Become A Health Evangelist
Increasingly, organisations want to be seen as doing the right things in pushing employees to stay healthy.
Photo Credit : Reuters
I met some very senior and seasoned HR heads who are committed to not just pushing everyone to stay healthy, but also believe the people they hire should look fit as well. Increasingly, organisations want to be seen as doing the right things in pushing employees to stay healthy. This isn’t just out of a PR need but a very commercial requirement as well: if a person at a senior level collapses due to high blood pressure, stroke, asthma, cardiac arrest (all happening real time), the organisation not only loses (short or long term) the employee they invested in, but also the time they will take to hire and train and a new person to take this person’s place. In short, it’s every HR head’s nightmare to have an unhealthy senior management. So what can they do to instill preventive health habits to cut down emergencies and increase energy and output? Here are a few tips that work:
Get a poster boy & girl. Every organisation has a few professionals who take the time out and do things to stay healthy, follow a passion like running, tennis, golf, walking… Invite them to Monday morning sessions and ask them to talk about how they began and how they have benefitted by taking the healthier route.
Hire a coach. Seeing colleagues get healthier is only part of the communication. Going from point A to B requires someone to guide your team on how to achieve health goals to stay fit based on age, gender and current health issues.
Document. Get forms, surveys and testimonials out. Amidst the group that’s itching to start, motivate new poster boys and girls to achieve goals so that three months later, they can talk about their experiences.
Start a health section. Get your marcom team to put up a quick 3-4 pager. Don’t get mired by doing a “project” on it. I have seen that when companies do that, a website takes six months to be up. Just a few pages, listing poster boys and girls, health coach details and some articles on health goals, that’s it. It takes two days.
Push for check-ups. A lot of organisations have health check-ups, but don’t follow up after that. For your senior management, get proactive. It’s a small group, easier to manage. Get each one to take their reports to the health coach and discuss goals.
Institute awards. Everyone loves awards, however senior you may be. Choose the healthiest and reward them with posters, certificates, website write-ups and a health hamper. It takes very little, really.
Go to the press. Once you have completed all the above, talk about how you did it. Other organisations can learn from you. And soon, we can hope to see a healthier corporate India.
Question Of The Fortnight
Send in your questions to [email protected]
I just had my annual check-up and the doctor said everything was fine, but my vitamin D levels are very low. Do I need supplements or sit in the sun? — Harish Malhotra, Pune
Dear Harish, Almost 80 per cent of Indian urban working professionals have extremely low vitamin D levels, leading to low immunity, compromised bones and heart functioning and a high risk for certain types of cancers. Take a supplement, as sitting in the sun will not solve the problem. Take the advise of a nutritionist as how you take supplements is as important as which ones to take and at what frequency. I have seen many patients with toxic levels of vitamin D as well because the doctor over-prescribed them. So make sure you choose someone who is trained.