Your employees work hard. As a leader, your job is to help give them the tools to succeed for themselves and for you. As you focus on the worker, it can be easy to neglect the person. People need time to take care of themselves, and during the workday, a key aspect of that is their nutritional needs. Give some attention to helping your team eat better.
The Perils of Haphazard Lunches
Too often, lunch is an afterthought for your hardest workers. They plan out their workday, adjust to what comes in after they start, and try to squeeze in some food when and where they can. This might mean running through a fast-food drive-thru, binging on snacks, or even skipping food altogether. Any of these approaches neglect the nutritional needs they have.
Over time it can lead to lower energy, inability to focus, and even an increase in sick time. No matter how well you train your team in performing their work, they will be less efficient under these circumstances.
Encourage Healthy Eating
You can take steps to counteract this. Part of it comes through encouraging everyone to take a full lunch of at least 30 minutes--and preferably an hour. That gives people time to get out, eat something healthy, and come back refreshed for the afternoon. Workers who leave for an hour due to laziness should be reminded that this time away actually makes them more productive. Some workers think taking hour-long breaks are a sign of laziness, so remind them that this extra time away actually makes them more productive.
Beyond lunch, you can help by stocking healthy snacks in your workplace. Replace chips and soft drinks with vegetables and other healthier options. Set up a water cooler to give easy access to fresh, cold water during the day. The more you can do to present those options to your team, the more likely they are to snack on healthy food during the day.
Meal-Based Team Building
Finally, you can use a healthy eating initiative as a team building exercise as well. Once a week, or even once a month, organize a team lunch. You can work with a caterer to serve healthy meal options, or you can run it as a bring-your-own-dish potluck. In either case, you can use the opportunity to talk to each other—not about deadlines and current projects, but about how everyone is doing. You can both create a healthy eating environment and remind everyone that you are in this together.It is easy to neglect nutrition in a busy workplace. Unfortunately, taking care of those basic needs is critical to setting you up for success in everything else you do. Put some effort into driving a healthier workforce, and you will all benefit from it.