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Creating a Healthy Work Environment

March is National Nutrition Month, and these next four weeks are dedicated to eating healthy and staying active. This got me thinking about the ways we can create not only a nutritious plate of food, but also a healthy workplace. Most of us recognize that there are different types of health, the most well-known being physical, emotional, and mental health. These forms of health are equally important and together promote a healthy, stable work environment. Of course, what employees do outside of the office is out of the control of business owners, but you can help foster an environment in the office by targeting these three types of health that encourage everyone’s well-being and, therefore, improve efficiency and productivity.

  1. Physical health may seem like the type of health that is most out of your hands – and to a certain extent, it is. You cannot control a person’s level of physical activity or what they choose to eat. Many companies, however, organize team-building activities outside of the office. If your business likes to participate in regular outings, why not transform those outings into something that encourages activity? Schedule a game of company kick ball, for example, or go to a fitness class together – the possibilities are endless. Another great tip is to opt for healthier choices during your lunch meetings. Many places now offer lighter options that are far better for you than a burger and fries!
  2. Emotional health is often overlooked because too often we consider the good of the business over a person’s feelings. This works in a business to a certain extent. If an employee’s work is not up to par, they need to know so that they can improve. What they don’t need though, is to be made to feel like failures. Have a fair system in place that allows for corrective action when necessary, and make sure your employees understand the system well. When you treat employees fairly and kindly they will take their work more seriously than ever, not only because it’s their job, but because the human relationship you have formed with them is more important than a distraction that is keeping them from their work. Both sides win when you as the boss learn to consider a person’s emotional well being.
  3. Mental health may be the most important one of the three. In days past, once a person was home from work, they were truly home. The same is no longer true today. Work follows people everywhere they go. It is difficult to stay calm when you are always getting notifications – such as a text message from your boss, an email from a client, or an alarm you set to remind you of a task. The next time you want to call an employee on the weekend or after hours, ask yourself: “Is what I have to say right now more important than his or her well-being?” I guarantee most of the time, the answer will be no. Keep in mind that everybody needs a break to rest and to simply be.

Remember: if your employees are not working in a healthy environment, it will reflect in the success of your company. In honor of National Nutrition Month, I challenge all of you to take steps to improve the overall health of those who give their time to help you realize your entrepreneurial dreams and, therefore, the overall health of your business.

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About Alvin Loewenberg

Alvin Loewenberg is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Morningside Ministries. He is responsible for the oversight of nine senior care communities providing nursing care, assisted living and independent living, totaling 807 units. Loewenberg has been involved in long-term care administration since 1979. For the past 23 years, he has served as the President/CEO of Morningside Ministries. Loewenberg has held various positions of leadership at both the Texas Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (TAHSA) and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA).