Chamber Insider Blog

The Holidays… “Healthified!”

Thank you to Mary Zmuda, Wellness Manager for Nova Medical Group for this post!

Ah, the holiday season has arrived!   You know what that means, right?  …Added stress, overeating and plenty of rich, unhealthy foods of course!  

Not what you were thinking?   Well, it’s true!   And this doesn’t just happen at home – it creeps into the workplace too!  Notice all of the leftover cakes and cookies being shared?  Or, maybe you’re feeling the stress from the extra work that piled up while you were out over the Thanksgiving holiday.  And, what about all of that holiday shopping you still have to do… who can focus on anything with such a big to do list?!  

As an employer, you can help to “healthify” your office this holiday season.  And, it’s important to do so because:

–  Employees who eat unhealthily are 66% less productive!

–  And, 40% of work-related illness is due to workplace stress!

Here are a few tips to get you started…

1.  Show your staff some love!  While I’m sure you appreciate your employees’ hard work all year round, the holidays are the perfect time to show your employees how much you truly value them.  And this doesn’t mean you have to give everyone expensive bonuses.  Here are some ideas:

A simple, handwritten “thank you” and season’s greetings card goes a long way.

Who doesn’t love a $5 coffee gift card?  I know I do!  Or, make it even “healthier”… What about an iTunes card so they can enjoy some new music the next time they exercise or unwind? 

Give the gift of some well-deserved R&R!  If your budget is larger, maybe you can splurge and treat your employees to spa gift cards.  Or, maybe you can bring in a few massage therapists for your staff to enjoy on-site chair massages. 

2.  Host a potluck… But set limits.  Pot lucks are a fun way to bring employees together!  But, this year, encourage everyone to bring healthy dishes.  You can do so by hosting a competition to reward the best tasting healthy dish.  Nobody wants to feel like a stuffed turkey for the second half of their workday – we already know that productivity levels drop!

3.  Decorate your office for the holidays.  Next time you see holiday decorations, take a look at them – I’ll bet your day will get a little brighter!  Why not make the workplace feel warm & welcoming so your employees will feel happy to be there?

4.  Avoid being the “junk food dumping ground.”  The workplace seems like the perfect place to share your leftover pie and cookies, but it this is actually one of the most hazardous things you can do for your employees this holiday season.   While a sweet treat may seem like a good decision in the moment, filling up with empty calories will crush concentration levels and bring about a mid-day crash.  Implement a healthy holiday food policy.  If you typically bring dessert to reward for a successful year, opt for an edible arrangement or fruit & nut basket instead.

5.  Offer exercise breaks.  It can be hard to fit exercise into the busy holiday season, so allow for your employees to take a 10 minute exercise break during the workday.  A short walk around the office or a stair climb will re-energize them and help keep stress levels at bay.

6.  Provide opportunities for stress management.  Host a seminar on strategies for avoiding holiday stress.  It will be a minimal cost to your company, and your employees will reap big benefits.  There are plenty of Chamber members that can help you find the perfect presenter!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

-Posted by Mary Zmuda, Wellness Manager for Nova Medical Group

Want to Learn More?

Did you know that 98% of large companies and 73% of small companies already offer at least one wellness initiative designed to either increase engagement, improve quality of life, or both?  Here’s how you can learn more…

– Join Our Committee!  The Chamber’s Health & Wellness Committee is a dedicated group of local professionals with a passion for wellness!  We spearhead the Annual Healthy Business Challenge and equip chamber members with important health-related information and valuable wellness resources.  Our goal is to engage employers, convey the importance of wellness in the workplace, and cultivate a thriving, healthy community.  Come see what we’re all about – we meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the chamber office.

– Be Informed.  Interested in creating a culture of wellness within your company, but not sure where to begin?  Sign up to receive our Healthy Tips & Tricks emails.  You’ll also receive updates for upcoming events, the Healthy Business Challenge, and the latest committee news and happenings.  You can also find us on Facebook and LinkedIn!

– Join the Challenge!  The Chamber’s Healthy Business Challenge is for everyone!  No matter your company size, you can be recognized for your wellness efforts!  The award will garner you company exposure on the chamber’s Web site, in eNewsletters, and in local newspapers.  Not to mention, the placard and physical award are great for PR and employee recruitment!  The 2016 Healthy Business Challenge will begin in January – stay tuned for updates!