fitness culture

How to Inspire a Fitness Culture in Your Office

Nearly 80% of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise each week. The Department of Health and Human Services says 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity plus muscle-strengthening activity each week is the right amount.

Everyone wants to be their best version of themselves, right? As leaders, it’s our job to guide our offices to success. Healthy minds, healthy bodies, and a healthy bottom line are the goals.

Creating a culture where people feel valued and appreciated every day means keeping an eye on health.

Click here for some tips on inspiring a fitness culture in your office.

Effective Leadership Lies in a Fitness Culture

The leaders most likely to treat others well are those who live well themselves. They show employees that self-care, personal health, and lifestyle are acceptable. Not only that, they contribute to personal and professional success.

It’s a fancy way of saying that exercise encourages good feelings. Healthy, active people take fewer sick days. They are more productive and bring more energy to the workplace.

On a pragmatic level, encourage employees to exercise at work for better productivity. People return from workouts refreshed and better focused on their jobs.

Physical and mental care are buffers against the typical stress of the office.

Invest in Well-being

Ask your employees! Survey relentlessly to assess their interest and gauge intent. Try to understand the incentives they value.

This will allow you to focus on the fitness initiatives of greatest interest and impact. You should support wellness programs, health insurance, and other tools.

Your fitness culture should subsidize costs and comp time for activities like:

  • Health info and education
  • Health club membership
  • Health screenings and wellness activities
  • Quit Smoking/Weight Loss and targeted programs
  • Wellness coaching
  • Diet, nutrition and healthy food options
  • Physical fitness programs and classes
  • Team participation in marathons, swimathons, etc.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. Hang a fingerboard on the wall for pull-ups, let people use yoga balls instead of chairs. Instead of morning standup meetings, try a morning stretch.

Now Get Moving!

Little efforts like providing pedometers and rewarding milestones pay off. 10,000 steps 10 days in a row? That’s worth celebrating!

Encourage walking meetings. Move the printers an extra step away from the desks. Walk up a flight of stairs rather than waiting for the elevator.

Encourage commuters to use bikes, scooters, and skateboards to travel to and from work.

Create some friendly competition to get everyone excited about your fitness program! In order to have buy-in from your entire staff, invite them to join you! They’re more likely to be engaged when they see you leading the pack.

Workers who spend 30 to 60 minutes exercising at lunch reported an average performance boost of 15%. You can expect better time management skills, focus and ability to meet deadlines too!

Don’t Fear Fun

Make physical activity inclusive and part of your workplace culture through team-building activities. Lunchtime Quidditch (brooms, balls, and hoops in the courtyard) or Zombie Challenge? No problem.

The company softball or bowling teams are old standbys. How about kickball, dodgeball or even hula-hooping?

Team-building activities like a 5k fun walk/run are fun, especially if you train together. How about weekly office challenges with you as the challenger or the leader! Planks, anyone?

De-stress

Leaders face stressful personal and business challenges every day. It’s a killer.

Chronic health problems caused by stress are well documented. The demands of an always-on workplace take a toll on physical and mental health. The strain of social isolation and burnout can mean heart attacks, strokes or worse.

According to death statistics by the CDC, the top three killers in the United States are:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases like emphysema

Collectively, these diseases killed 1,384,813 Americans in 2017. Stress leads to more issues of well-being in the workplace than any other cause.

Exercise is an effective barrier against the physical damage of stress. But a fitness culture can’t just start and stop with an office meditation or yoga class.

Leaders who build cultures of well-being identify stressful aspects of work. They work with their team to reduce or end those stressors. Leaders who inspire a workplace culture of fitness lead balanced lives, and help guide others to do the same.

Clear Communication and Promotion

Employees need to know what options are available to them. More importantly, they need to know leadership cares about their well-being. A fitness culture doesn’t happen without reinforcement.

Create a communication plan and timeline that lays out the program (and incentives!) with different methods to communicate the information to employees. Rewards and celebrations are especially important.

Ensure relevance and avoid information overload with targeted communications. Should a notice about prenatal yoga go to the same people who need info about lowering cholesterol? Target your wellness communications to the relevant employee demographics and interest groups.

Open up a dialogue and conversation throughout the organization about fitness. Discuss topics like nutrition and work/life balance too. Keep thoughts of well-being top of mind and foster a sense of togetherness. Facilitate a stress-reducing exchange of success stories and support.

Conclusion

Getting healthy and celebrating results encourages the type of change needed to begin a fitness program encourage a real shift in employee culture. However, sustaining a fitness culture requires leadership inspiration. Leaders need to model and reward behavior changes.

Activities that are new, challenging, and fun might be difficult to sustain in the long run. Programs must include incentives in order to drive long-term engagement.

Lead a fitness culture focused on of well-being with a well-developed wellness program. It is far more beneficial than simply hoping employee health will improve. These strategies will help your organization create sustainable, positive change in employees’ well-being.

Comments or questions? Contact us today to talk about the fitness culture in your office.

good habits for kids

Promoting Health: 4 Tips to Developing Good Habits for Kids

In 2017, a family of four spent $26,944 on health, according to the Milliman Medical Index. In 2015, this figure was $24,671. Even though most of this amount is paid through insurance, out of pocket costs are still high, clocking in at just over $4,000.

As a parent, you know only too well how health care costs can eat into your already squeezed budget. The smartest thing to do is to take measures that will reduce your healthcare expenses.

One of the best measures?

Promoting health by teaching your kids good habits. The more they know how to take care of themselves, the fewer trips you will need to make to the hospital.

In this article, we’re sharing the various ways you can develop good habits for kids. But first off…

What Are Good Habits for Kids?

We will split healthy habits into four categories:

  • Healthy Eating- Eating a balanced diet, making healthy meals (including snacks), making healthy choices at the grocery store
  • Regular physical activity -Being conscious of physical health, exercising on a budget (without hitting the gym)
  • Healthy/sound thinking – The ability to make well thought-out decisions, building self-esteem, developing social skills
  • Staying safe – Avoiding risky behaviors like underage drinking and unsafe sex, basic oral health practices, handwashing.

1. Lead from the Front

Child development experts say no variable is more influential to a child’s development than his or her immediate environment. For your kids, this means their home and school environments.

While there is little you can do about the school environment, you have all the control at the home. Use this control to develop a domestic environment that helps them develop good habits. Show them what needs to be done by doing it.

For example, if you want your kids to learn that physical exercise is good for their health, you cannot expect them to exercise every day when you’re a couch a potato. Get up every morning and ask your kids to join you for a jog. If you want your kids to eat a balanced diet, lead by example. Don’t expect them to stay away from fast foods when you snack on burgers all day.

Keep in mind, though, the exercise and dietary needs of kids are different from the needs of adults. Ensure you’re letting them do age-appropriate physical activities, and that their intake of important vitamins and minerals is just right.

2. Educate Them About Healthy Habits

It’s one thing to be lead by example, and it’s quite another to sit down with your kids and teach them about healthy habits.

You see, leading by example is a strategy founded in hope. You brush your teeth every morning and do some jogs, hoping your kids will watch and follow suit. Well, sometimes they do, other times they don’t.

This is why it is necessary to teach good habits for kids. Buy kid-friendly books and charts about good habits, and help them understand what they mean.

For example, teach your kids about healthy eating, as well as the dangers of unhealthy eating. Show them pictures of people suffering as a result of unhealthy habits. Teach them about the importance of oral health, benefits of getting – and staying – in shape, and how to make healthy choices.

The more your kids know about healthy habits, the more they are likely to follow the healthy habits you’re setting for them.

3. Get the Whole Family Involved

Here is a simple question.

Do you enjoy your meals the most when you’re alone or when with your spouse and kids? If you’re like most humans, then you enjoy your meals with the entire family. The same applies to other activities.

To help your kids truly enjoy practicing good healthy habits, involve the entire family. Every morning and before retiring to bed, call up the entire family to the common sink and have fun brushing teeth. This is a good opportunity to check who is not brushing or flossing correctly and teach them how to it’s done.

Have some free time on your hands? Grab your bikes and hit the paths! Or kick a ball on the neighborhood’s playground.

In addition to fostering good habits for kids, doing it as a family helps develop their social skills and sense of self-esteem.

4. Offer Good Rewards

As parents, we naturally love rewarding our little ones when they’re on their best behavior, and for good reason. Rewards are a subtle way of saying “keep doing what you’re doing, kiddo.”

However, you should be careful with the type of rewards you give them.

In the spirit of promoting health, give them rewards that will encourage them to continue choosing good habits. Instead of giving a new play station to a kid who has embraced daily physical exercise, how about rewarding them with a Fitbit? This is a techy device that will enable them to track things such as number of steps climbed, quality of sleep and heart rate.

On the other hand, a play station will give them a good reason to spend more time on the couch and less them exercising.

There is no one size fits all for buying the right reward. It all depends on what your child likes, and choosing the best reward that will best promote a particular good habit. Here is where you need to get creative!

Conclusion

The old adage “old dogs don’t learn new tricks” can’t be truer.

If you let your kids develop with unhealthy habits, they will find it very difficult to break away from them as they get older. Consequently, they will be at risk of various lifestyle diseases, including deadly ones like diabetes and cancer. If any such disease strikes, you will need to dig deeper into your pockets to cover their healthcare costs.

Take the opportunity to help your kids develop good habits while they are still young, and they will not depart from them when they are older and on their own.

Even then, as much as promoting good habits for kids can reduce trips to the doctor, health problems do happen. It pays to be prepared with a good health insurance policy.

Get in touch with us today and we will help you sure the best policy for your family’s needs.

cash flow spreadsheet

What Would You Do With Extra Money on Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet?

What would you do if you had an extra $336 in your cash flow spreadsheet to spend on each of your employees?

If you haven’t asked yourself this question, you should – investing in your employees is a smart way to find more cash in your bottom line.

But if you need a few ideas to get started on how to use your increased cash flow, we’ve got a few great ones for you.

Ideas to Boost Your Business Environment To Add To Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet

Remember our original question: what would you do if you had an extra $336 in your cash flow spreadsheet to spend on your employees?

Note the keyword — your employees.

Your employees aren’t just the people you walk past in the parking lot every day or the numbers in your spreadsheet. They’re the heart and soul of your business.

And if you treat them that way, they’ll reward you for it.

Have fun like an episode of The Office (just, please don’t be Michael. Just don’t do it).

Boost Employee Engagement – with Cash

We’ll start with the obvious – how to use that extra cash in the cash flow spreadsheet.

Because if you’ve got $336 per person to spare and you’re willing to spend it, there’s no good reason to be shy about it. Make investments in your employees that they’ll thank you for.

Use the Space in Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet to Hire Great People

You know when you worked with someone who’s truly good at their job and excited to do it? That feeling you get from working with them that makes your whole work day better?

That’s the value of hiring great people.

So, we’re here to tell you: use some of that wiggle room in your cash flow spreadsheet to hire excellent people. It will amaze you how much one person’s positive attitude can lighten everyone in the office.

Hiring great people goes hand-in-hand with our other piece of advice: don’t be shy about firing toxic workers. You know the ones. The ones who show up with a bad attitude no matter what day it is, who don’t take personal initiative and drag everyone down.

Invest in Better Lighting

No, seriously.

Seeing the world (or, at least, your small, fluorescent corner of it) in a new light is an excellent use of the spare change in your cash flow spreadsheet.

Exposure to natural light improves everyone’s energy, which boosts your day-to-day productivity.

Yet, nearly half of all workers say there is little to no natural light in their workspace.

Kids, it’s time to play smarter in the sandbox.

We’re not saying you have to knock down walls.

But investing in blue-enriched bulbs in brainstorming rooms can help reduce fatigue, while warmer tones in break rooms and meeting rooms help promote calmness. For conference rooms, you’ll want something in the middle.

Invest in an Office Your Employees Want to Spend Time In

You hate your desk. Your employees hate their desks.

So why are you forcing everyone to be handcuffed to their desks?

Take that extra $336 from your cash flow spreadsheet and use it to give people some options – like comfy chairs, or a choice of whether to sit or stand at desks.

Think about how much time you wasted last Monday just trying to get comfortable at your desk. Exactly.

Trusting your employees with that extra change to make their workspace how they want it to look is also a great way to spend that extra dime. It shows your employees that you value them and trust them to manage their own time efficiently, whatever that means for each person.

Improve Your Employee Benefits

Stop the naysayers in their tracks. We’re here to tell you that investing in better healthcare is worth it, especially when the no-cost benefits actually add cash to your bottom line.

There may be no better way to show your employees that you value what they have to offer than by putting that extra money from your cash flow spreadsheet towards better benefits.

It’s not just about winning over current (and potential) employees, either. Better preventative health care will save you both money for the long haul.

Which is not to say there’s no benefit to making better use of the healthcare you have. Reducing unnecessary health care costs is almost as valuable as better health care – it puts a bit of cash back in everyone’s paychecks and gives you the space to make better use of the healthcare you have.

Boost Employee Engagement – For Free

You do not have to drop every extra dollar from your cash flow spreadsheet on big gestures. Not everyone’s the same kind of romantic.

Seriously, though – there are some smaller gestures you can regularly make to your employees to show your appreciation for the time they spend in the office every day.

Here are five of them.

Reward Achievements (After the Fact)

Communicate clearly to your employees what success in the office looks like so they can strive towards it.

And once they accomplish it, reward them for it.

Your reward can be cash out of your cash flow spreadsheet (a la raises or a bonus), but it can also be something as simple as personal congratulations and thank you for their contributions.

When someone performs exceptionally well, congratulate them in person and publicly.

The little gestures go a long way towards making a better business environment for you and your employees.

Celebrate Personal Milestones

On the note of little gestures – personal milestones.

You don’t spend your non-work time sleeping under your desk, and neither do your employees. They have lives, children, significant others, and interests outside of the 40 hours a week they spend in your office.

Keep up with your employees’ personal lives and celebrate milestones – birthdays, life events, etc.

See, it’s not just about what they do for you directly. Recognizing your employees’ milestones makes them a part of a family.

So, the next time someone has a birthday, bring a cake to the breakroom. Send flowers when someone has a child or gets married.

Your employees will notice that you’ve been paying attention.

Make Time for Fun in the Office

Okay, to be fair, this is one you could entirely drop a bit of that extra cash from your cash flow spreadsheet on if you felt like being an overachiever.

But you can still make space for fun and do it for free, within the office.

Tell a new joke if you have one on hand (even if it’s a dad joke). Or put a small recreational activity in the breakroom, like a dartboard.

A few minutes of fun here and there won’t ruin your workday. If anything, it will make the work day go that much faster.

It’s incredible how much faster the hours go by when you’re not keeping your nose to the grindstone 24/7. Besides, keeping morale high will always be worth more to your cash flow spreadsheet than those two minutes it took to tell a joke.

Break Out of That Boring Routine

You are not a robot. Neither are your employees.

So why are you going through your workday as though you are?

All it does is slow everyone down.

It doesn’t have to be a massive shift. It can be something as simple as a change to the workplace scenery – a new plant, for example.

If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, a company break. Get lunch for the office, or change up your schedule a bit.

As we’ve been saying all along, little gestures make a big difference for your business environment.

Make Promises You Can (and Will) Keep

Fun fact: 90% of employees say that trust, honesty, and fairness are essential qualities in a workplace.

How do you show your employees that you’re honest, trustworthy and fair?

Start by making promises you can keep. And keeping them. Don’t overpromise or under-deliver.

Along similar lines, it also pays to admit when you were wrong. Show compassion, make amends, engage with your human employees, you know, like a real human being who cares about them and the time they’ve invested in your company.

Be Smarter with Your Bottom Line

With all of this newfound money awesomeness in mind, it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of dumb money mistakes businesses make every single day.

Hey, you can’t win them all.

It doesn’t mean you can’t play smarter going forward. Your cash flow spreadsheet (and your employees) will thank you for throwing out that old, lame, flawed rulebook and dodging your past mistakes.

Avoid These Four Rookie Mistakes

The good news – your particular relationship to your cash flow spreadsheet aren’t exactly unique.

Many businesses have gone where you’ve gone, and tend to make the same rookie mistakes.

And guess what? That means you can learn from their errors.

Get these four rookie mistakes out of your system.

1. Treating Your Employees Like Resources

Unless your employees are secretly computers, they have feelings.

On account of being, you know, people.

Treating employees like numbers in your cash flow spreadsheet is not a great way to make them feel valued. It mostly just makes them feel like numbers.

You can motivate your employees with incentives like bonuses and raises, but it will only get you so far if you’re not also taking the time to make them care about the company.

How do you do better?

Support your employees to show them that they are valued instead of treated like a finite resource.

2. Focusing on the Topline

It’s easy to hear that another company makes more every year than you do and assume that they’re more successful than you.

But earnings don’t automatically translate to profits, as any good businessman knows. They don’t mean that company’s cash flow spreadsheet is stronger than yours, either.

You could be running a smaller company with a better profit margin. Or be earning more every year than your competitor and still having a worse profit margin.

Ask yourself whether there are areas you can streamline to do better. Could your inventory or supply chain be simplified? Are you paying the right amount in taxes?

3. Not Investing in Your People

There are two meanings to this phrase, but in case you weren’t paying attention to the other ten times — your employees aren’t just assets.

Which does not mean; you should stop investing in your employees. That includes new and current employees. Plenty of business owners hire cheaply thinking it will help their profit margin, when in actuality, investing in the best person for the job will be better for your cash flow spreadsheet.

The same thing applies to your current employees.

If you’re not showing them that you’re investing in them for the time they spend with you, then why would they stay? You’re telling them that you don’t appreciate them.

4. Thinking that Working Harder Will Work for You

Repeat — work smarter. Not harder.

You can be the best workhorse on the planet, but it doesn’t make you a stronger business owner than someone with a strong vision that they know how to articulate.

If you know what you want to achieve and can tell your employees how you want to get there, you’ll cover a lot more ground than someone who just grinds day in and day out.

Treat your employees as valuable assets and treat yourself like one too. Make smarter use of your time instead of running yourself into the ground.

Make the Most of Your Cash Flow Spreadsheet

Part of building a better workplace is creating a healthier workplace. And part of building a healthier workplace is making smarter use of the healthcare plan you have.

Our Proactive Health Mgmt Plan (PHMP) works for your bottom line while enhancing your existing health insurance plan. All the better for your employees, and you.

You receive immediate guaranteed ROI, new cash flow, in the first month through FICA tax savings and a significantly improved benefits package.

For benefits of the plan, click here to read more.

Ready to get started?

So are we. Get in touch with us today to get started.

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