festive time, but employees can strive not to increase weight.
By eating healthy, staying active, and managing stress, employees can maintain rather than gain. And employers can help by instituting and/or continuing workplace wellness activities. Investing in wellness often provides important additional benefits such as improved engagement and community building.
Other ideas employers can try include:
- Color-code cafeteria menu items as healthy, moderate, or eat sparingly, for less healthy items.
- Conduct wellness workshops based on your population needs – heart-health, cooking-lite, weight-watcher’s club, etc.
- Hold standing or walking meetings.
- Provide opportunities for employees to get-out and volunteer. It’s the perfect time to ring the bell for the Salvation Army, work at the local food pantry, deliver holiday meals or shovel for the elderly.
- Sponsor company teams for Turkey Trot and Holiday Runs. Provide free t-shirts. Consider covering the cost of participation.
- Offer rewards—such as free gift wrapping—for completing wellness activities.
To help minimize holiday stress, Barbara J. Stark, director of education and community development for American Debt Counseling, Inc., offers ideas employers can use to make this hectic time easier and more affordable for employees, in “Minimizing Stress in the Workplace During the Holidays”:
- If you’re planning a party, consider a casual dress or business attire dress code so employees won’t have to purchase a new outfit.
- Implement a dollar limit for any Secret Santa gift programs.
- Consider scheduling holiday events during normal business hours so employees don’t have to give up free time.
- Offer flexible hours so employees can run errands such as holiday shopping or mailing at the post office.
- If your business is slower during the holidays, it might be a good time to allow time for employees to pursue volunteer opportunities during work hours.
Even if you don’t implement these ideas, it’s still important to remind employees of your company’s Employee Assistance and Wellness programs and that they’re offered year-round!
Stark advises making your company’s program information readily available.
“It is a good idea to have those programs in place, along with resource brochures or website addresses, so that employees don’t have to ask where to turn to for help,” she writes.
Wellness programs should address both physical and mental wellbeing — help your employees maintain both so they can enjoy the holiday season!
For an in-depth guide to building a vibrant, everyday culture of workplace gratitude, download our FREE eBook, “Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude.” You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!
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