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How to set (and achieve) health related goals for the office

Office & Culture

It’s a dilemma as old as time: how does one stay healthy? This question can be particularly daunting in the fast-paced, ever-shifting world of the contemporary workplace. This is why it’s so imperative for companies, both big and small, to institute workplace wellness programmes for their employees.

We’ve written about personal fitness goals before, but this time we’re focusing on a more collective approach to office-wide health objectives. We’ve put together our top five points to consider when setting and tracking health-related goals for your office.

Minimise competition, foster conversation

When it comes to physical fitness, some people can be naturally competitive. While this tendency may help some individuals to push themselves, it can be divisive and exclusionary in a team-based context. The progress you and your team make should be much more about achieving a collective goal than it is about fostering competition between individual employees. Instead, try to foster a dialogue of support between your employees. Hold bi-weekly or monthly meetings to check in with your team’s progress as a whole. This will also serve as an excellent forum in which to receive feedback and to brainstorm new ideas for how your team can achieve their health-related goals together.

Put your money where your mouth is

Provide health-related stipends for your employees. You could contribute to the cost of their monthly gym membership fee or purchase each of them a subscription to a mindfulness app like Headspace. Alternatively, you could contribute towards the cost of these tools by coordinating with local health-based businesses (e.g. gyms, health food stores, counseling centres, etc.) to arrange a discount for your employees instead. Contributing financially toward the health-based goals of your team will encourage them to keep progressing and prove to them that you are invested in their wellbeing outside of the office.

Approach health from all sides

There are many facets to a person’s health, and not everyone fits into the same mold. Fitness, diet and mental health are only a couple examples of the different aspects of a person’s health that you can consider when putting together the health-related goals for your office. Try to create a series of health programmes that are varied enough to suit the needs of everyone in your office. If some members of your team are trying to eat more healthily, you could establish a ‘meatless’ day of the week in which they are encouraged to adhere to a vegetarian diet. If other employees are trying to incorporate more physical fitness into their lives, you could set up a lunchtime jogging group. If still other employees are looking to become more mindful, you could establish a ‘meditation room’ in which they can experience peace and quiet throughout the working day. None of these initiatives are particularly costly, and when put into action they start to foster a workplace which meaningfully contributes to the health and wellbeing of its employees.

Evaluate feelings, not just figures

When it comes to health-related goals, everyone progresses differently. Therefore, success cannot be reduced to a universal number. True progress lies in improving the way that your team feels – both physically and mentally. With this in mind, try to avoid using numbers as your primary tool for measuring your team’s success. Instead, you could hold individual or group discussions in which your employees can tell you how they’re feeling and if they think that their needs could be better met. If your team is uncomfortable discussing their progress in a group setting, you could instead ask them to fill out a feedback form and submit it to you anonymously. You could also self-evaluate your health-related goals and workplace wellbeing programme by using a checklist tool such as this one from Hubspot.

Uplift those who struggle

We all know that getting healthy can be hard! And it’s very likely that some of your employees won’t see progress right away. Be sure to foster an environment of encouragement for those who don’t succeed on their first try. Keep the dialogue as supportive and positive as possible and try to find solutions to problems wherever possible. It’s great to think big, but with health-related goals sometimes it’s better to promote and celebrate incremental change, so encourage your employees every step of the way!

Here at Glandore, we offer complimentary workplace wellbeing programmes to help you make the most of your time at work, and we take care to create supportive spaces for all of our members. If you’re looking for a coworking or office that creates space for you and your team to grow, why not arrange a tour in one of our Dublin, Belfast or Cork locations? We’d be happy to show you around and answer any questions you have about working from Glandore.