There are some very good reasons for wanting your staff to be fitter. Studies show active staff are more engaged, have fewer absences, and are less stressed. But how do you introduce a fit culture at work?
Many of the best programs work by getting a grassroots start, but a fit culture needs inspiration.
Some companies have achieved the best results by encouraging staff to start their own teams or get involved in sports or activities that are a new, exciting and different, not just a hum-drum ‘fun run’ that they’ve done before.
From putting teams together for extreme obstacle-courses like the Tough Mudder, or organizing a weekly volleyball team – not only are these activities good for fitness, they’re also good for team building and morale. Consider subsidizing team sports or having official company teams staff can join.
Staples Canada has introduced a range of activities to their workplaces, starting with a Tai Chi class held in a cramped conference room. Since that humble start they have weekly exercise classes, company “pick-up” games of hockey and more than 400 people took part in last year’s pedometer challenge.
Staples general counsel and secretary David Burt encourages leaders to emphasize the social aspect as way for people to find common interest and connect.
Companies that not only employ fit employees but encourage healthy living and behaviors are more likely to enjoy better employee engagement and workplace relationships. If a company actively demonstrates it cares about its employees' wellbeing - through the provision of gyms, wellness programs, group days out and activities - it will be well-rewarded by its staff.
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