HOW TO KICK START YOUR EMPLOYEE HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAM?
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Employee Health and Wellness has brought about a whole new era in the life of not only the working world, but indirectly their immediate families. There is no doubt that there are companies still struggling to kick start or implement a health and wellness program.
Research shows a barrage of employee wellness programs with some popular ones being:
- Onsite cholesterol and blood pressure tests
- Health Fairs
- Nutrition Counselling
- Confidential Health Analysis
Companies like Aetna and Johnson & Johnson to name a few, who have the resources to develop and implement employee health and wellness programs have seen the benefits being reflected in their financial returns. What about those companies who do not have the resources to institute a health and wellness program?
If you are one of those companies struggling to get a health and wellness program instituted, here are some simple ways that can kick start your program, contribute to cost reduction and pave the way for a larger program implementation.
1. Benefits of Relationships
Research has shown that good relationships have a direct impact on your ability to handle stress. When you have good relationships the heart is under less stress and the body is also in a better position to fight off diseases. Of course on the job you perform better.
Good relationships come from having support from loved ones, friends and co-workers. To help foster good relationships encourage staff to take time to volunteer – help someone on the job who is having problems. This goes a long way as they end up learning stuff that they may not have paid attention to. They can also volunteer for company projects or help a friend or family member.
2. Dealing with Sore Throat in the office
One of the most common ailments that prevent people from reporting to work is sore throat. Sometimes people lose their voice and often if they are on the job you can be sure that someone else will contact the same ailment or something similar.
The best and cheapest cure for this is using apple cider vinegar. As soon as you feel or sense that you are having a sore throat you should gargle with apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is known to kill viruses or bacteria on contact.
This mixture is:
• one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in four ounces of warm water.
• Gaggle with this up to four times a day.
Companies can save a lot of money in absenteeism and medical expenses if they ensure that Apple Cider vinegar is readily available to their staff.
Place a bottle in the kitchen, cafeteria or medicine cabinet with instructions on how to use it and encourage staff to try it.
3. Stomach Ailments on the job
How many times have you heard that somebody is not at work because of stomach problems e.g heart burn, acid reflux? Sometimes they turn up for work but productivity is at its lowest.
According to Rosario Cuomo MD professor of clinical and experimental medicine in the University of Naples “ Federico II”, Naples Italy, a glass of carbonated water taken daily helps with bloating, belching nausea and other pains associated with the digestive system. It would make sense to have some of this handy or companies can opt for dried rosemary which may be cheaper.
Rosemary added to boiling water, steeped for 10 minutes and taken before meals reduces gas and bloating, and may help with other digestive ailments. If you have a meeting scheduled for after lunch and you normally suffer from bloating or belching it would be wise to try the rosemary.
4. Encourage proper eating habits
Dehydration and not eating properly also contribute to digestive problems.
Install notices in your cafeteria as a reminder about the following benefits of drinking water and eating properly:
Drink water between meals to help dilute any residual acid stomach.
Drink at least 8 - 8 ounce glasses of water daily. Always have a glass or bottle of water on your desk as a reminder.
Chew properly. When food is not chewed properly this causes indigestion as it takes longer for the stomach to empty. As a result excessive acid builds up leading to acid reflux and other digestive problems.
Do not overeat at lunch time. This causes you to be sluggish, reducing your concentration and at times making mistakes while performing your duties.
5. Help for employees with anxiety and migraine issues
This is quite common. When you feel the migraine or anxiety coming on deep breathing is a quick solution. So next time a migraine strikes and you cannot make it to work, or you are very anxious about the presentation you are scheduled to deliver, take four minutes and do some deep breathing.
Sit comfortable, rest your left hand on your abdomen.
As you inhale through your nostrils you should feel your abdomen rising.
As you exhale slowly, pull your abdomen back. Do this without raising your chest.
A notice on the company’s notice board demonstrating this is a good way to encourage staff to practice this method and ultimately reduce absenteeism.
Please note that those persons who have undergone any type of surgery should consult with their Medical Practitioner before engaging in the deep breathing exercises.
If you prefer the lazy way, you can use Ganoderma, a red Chinese mushroom. In addition to helping with acid reflux it is also known to help with migraines and anxiety. This can be taken in coffee, tea or hot chocolate or plain capsules. The beverages can be added to the company’s coffee/tea supply. The link to obtain additional information concerning the benefits of Ganoderma is the US National Library – pubmed.gov.
6. Healthier Snacks
Start to introduce healthier snacks in the Cafeteria e.g nuts like pecans and almonds.
Feedback is important, so utilize volunteers to test the tips and provide feedback.
8. Monitoring your results
Keep track of your absenteeism and productivity and publish the results from the volunteers .
9. Keeping in touch
Every other week send out a tip on the benefits of different foods. E.g does an apple really keep the doctor away? Make it interactive and ask for feedback.
Give yourself adequate time to monitor the progress of your results. Once you are satisfied with the results, use this to solicit buy in from senior management and staff to expand and implement your employee health and wellness program.