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Healthy employees are happy employees

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Everyone knows that happy people make good employees. They are more productive, take fewer sick days and make the job of a director a lot easier. But what does it take to make them happy? That's the question that every good boss has to ask himself. Management can do many things to make employees happy, but helping them stay healthy is one of the best.

Providing a Healthy Work Environment

This goes beyond making sure that you follow federal and state security guidelines. It means offering your employees a healthy workplace. Things like air quality are obvious, but things like ergonomic workstations, natural light windows, healthy snacks in vending machines and maybe even a lounge where employees can go relax during the day. All of these things add up to healthier and happier workers.

Proposing Healthy Group Programs

Nothing motivates employees to improve their health other than working together on them as a group. This allows them to have responsible partners while giving them the opportunity to socialize and empathize together. Consider sponsoring a cleaning as a 21-day plan for interested employees. They can work together with other employees and aim for a common goal.

Other programs to consider include exercise or dance classes, yoga for meditation, a smoking cessation or a healthy cooking class. Whichever path you choose, let the dynamic group work on the participants. This helps to connect them and gives them a sense of camaraderie when they "fight" a common enemy.

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Encouraging a Healthy Lifestyle

It's good to want employees to be healthier. However, it is a totally different corporate attitude when you actually promote a healthy lifestyle, and there are many ways to do it.

  • Make corporate events healthy. Think of things like a 5 km run or a team bond rather than an obstacle course for that sort of thing.
  • Reward healthy goals. Recognize employees who achieve specific goals, such as quitting or losing weight.
  • Have a management staff concerned about their health. This does not mean hiring or shooting based on a gym membership, but leadership comes from above, so encourage your best to adopt a healthy lifestyle first.
  • Offer a fitness business. Maybe there is room for a gym in the building that employees can use before or after work, or even during dinner time. If this is not the case, consider becoming a corporate member at a local fitness center where employees can go for free or get discounted rates.
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The Bottom Line

If you own a small business or are thinking of creating one, it is in your best interest to promote the health and fitness of your employees. Start at the top by modeling this lifestyle yourself and encouraging management to do the same, then watch it impact your employees. Recognize their achievements and give them the tools they need to stay healthy and stay that way. They will thank you for being happier and more productive.