Making Time For Employee Health Programs

[hr class="shadow"] [gap height="20"] With the implementation of employee health programs it’s often easy to forget that health is a lifelong commitment for most employees. Simply rolling out bunting and launching a nutrition fair won’t move the dial in most instances for the individual. [gap height="20"] In many cases this approach is often counterproductive despite the company’s honorable intentions. This simple introduces a cycle of; start, fail, repeat for the employee. Worryingly, this may also demotivate employees who then become disenchanted and unmotivated. Whilst these initiatives are well intentioned, for true change to occur we need to create healthy habits that can be easily incorporate into the employee’s normal routine. We also need time. [gap height="20"] For the typical worker with busy deadlines, family commitments, financial worries and a BMI over 25 the commitment to participate in such a program is huge. What we don’t want to do is stack the odds against them. Statistically for every time you fail it becomes twice as hard to succeed the next time. This is an important factor when considering low engagement levels in employee health programs. [gap height="20"] Start Small, Really Small If the goal is to change employee’s health then make the changes so small and in tune with their current lives that they won’t even notice they have adopted a new healthy behavior. A small change that is sustainable is worth more than a big change that isn't sustained. Dieting for example is notoriously fraught with failure, typically the yo yo dieter is the exact result of unsustainable habit change. Eating cabbage soup isn't going to be something you do every day for the rest of your life. [gap height="20"] Let’s take the example of an employee who decides their goal is to not skip breakfast, not a huge change and not something that’s insurmountable. After a week of having breakfast they feel better about themselves and this reinforces a "can do" attitude. Not only have they been successful but it hasn't felt like that much effort. [gap height="20"] This simple act also has unintended positive consequences. Later that morning the desire to snack isn't there and the morning muffin is skipped. From research we know that this habit too will more likely than not be adopted without ever being noticed. It’s these kind of small and sustainable steps that can really affect an employee’s health. [gap height="20"] What will [...]