October is Health Workplace Month
...and here is why it matters.
More than ever, we need to recognize the value of a healthy workplace. In our current climate of reduced employee engagement (are you tired of hearing quiet quitting yet?), mental health concerns, labour market challenges, having a "healthy" place where we spend most of our waking hours is important.
Although "Healthy Workplace Month" brings up connotations of lunchtime walking clubs, sugar -free vending machines and weight loss challenges, there is so much more we can offer- and offer it easily.
The stereotypical wellness initiatives, like those mentioned above, are still valuable, but why not look deeper?
Is your team experiencing a lack of engagement? The “rebranding” of this challenge as quiet quitting is not an understatement. A disengaged employee is costly, a possible safety risk, a risk to retention and possibly even damaging to your culture and your reputation. Employees become disengaged for a reason, have you ever asked why?
Taking the time this month to have a sincere conversation with staff that may be showing signs of reduced engagement can help make headway into a healthier workplace. This discussion should be an honest, sincere, and two-way conversation about what your employees may need to re-engage, as well as what your expectations are. Healthy habits form and stay when they are supported and nurtured.
In addition to this issue, there are solid business reasons to focus on a healthy workplace and this month is a terrific opportunity to kick-start that mindset. Staffing challenges from recruitment to absenteeism can be improved through a healthy workplace, reducing costs, and improving the bottom line and both the customer and employee experience.
Here are a few straightforward ways you can focus on a healthy workplace this month:
Engage your staff in wellness challenges that focus on both physical and mental wellbeing. Mental health is currently a significant challenge for many so both types of well-being need attention.
Ensure all your staff are aware of the resources available to them, include information on everything from your EAP program to deals on gym memberships.
ASK! Ask people how they are doing, what do they need, what resources are they lacking? Then take the information seriously and do what you can to help address the gaps. Small wins matter, too!
LOOK! Look for role models in your dealership that may be willing to share their story, tips or even a great brown-bag recipe, here is a chance to shake up your bulletin board or newsletter.
LISTEN! Listen around the dealership for clues about what you do well, that is valued and appreciated. What are the largest challenges that are common across the facility? How will changing things make you a healthier workplace? Sometimes the things with substantial impact come at a very small cost.
ACT! Setting an example is always the strongest way to lead. Take the time to have a walking meeting before the snow falls, bring a water bottle instead of a coffee to the next dept. meeting and set your own wellness goals.
Remember that work is where we live most of our waking hours, why can't it also be where we have some of our healthiest habits? A variety of interdisciplinary research also shows that physical well-being provides a direct connection to mental well-being. No surprise, this also has a connection to increased engagement, more positivity and increased productivity. Who doesn't want more of that?