The Surprising Obstacle That Derails Employees' Health Goals
Wellness has become an attractive recruiting and retention tool and can differentiate an employer in today’s competitive job market. Health and wellness programs continue to grow in popularity – almost 66 percent of companies have expanded their employee wellness initiatives over the past five years. According to a recent survey conducted by the Robert Half company OfficeTeam, 89 percent of employees reported that their company is supportive of their wellness goals.
The study highlighted some of the ways employers are improving the health of their employees:
Paying employees extra money if they don’t check work email while on vacation
Providing exercise, meditation, yoga and healthy cooking classes on-site
Offering free massages
Giving workers fitness tracking devices and access to on-site personal trainers
While these are all great benefits, it's important that these initiatives are tied to a comprehensive wellness program in order to meet an organization's objectives -- whether it's healthier employees, happier employees or reduced healthcare utilization.
Not too surprisingly, the study uncovered a major obstacle to any wellness initiative: food. Fifty percent of employees reported that office celebrations and snacks brought in by colleagues did the most to jeopardize their healthy eating goals. In fact, 44 percent of employees reported eating more healthfully when they worked from home.
At Wellness Workdays our innovative team of registered dietitians regularly works with employees to develop healthy eating behaviors. We have collaborated with employers to overhaul onsite lunch options and developed campaigns to celebrate birthdays and other milestones with healthy snacks rather than cake and cookies.
It’s critical for employers include healthy eating and nutrition education as part of a wellness program and this includes making changes to onsite cafes, vending machines and office celebrations. Don’t let the investment in your wellness program be undermined by offering unhealthy food choices. Contact us and find out how you can make healthy eating part of your office culture.