There a number of factors that make up the culture of any workplace, and one that can have a serious impact on a company is the eating habits of its employees while they are on the job. From holiday parties to sweet-laden birthday celebrations, temptation is everywhere on a daily basis and may eventually have a negative impact on the health of your employees. Whether you want to prevent that afternoon sugar crash or help your employees avoid weight gain, there are several ways you encourage them to eat healthy while they are at work.
1. Offer Healthy Vending Choices
If your company’s vending machines are filled with chips, candy bars, and sugary sodas, you can promote healthier snacking in your employees by filling machines with healthier alternatives. For example, consider replacing chips and crackers that are high in preservatives and sodium with selections that contain less than 200 grams of sodium and are made from whole grain. If you want to include a wider variety of snacks, think about replacing your existing vending machines with refrigerated units that can keep salads and fruit selections fresh for several days.
2. Discourage Eating On the Job
If your employees eat alone at their desk when lunchtime comes, you may want to discourage this practice. Recent studies show that over eighty percent of employees in the United States sit most of the day while they are at work, and if they are allowed to remain at the desks during lunch, this only encourages further inactivity. Giving your employees someplace to commute to during lunch not only gets them moving but may increase socialization, which can make for happier and more relaxed employees.
3. Organize Healthier Holiday Celebrations
While celebrating holidays and birthdays can encourage a feeling of camaraderie among your employees and improve the workplace culture, they also typically feature cakes, pies, cookies, and other treats that are filled with sugar and saturated fat. However, this does not mean you have to nix these celebrations altogether. Instead, encourage your employees to bring healthy alternatives to share. For example, the Hampton Creek YouTube site features a variety of dessert recipes that are made from the company’s Just Cookie Dough, which is egg and dairy-free, contains no trans fats, and is low in sugar.
If you are having a company event catered, consider going with a service that offers a wide selection of healthy choices, such as baked chicken, steamed vegetables, and fresh fruit for dessert. This will prevent afternoon indigestion and help your employees maintain their focus and energy once the event is over.
4. Set a Good Example
As the leader of your business, setting a good example for your employees is crucial when it comes to encouraging healthy eating habits at work. Avoid eating at your desk, eat healthy snacks in front of your employees, and promote healthy eating wherever you can. While you may not have an impact on everyone, you will at least gain satisfaction from practicing what you preach in your role as leader.
One of the most effective ways to improve your company’s work culture is to encourage healthy eating habits in your employees. While they may or may not take these habits home and employ them there, you can be assured that you are doing all you can for their good health, for today and for the future.
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