Neglecting your health by eating poorly is considered one of the fastest ways to lose energy, but the impact of poor nutrition is more significant than employers might realize. The other effects of poor diet and nutrition include low stamina, a weakened immune system, decreased quality of sleep, and reduced performance. If employees practice bad eating habits, they’ll be less effective at work and will lack energy for other activities they enjoy.
Because the human body requires the right foods to function, poor nutritional health can affect employees faster if they have a physically or mentally demanding job, such as carpentry or teaching. Without enough healthy fuel to burn, employees’ brains and bodies will get tired at the wrong time of the day. They can become generally exhausted, get sick faster, and potentially miss entire days of work.
These cases are detrimental to both employees and their companies. Ill or absent workers disrupt the organization’s overall performance and efficiency, and that can set back company goals for days or weeks. To best support workers and prevent setbacks, human resources managers should expand company health initiatives and encourage proactive nutrition.
How to Prevent Poor Nutrition
Many companies have already implemented robust wellness programs and made nutritional health counseling part of their employee health benefits. Although specific company health initiatives vary from business to business, there are three simple strategies HR managers can put in place to start improving employee health and wellness across the company:
1. Stock healthy snacks and make a space for physical exercise.
Building a fully outfitted gym or smoothie bar in the office isn’t necessary. However, HR managers should find creative ways for employees to eat healthfully and engage in physical exercise during the day. A room to exercise in or a designated path outside of the office for walking or jogging can serve as great places for employees to stay physically active. Keep a supply of healthy and nutritious foods — Greek yogurt, granola bars, and veggie trays — for all employees to enjoy in the break room. If there isn’t much space, consider investing in a small fridge or table to place snacks on. If you’re working remotely, set aside time for virtual yoga sessions or healthy lunch dates. There’s always a way to encourage wellness.
2. Recommend registered dietitians.
Physician visits are a routine healthcare service, but sometimes employees need more. Because eating healthfully is essential for maintaining one’s overall health, nutritional counseling is often an extremely helpful service included with many employee health benefit plans. Create a list of registered dietitians who are in-network or partner with a service that will connect you with experts who can help employees eat healthier and feel better. If possible, offer incentives for employees to take advantage of this service.
3. Encourage employees to be open about their needs.
When people don’t focus on their healthcare and nutrition, they’re more likely to develop chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. If employees have existing health issues, then their healthcare and nutrition needs may be more substantial. Encourage employees to be open about their specific needs and address any problems by adjusting employee health benefits when appropriate.
When employees neglect their nutritional well-being, it impacts not only their work quality but every aspect of their lives. That’s why HR managers should use the three strategies listed above to supplement their company health initiatives. If your organization is working on prioritizing employees’ health and wellness, then consider looking into telemedicine nutritional counseling at Healthy Bytes. Our registered dietitian can help employees prioritize better health at no extra cost to you. Reach out today!