With health playing an increasingly important role in many people's lives, employers stand to gain by making fitness a greater part of office life in 2014.
As managers wrap up the business year and fourth quarter, turning their attention to strategies for the new year, many are likely to be thinking of ways to keep their staff happy and engaged in 2014. The wave of New Year's resolutions that's soon to come is an opportunity to increase productivity by harnessing employees' desire to better themselves.
Each year, January means hordes of new exercisers flock to gyms across the country and diet cookbooks fly off bookstore shelves – and with health playing an increasingly important role in many people's lives, employers also stand to gain by making fitness a greater part of office life in 2014.
According to a study by HR solutions firm Keas, better health is a top priority for 43 percent of employees as they look ahead to the next 12 months. Fitter physiques even beat out extra money, as only 17 percent said they wanted additional cash in the new year.
The Times of India recently spoke with QWERTY Labs founder and director Ishan Sodhi about managers' responsibility to promote employee wellness.
"Employers need to be concerned about an employee's health. There are a number of simple yet effective ways of promoting healthy work practices," Sodhi told the news source.
Make health more central to the workplace
Companies that provide employees with more wellness-centric work environments are likely to find themselves with happier, more focused teams. Managers might consider setting off a space within the workplace where staff can go to do to yoga or light exercise on their breaks.
"Performing light exercises at work can help a great deal in reducing physical strain caused by a sedentary job," yoga instructor Leena Pandit told the Times of India.
Alternatively, employees might be receptive to efforts to increase the number of health resources that are available to them in the office.
"An organization can start by periodically arranging health-related orientation programs and by inviting dieticians to advise employees on how to eat and live well," remarked Sodhi, according to the news source.
What's more, staff are likely to be particularly receptive to employee incentive programs designed to help them meet their fitness goals. Keas found that 53 perfect of workers would be more motivated to get fit if their employers offered them cash or physical rewards like mobile devices.
By emphasizing health and offering employee reward programs for improvement, managers can help their teams regroup after the indulgences of the holidays to ensure that 2014 gets off to a productive start.