Top Ten Tips... Raising Awareness About Health in the Workplace
From International Stress Awareness Week to Blue Wednesday, November is a bumper month for health awareness days. The calendar is packed with national, international and global events which aim to raise the profile of different health issues. They raise awareness and sometimes vital funds for charities helping us to lead healthy lives. As an employer, these days are a useful way of introducing conversations about health with your employees and encouraging them to look after themselves and each other.
Here are our Top Ten Tips for raising awareness about health in the workplace:
1. Talk about men’s health
November – or Movember - is Men’s Health Awareness Month and therefore a great opportunity for you to encourage the men in your office to think more about their health and wellbeing. Men across the country usually grow their marvellous moustaches to raise awareness and funds for charities linked to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. You can play your part by encouraging staff to fundraise and to get checked out at their GP surgery if they have any concerns.
2. Develop a no smoking policy
November is also Lung Cancer Awareness Month. It is a timely reminder to review your smoking policy and to encourage your employees to cut down or quit. You could start by strengthening your no smoking policy at work, making it more difficult for staff to continue their smoking habit – it’s for their own good! Or you could provide information and links to local smoking cessation groups. You could even offer free patches and gum to staff wanting to give up.
3. Make time for dentists
Mouth Cancer Action Month runs throughout November and is a charity campaign which aims to raise awareness of mouth cancer and to make a difference by saving thousands of lives through early detection and prevention. As with all cancers it’s important to get mouth cancer diagnosed at an early stage. No one likes going to the dentist, but if you have the capacity to do so, why not encourage your colleagues to take time out to make an appointment in November?
4. Thank carers
November is National Family Caregivers Month where we take time to champion and provide support to the 78 million people who dedicate their time, often unpaid, caring for a family member in need. As we approach the festive season, it’s particularly important that we show our appreciation for those who work tirelessly to provide care; whether it be financial, medical, domestic or emotional support. It can be incredibly difficult and stressful balancing a caring role with work. It’s the perfect time to check in on the colleagues you know care for a loved one to see how they are coping.
5. Help to combat stress
International Stress Awareness Week runs from 2-6 November and is as a major annual event focusing on stress management. This year’s event will look at issues such as how employers are responding to mental health issues and what can be learnt. The week will also focus on campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues; what action needs to be taken in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and possible changes in future working practices. It will also look at ensuring those who are suffering stress know where to seek advice. As an employer, you can play your part by looking at what support is available for your staff.
6. Help to boost wellbeing
Global Leaders in WellBeing Week runs from 2-6 November and is designed to allow participants worldwide the opportunity to promote the benefits of wellbeing, including emotional, financial, social, physical, career and environmental wellbeing. This is the perfect opportunity for your business to showcase what health and wellbeing initiatives you offer to help keep your staff physically and mentally well.
7. Be more aware about the impact of stress
Held on Wednesday 4 November, National Stress Awareness Day is run by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). The day aims to raise awareness, publicity and profile of stress and its impact, and reduce stigma while promoting the importance of well-being and stress reduction for individuals and organizations. Why not look at updating your wellbeing initiatives or mental health policy?
8. Reduce those sweet teeth
Does your office have a communal supply of biscuits and sweet treats? Like most work places, they probably do! As much as treats raise a smile, they are also full of sugar. Sugar Awareness Week is run in November by Action on Sugar to celebrate the success of the food industry, government and NGOs’ progress so far and to raise awareness about the need to reduce our sugar intake. Why not promote a cake free week at your workplace and treat your colleagues to healthy snacks instead?
9. Banish bullies
The Anti-Bullying Alliance are the official organisers of Anti-Bullying Week, which will take place from 16-20 November. The theme is ‘United Against Bullying.’ Sadly, bullying doesn’t just happen in the playground – it can be prevalent in the workplace too. As a business owner you have a duty to recognise when this is happening and to act quickly and robustly to show that it’s unacceptable. It’s the perfect opportunity to check whether your HR policies include guidance for how to report bullying. For more info, check out our recent blog about bullying in the workplace: https://www.chrysos.org.uk/blog/top-ten-tips-for-dealing-with-bullying-in-the-workplace
10. Be kind
World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on 13 November as part of the World Kindness Movement. Why not celebrate the day in your workplace by encouraging acts of kindness. You could lead the way by offering an extended lunch break or a break time treats. It might seem a little fluffy but thanks to the pressures of Covid-19, life is stressful for everyone right now and a good deed will be even more appreciated.
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