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by | Jun 5, 2019

Nudging Your Employees Towards A Healthier Lifestyle

We had the pleasure of hosting authors, Rex Miller and Dr. Michael O’Neil, in Vancouver last month for their book tour, The Healthy Workplace Nudge. Needless to say, it was an enlightening experience! With Dr. Mike’s infectious personality and Rex’s health conscious humor – this duo was an engaging mix of fresh ideas and workplace knowledge.

Rex Miller holds a master’s degree as a futurist and entered the world of consulting after 40 years as a corporate leader. He has won international awards for innovation, is a frequent keynote speaker and an elite leadership coach. Dr. Mike leads Haworth’s global workplace research, and workplace strategy teams. Mike has degrees in psychology and architecture and has a long-term interest in how workspace design improves people’s performance and well-being and reduces stress. Now that we’ve given you the back-stories on these impressive authors, allow us to dig a little deeper into what The Healthy Workplace Nudge is actually about.

The Healthy Workplace Nudge is a book about improving the well-being and productivity of employees in the workplace. “It’s a guide to reducing stress and health related costs by offering the strategies for creating cultures of care.” The experts involved in writing this book conducted extensive research on this subject, and explored the information collected through a very personal lens. The stories outlined throughout this book are relatable and empowering, and in turn, inspired us, Brooks Corning, to take immediate action.  

So, how can we start making small nudges to influence positive behavior in the workplace? Whether it’s having fresh fruit and water accessible in more areas of the office, to designating a certain time of day for exercise, these are all little to no cost solutions that will help nudge your employees to make healthier everyday choices. Keep this in mind: “Rather than getting your employees to make better choices, ask yourself why they’re not doing it already?”

“Creating Environments that allow people to be their best selves every day is not just a nice to have; it’s a business imperative. While everyone agrees philosophically that healthy, happy employees are tantamount to innovative and successful business, rapid change in the wellness industry demands a clearer definition of the hows and whys of employee health. This book masterfully cuts through the noise to shed light on to what works and what doesn’t. Rex has truly helped carve the way to the future of the workplace.” – Ryan Picarella, president, Wellness Council of America, WELCOA

When focusing on bigger nudges, some examples might include designing your office around staircases rather than elevators to increase physical activity, or choosing an office building with a higher percentage of glass windows so natural light can enter the workspace.  The health benefits that come from regular exercise and sunlight are extensive. With the amount of hours people spend at work versus at home, why not facilitate some of these wellness practices? Our employee’s happiness and productivity should be the goal!

“Traditional corporate wellness programs have assumed that if employees only had information about healthy choices and received a $300 discount on their health insurance premium for achieving their modest goals, that would be enough to persuade them to change. That hasn’t worked and won’t. That’s because humans are not rational decision makers (…) Behavioral economics is built along the difference between our autopilot, intuitive side, and our more deliberate and reflective side. A nudge is often all it takes to make a good choice and a bad choice harder.”

In conclusion, inspire your employees to live a healthier lifestyle by being the guiding force. Create easy and accessible opportunities in your work environment to make healthier choices. Lead by example. Listen to their ideas and concerns so they feel mentally and emotionally supported.  Be positive.

It’s a great day to have a great day!