Create a 'Culture of Well-being' at Work

Reviewed Oct 9, 2018

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Summary

  • Find like-minded people and work together.
  • Use an intranet, bulletin boards and other internal communications to start groups with common health goals.
  • Contests for wellness can be fun as well as constructive.

Employers everywhere are learning that a healthy workplace is good for business. But, it’s up to the employees to make a “culture of well-being” a reality. Management can set up programs, hold contests, offer discounts, block out time for fitness, or put healthy snacks in the vending machine. That effort is wasted if you don’t take advantage of it.

So what can you do? Take part in the health promotion programs that your company offers. If you need to lose weight and your employer holds a contest to see how many pounds a group can lose, join in the fun. If you can get a health club discount, take it. If your company has a gym, use it.

Healthy activities can also happen at a local level, so here are tips for crafting your own programs. Be sure to get management approval for any effort that uses company property or that goes on during company time.

Start clubs

You’re your own boss when it comes to your health. Strictly speaking, you don’t need someone else to make you eat right or get the exercise you need. But if you need support there’s nothing like a like-minded group to pull you along. Working in groups also is vital if you want to start a culture of well-being, where fitness and healthy eating become workplace customs.

One way to get such a culture off the ground, says organizational development expert Simma Lieberman, is to network with the communication tools already at hand, like an intranet or bulletin boards. Find out who’s game, say, for taking walks. You could start a walking club this way, she says, that “would walk either before or after work or during lunchtime.” To recruit more people, club members could blog about their results or post on social media. They could also ask each member to bring a friend.

Don’t forget that old networking standby, the lunch room. If two or more people there talk and find that they all want to quit smoking or lose weight, they have the makings of a group effort.  

Hold contests for fun and health

As long as management gives the go-ahead, there’s no reason why workers can’t hold health-related contests of their own.

Rick Thompson, a human resources manager at a Chicago-based medical cost-containment firm, says he once worked at a company where workers organized a “group weigh-in” using a 5,000-pound-capacity scale in the warehouse. “They came up with two teams with 10 people on each … and they had a bet to see which team could lose the most collective weight.” The contest was a winning deal for both sides, Thompson says: “At the end of three months, each team had lost over 150 pounds.”

See what local fitness centers (or farmers) can offer

Employees, just like employers, can negotiate group deals at health clubs and arrange to have classes taught at the workplace. Sallie Morgensen, who works in human resources at a small, online bargain-hunting site, says a Zumba teacher from a nearby fitness center comes by to hold after-work classes at the company’s site. She suggests that employees “go on their own to a Y or a gym and ask, ‘If we have so many people, could you give us a discount?’”

The Internet is another shopping resource. Thompson says a group of employees at his company went online to find a group discount on Zumba and cardio-kickboxing classes at a local gym.

A group effort can also bring healthier food into the workplace. Thompson says a group of employees at his company “pitched in to buy fresh produce from a local organic farmer.” Groups of employees can pool their resources and save trips to the store by signing up for weekly deliveries of fruits and vegetables. On the Web, search “produce delivery” or “organic produce delivery” and the name of your state or city to see if this service is available where you work.

If you can’t get healthy food delivered from a local farm, bring healthy snacks to work or set up a brown-bag group to try new lunch recipes. 

You can get on the road to a healthier life by involving your co-workers.

By Tom Gray
Source: Simma Lieberman, President, Simma Lieberman Associates, Berkeley, CA; Rick Thompson, Vice President of Talent Management and Administration, Rising Medical Solutions Inc., Chicago, IL; Sallie Morgensen, Human Resources Generalist, FatWallet, Rockton, IL

Summary

  • Find like-minded people and work together.
  • Use an intranet, bulletin boards and other internal communications to start groups with common health goals.
  • Contests for wellness can be fun as well as constructive.

Employers everywhere are learning that a healthy workplace is good for business. But, it’s up to the employees to make a “culture of well-being” a reality. Management can set up programs, hold contests, offer discounts, block out time for fitness, or put healthy snacks in the vending machine. That effort is wasted if you don’t take advantage of it.

So what can you do? Take part in the health promotion programs that your company offers. If you need to lose weight and your employer holds a contest to see how many pounds a group can lose, join in the fun. If you can get a health club discount, take it. If your company has a gym, use it.

Healthy activities can also happen at a local level, so here are tips for crafting your own programs. Be sure to get management approval for any effort that uses company property or that goes on during company time.

Start clubs

You’re your own boss when it comes to your health. Strictly speaking, you don’t need someone else to make you eat right or get the exercise you need. But if you need support there’s nothing like a like-minded group to pull you along. Working in groups also is vital if you want to start a culture of well-being, where fitness and healthy eating become workplace customs.

One way to get such a culture off the ground, says organizational development expert Simma Lieberman, is to network with the communication tools already at hand, like an intranet or bulletin boards. Find out who’s game, say, for taking walks. You could start a walking club this way, she says, that “would walk either before or after work or during lunchtime.” To recruit more people, club members could blog about their results or post on social media. They could also ask each member to bring a friend.

Don’t forget that old networking standby, the lunch room. If two or more people there talk and find that they all want to quit smoking or lose weight, they have the makings of a group effort.  

Hold contests for fun and health

As long as management gives the go-ahead, there’s no reason why workers can’t hold health-related contests of their own.

Rick Thompson, a human resources manager at a Chicago-based medical cost-containment firm, says he once worked at a company where workers organized a “group weigh-in” using a 5,000-pound-capacity scale in the warehouse. “They came up with two teams with 10 people on each … and they had a bet to see which team could lose the most collective weight.” The contest was a winning deal for both sides, Thompson says: “At the end of three months, each team had lost over 150 pounds.”

See what local fitness centers (or farmers) can offer

Employees, just like employers, can negotiate group deals at health clubs and arrange to have classes taught at the workplace. Sallie Morgensen, who works in human resources at a small, online bargain-hunting site, says a Zumba teacher from a nearby fitness center comes by to hold after-work classes at the company’s site. She suggests that employees “go on their own to a Y or a gym and ask, ‘If we have so many people, could you give us a discount?’”

The Internet is another shopping resource. Thompson says a group of employees at his company went online to find a group discount on Zumba and cardio-kickboxing classes at a local gym.

A group effort can also bring healthier food into the workplace. Thompson says a group of employees at his company “pitched in to buy fresh produce from a local organic farmer.” Groups of employees can pool their resources and save trips to the store by signing up for weekly deliveries of fruits and vegetables. On the Web, search “produce delivery” or “organic produce delivery” and the name of your state or city to see if this service is available where you work.

If you can’t get healthy food delivered from a local farm, bring healthy snacks to work or set up a brown-bag group to try new lunch recipes. 

You can get on the road to a healthier life by involving your co-workers.

By Tom Gray
Source: Simma Lieberman, President, Simma Lieberman Associates, Berkeley, CA; Rick Thompson, Vice President of Talent Management and Administration, Rising Medical Solutions Inc., Chicago, IL; Sallie Morgensen, Human Resources Generalist, FatWallet, Rockton, IL

Summary

  • Find like-minded people and work together.
  • Use an intranet, bulletin boards and other internal communications to start groups with common health goals.
  • Contests for wellness can be fun as well as constructive.

Employers everywhere are learning that a healthy workplace is good for business. But, it’s up to the employees to make a “culture of well-being” a reality. Management can set up programs, hold contests, offer discounts, block out time for fitness, or put healthy snacks in the vending machine. That effort is wasted if you don’t take advantage of it.

So what can you do? Take part in the health promotion programs that your company offers. If you need to lose weight and your employer holds a contest to see how many pounds a group can lose, join in the fun. If you can get a health club discount, take it. If your company has a gym, use it.

Healthy activities can also happen at a local level, so here are tips for crafting your own programs. Be sure to get management approval for any effort that uses company property or that goes on during company time.

Start clubs

You’re your own boss when it comes to your health. Strictly speaking, you don’t need someone else to make you eat right or get the exercise you need. But if you need support there’s nothing like a like-minded group to pull you along. Working in groups also is vital if you want to start a culture of well-being, where fitness and healthy eating become workplace customs.

One way to get such a culture off the ground, says organizational development expert Simma Lieberman, is to network with the communication tools already at hand, like an intranet or bulletin boards. Find out who’s game, say, for taking walks. You could start a walking club this way, she says, that “would walk either before or after work or during lunchtime.” To recruit more people, club members could blog about their results or post on social media. They could also ask each member to bring a friend.

Don’t forget that old networking standby, the lunch room. If two or more people there talk and find that they all want to quit smoking or lose weight, they have the makings of a group effort.  

Hold contests for fun and health

As long as management gives the go-ahead, there’s no reason why workers can’t hold health-related contests of their own.

Rick Thompson, a human resources manager at a Chicago-based medical cost-containment firm, says he once worked at a company where workers organized a “group weigh-in” using a 5,000-pound-capacity scale in the warehouse. “They came up with two teams with 10 people on each … and they had a bet to see which team could lose the most collective weight.” The contest was a winning deal for both sides, Thompson says: “At the end of three months, each team had lost over 150 pounds.”

See what local fitness centers (or farmers) can offer

Employees, just like employers, can negotiate group deals at health clubs and arrange to have classes taught at the workplace. Sallie Morgensen, who works in human resources at a small, online bargain-hunting site, says a Zumba teacher from a nearby fitness center comes by to hold after-work classes at the company’s site. She suggests that employees “go on their own to a Y or a gym and ask, ‘If we have so many people, could you give us a discount?’”

The Internet is another shopping resource. Thompson says a group of employees at his company went online to find a group discount on Zumba and cardio-kickboxing classes at a local gym.

A group effort can also bring healthier food into the workplace. Thompson says a group of employees at his company “pitched in to buy fresh produce from a local organic farmer.” Groups of employees can pool their resources and save trips to the store by signing up for weekly deliveries of fruits and vegetables. On the Web, search “produce delivery” or “organic produce delivery” and the name of your state or city to see if this service is available where you work.

If you can’t get healthy food delivered from a local farm, bring healthy snacks to work or set up a brown-bag group to try new lunch recipes. 

You can get on the road to a healthier life by involving your co-workers.

By Tom Gray
Source: Simma Lieberman, President, Simma Lieberman Associates, Berkeley, CA; Rick Thompson, Vice President of Talent Management and Administration, Rising Medical Solutions Inc., Chicago, IL; Sallie Morgensen, Human Resources Generalist, FatWallet, Rockton, IL

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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