Did you know that roughly 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese? And that overweight employees are 13 times more likely to miss work due to illness? Or that they’re only half as productive as their peers who maintain a healthy weight?
Once you consider these factors, as well as the additional health care expense for overweight employees, the cost for an organization can be substantial (as much as $1,500 per employee per year). Implementing a corporate weight loss program could literally save your company thousands of dollars per year. And just think of the benefit to your employees (i.e. lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes, and numerous other ailments).
However, just like with most personal diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, kicking off a corporate wellness initiative is generally the hardest part. Here are a few tips to help you successfully implement a program of your own.
- Get management involved. And not just explaining the program, but actively participating in it.
- Anticipate and plan for challenges your employees will face, such as a cold climate or unhealthy cafeteria choices.
- Stick with the plan, even once the new wears off.
- Strategically offer rewards and penalties.
- Provide plenty of human support and encouragement.