21 Feb 2013

How to Engage Employees in Workforce Health!

Hi folks,


This week I’m blogging about positive engagement. When a company offers a string health related activities (i.e. Health club memberships, company sports teams, charity events etc), these are mainly used by employees that already live an active & healthy lifestyle. This is great but the real drain on your company health could be those ‘Yellow flag’ employees that give such activities a wide berth & are hard to engage.

Here’s a course of action that I’d recommend for targeting your Pre-contemplators (those that aren’t interested in being healthy):

a)      We need to speak to them & find out what’s important to them, why health isn’t a priority, what their opinions are on where / how they work, & see if we can relate the benefits of being healthy to this.

b)      We have to Make It Easy - This means no cost to the employee & low time commitment. Examples include providing healthy breakfast options on-site, pleasant outdoor areas to take their break, the ‘bike to work’ scheme, on-site 30min exercise classes (pre / post shift).

c)       Monetary value / incentive. We all know that money is an incentive for everyone so let’s use it. Provide free fresh fruit & veg in bowls around the office or as free side options in the canteen, or perhaps operate a voucher system where a certain number of steps on their pedometer = discount off healthy options at the canteen. As well as this really shout about any free / discounted health incentives that you may be running alongside.

Next weeks blog will focus on the Contemplators / Relapse’s. Don’t miss it!

If you are interested in discussing any of the above then please contact me.


14 Feb 2013

Packed Lunch Vs Canteen! - Which is best?

Hi folks,

Earlier in the week I saw a discussion on children’s lunch boxes, & that apparently 9/10 of them are ‘unhealthy’! In light of this, one particular school has banned packed lunches, forcing the pupils to purchase their ‘healthier’ school dinners.

Let’s think about this in an adult workplace context, should a company only allow food bought from its canteen?

  • This takes away employee free choice & could cause resentment to the company.

  • Who says the company canteen food is healthier? (Many canteens are ran by sub-contracted companies that may be selected on their low cost (likely low quality ingredients) & who don’t have an interest in your workforce health.

  • It could cost more for the employee to buy than a packed lunch does.

  • What about medical conditions such as food allergies & intolerances?

So what’s the answer? Well this is what I’d recommend:

  • Allow employees to bring packed lunch & provide a leaflet on suggested healthy options.

  • Limit the amount of high sugar, salt & saturated fat foods available on-site & perhaps raise their price slightly)

  • Design a canteen menu that has had the input of an up-to-date nutritional advisor who is familiar with the industry sector.

  • Sell this food at a non-profit price so it’s attractive & affordable (The company will reap wider profits through overall improved health & performance).     

  • This increased use of the canteen facilities encourages employees to actually take their break (socialise & change of environment to mentally refresh) & not eat at desk.

If you like any of these ideas then please contact me to help you put them in to place.



7 Feb 2013

Slow Down to take Workforce Health Forward

Hi folks,

February has only just begun but do you already feel that you’re chasing your tail, that you’re just chipping away at an ever-growing pile of work, or are you even working overtime? If we carry on then the problem is just going to get on top of us making us under perform & affect our health right? So the sooner something changes, the better.   

My research over the passed 4 months has highlighted that the combination of high pressure society, the fast pace of business, & the increased workload dumped on employees (due to not replacing staff) has resulted in a lack of communication. How can this happen when mobile technology (Skype / email on phones & tablets) is at a peak? I think the problem is the quality of this communication & that it’s a major cause of stress in the workplace.

If slow down for a minute, re-evaluate & then focus on the most important tasks then this will give us some clarity & direction. It’s always easy to blame others for not communicating properly but if we start by insisting on face-to-face communication whenever possible then they have to respond by doing the same.

  Good Task management       =      Good Workplace Health

+ Quality Communication                        + Performance


Let me know your thoughts on this little mantra


1 Feb 2013

Is your Corporate Gym Membership Harming your Workplace Health?

Hi folks,

Do you get free or discounted membership at your local gym because of where you work? This is a very easy & conveinient way for companies to 'address' or 'tick the box' of work place health with hardly any input or cost to themselves. Ok so whats wrong with that, doesnt it benefit both employee & employer? Here's why we should thing again:

1. In my years spent as a personal trainer I've seen many trends. Women stick to the cardio kit, inner / outer thigh machines etc & don't want to go anywhere near the grunting men who go straight for the biggest weights they can pick up, who end up dropping them, then sprint flat out on a treadmil before having a heart attack on the way out. What I'm getting at is that just because we go to the gym it doesn't mean that we are healthy. We need to make sure that we are exercising correctly & if there isn't an experienced trainer to hand that pro-actively offers / is asked to help (& trust me this rarely happens), then this is probably causing more workplace injuries than its saving!

2. We all know that 90% of the employees that use their corporate gym memberships are those that would join a gym anyway. The employees that negatively affect your workplace health are the ones that arn't really interested / or motivited to make the journey to a gym, & therefore need engaging in the workplace instead. By holding workplace health activities on-site, this also boosts workforce team moral & culture (as opose to exercising indiviually at an off-site gym).

If you would like to discuss bringing short on-site exercise sessions to your company, lead by an experienced workplace health & fitness trainer then please contact me.