24 October 2014
I’ve long believed that physical and mental wellbeing are essential to maintaining a high performance in business, just as they are in competitive sport. I also believe that, as employers, we have a responsibility to help every member of our team to reach their goals, whether personal or professional. So, on the one hand, it’s positive that the government is trying to get Britain healthier by challenging businesses to motivate and reward their employees.
Yet, whilst incentivising employees to lose weight with cash and gift vouchers might seem like a good idea, I’m not sure whether it would work in the long term. If your motivation for losing weight is money then are you likely to keep the weight off once you have received it? And what happens if you put the weight back on again? Do you have to pay the money back?
If businesses received tax breaks for creating a healthy workplace culture with additions like onsite gyms or daily fruit deliveries, I would happily shake someone by the hand for this, but I’m not convinced it will happen.
One thing I am pleased to hear is that the NHS is attempting to lead by example, with healthier food options available in hospitals and a focus on encouraging staff to lead healthy lifestyles themselves. Personally, I think this can only be a good thing, as great leaders get better results when they practice what they preach.
Ultimately, businesses that are actively trying to bring health and fitness to their company culture are likely to see positive results. Regular exercise is a proven mood lifter and helps with memory and productivity. Shouldn’t that be incentive enough for people who want to shape up?