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Inspiring employees to make positive changes; Good for them, Good for the company

The old-fashioned way to show employees they were appreciated was to take them out and pour as much alcohol down their throats as possible. Well this is certainly my experience from working in the City from the late 80’s through to the early 2000’s. But times have changed. The message that came out of BIO2019 was very clear – employees, especially graduates recently entering the world of work want something different. It’s about lifestyle, they want flexible working hours, working from home, gym membership and more. And this approach is one that is reflected in the way that most of the world’s fastest growing companies run their business. That is because they know it helps retain healthy, productive staff; and this is good for the bottom line.

But do employees need to be brought together, inspired and supported in making healthy lifestyle choices that are both good for them and the company? I certainly think that they do, and this is backed by a growing mound of research showing that workplace interventions do make a difference. A paper published last year ‘Ferrari Corporate Wellness Program: Results of a Pilot Analysis and the “Drag” Impact in the Workplace’ concluded that the program ‘proved to be effective in improving CV risk profile and cardio-respiratory fitness in a population of already physically active employees’. I highlight this paper as nutritional scientists are not renowned for their wit, and I felt that the effort this author had put into the title deserved more coverage, but there are many papers showing similar results and how successful workplace interventions can be at improving employee wellbeing.

Companies differ, employees differ and company objectives differ. It may be that for some big changes are too daunting but inspiring small changes can make a difference, and one change may lead to another. Quick facts can be effective such as 1 brazil nut provides a whole days selenium requirement – essential to the immune system and hormones, 1 pint of milk provides a whole days calcium requirement – helping to prevent osteoporosis in future years or 1 large carrot provides enough beta carotene to convert into a whole days vitamin A requirement – essential for vision and the immune system, also great for glowing skin. Eating a nut a day may strike a cord and seem achievable and this may then lead to a handful of nuts and less biscuits being eaten or a carrot and hummus snack replacing a packet of crisps. One small step…

Other employees and companies may be ready for bigger changes. It may be that some companies want a focus on sustainability, for example. Events could be run based on the United Nations call for a shift by the Western world to move to a more plant-based diet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; companies could run workshops to support employees wanting to eat less meat. The UN have also said that food waste accounts for 8-10% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, again this would make a great workshops topic.

One definition of inspired is ‘imbued with the spirit to do something’ and that’s what workplace wellbeing interventions delivered with passion can do. They can make people want to change. Supporting employees in making a positive change makes them feel valued. And with no nasty hangover the next day.

Helen Money Nutrition provides bespoke workplace wellbeing from 1 hour talks through to full day, multi branch events. Helen also works with individuals, offering consultations in Cassington, Sunningwell and Summertown.

Example full day – Eating for Wellbeing

Helen Money Nutrition

9am-10am Pimp your oats bar
Drop in session to create your own heart healthy breakfast and ask nutrition related questions in an informal environment

10.30am-12.30pm 1:1 clinic
30 minute pre bookable 1:1 sessions for employees to ask more detailed questions

1pm -2pm Lunch and learn
A talk over lunch looking at eating patterns, nutrients and foods that support long term wellbeing and workplace performance (lunch provided)

3pm -4 pm Immune boosting afternoon snack bar
Drop in session to create your own immune boosting afternoon snack and ask nutrition related questions in an informal environment (Or a talk)

4pm – 5pm 1:1 clinic
30 minute pre bookable 1:1 sessions for employees to ask more detailed questions

Example full day for body, mind and soul – Healthy Habits

Helen Money Nutrition & commit2inspire

9.30am Breakfast smoothie, introduction and team building exercise

10.30am Eating for workplace performance
A talk on eating patterns, nutrients, meals and snacks that support workplace performance and help avoid that 2pm dip

11.30am The Power of 10
10 key exercises/stretches that can be done in 10 minutes anywhere in the workplace to prevent rounded shoulders, overextending and weakening of key postural muscles from working at a computer all day.

1pm Lunch and learn
A talk over lunch on eating for long term wellbeing, including quick, simple meal and snack ideas.

2pm Activity
A fun activity to get the blood pumping

3pm Sustainability workshop
A thought-provoking workshop looking at how we shop and eat impacts climate change

4pm Setting and achieving goals
Inspiration talk on setting and achieving goals

5pm Close

Provided in house or as an away day