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Smart Benefits: Holiday Health - Help Employees Finish the Year Well

Monday, December 12, 2016

 

Over the sweet- and stress-filled next couple of weeks, how can employers help workers stay on track with their wellness efforts? Here are some tips to help keep employees healthy through the holidays.

  • Hold the sweets. Try to make sure any foods brought in for functions are healthy ones, or at least have low-sugar, low fat options available. And donate any leftovers to a shelter or other local organization rather than encourage employees to finish everything.
  • Give workers a time out. If possible, offer employees the chance to work flexible hours one day. That way, they can use the opportunity to hit the shops and shipping stores at non-peak hours –and avoid the lines and headache.
  • Bestow beneficially. If your office holds a Secret Santa or other gift exchange, encourage employees to swap items that will promote healthy lifestyles. That means skipping gift cards to donut shops and instead opting for ones to sporting goods stores or other healthy outlets.
  • Get people moving. Instead of a traditional lunch or party, opt for an active adventure for your group. Book a yoga instructor to come in to lead a mid-morning break, sign up to volunteer for a shoveling corps to help the elderly, or organize a team for an area jingle bell jog.
  • Release endorphins. Laughter is a great way to relieve stress and boost morale. Invite a comic in at lunchtime one afternoon for a break from the holiday chaos. Or better yet, invite employees to take the stand in your own version of Last Comic Standing.
  • Make healthy eating easier. If you haven’t already, invest in a gift for all employees by installing on-site food preparation equipment, like a microwave, so staff can bring healthy food from home rather than dining out every day. If you have vending machines and they’re packed with junk food, review healthier options from the vendor for 2017. The same goes for a cafeteria’s food selections. 

Follow these tips to help your employees finish 2016 and start off the New Year happy, heathy and productive. By investing in your employees’ health and wellness, you’re also investing in your company’s future.

Rob Calise is the Managing Director, Employee Benefits. of Cornerstone|Gencorp, where he helps clients control the costs of employee benefits by focusing on consumer driven strategies and on how to best utilize the tax savings tools the government provides. Rob serves as Chairman of the Board of United Benefit Advisors, and is a board member of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Broker Advisory Board, United HealthCare of New England Broker Advisory Board and Rhode Island Business Healthcare Advisors Council. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), American Health Insurance Association (AHIA) and the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), as well as various human resource associations. Rob is a graduate of Bryant University with a BS in Finance.

 

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