Managers can help employees stay healthy

New York, Feb 16 (IANS) Besides helping new employees get settled in a job, managers — if given an incentive — can also help them achieve wellness goals, suggests new research.

Tying just 10 percent of managers’ salary increases to their employee wellness efforts, could have a big payoff in terms of creating a culture of health at the workplace, and could tip the scales toward healthier employees, the study said.

While workplace wellness initiatives are common, few have had substantial success in getting individual employees to make healthy changes.

“Instead of focusing on individual wellness outcomes, we propose that it would be more effective if managers were incentivised to create healthier overall work environments with simple, easy to implement actions such as installing a water cooler, providing healthy snacks at meetings, and encouraging work/life balance,” said lead author Rebecca Robbins from Food and Brand Lab, Cornell University, New York.

The study surveyed 270 adults with manager roles and found that 68 percent supported the idea of being evaluated by their employee wellness actions.

“Leadership support is essential in any workplace change, including wellness. Most employee wellness initiatives don’t utilise the power of manager leadership — this strategy is unique in that it really taps into the manager’s ability to lead their team to wellness,” study co-author Brian Wansink, director, Cornell Food and Brand Lab, noted.

The findings appeared in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

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