How to retain employees? Setting up a wellness program and encouraging them to learn about health and wellness. Empowering your employees to take care of themselves will improve your business.
Do not miss these highlights:
01:58 The three advantages of giving incentives to your employees.
02:48 The reasons to promote well-being in the workplace - Increase productivity and motivation - Bring teams together and build morale - Decrease work-related stress.
05:53 A great way to start a wellness strategy is by slowly rolling out your ideas so that your employees won't even realize that you're starting to initiate this wellness program.
07:19 Encourage work-life balance- Let them take downtime.
11:31 Encourage your employees to get up from their desks, move around and take breaks - Have them get up, walk around and talk to somebody.
12:45 The ideas of workplace initiatives - You could have an official wellness program, have healthy food be brought in, and allow them to take advantage of any of the things you have in the Office for free.
14:57 How to encourage your employees to exercise.
16:55 Offer them flexible hours - It helps to reduce burnout.
18:46 You could also pay for courses for them. Educate your staff, the more educated your staff is, the less work it actually is for you.
19:16 Look at their nutrition and eating habits.
21:32 Look at their emotional well-being and distress, so your employees can promote health, healthiness and happiness.
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Transcript of Episode #34:
You're listening to the Functional Medicine Business Podcast featuring Dr. Deb, one of the most creative functional medicine business practitioners in her industry. She shares the wisdom and knowledge that she has gained over 25 years of functional medicine, a pioneer in functional medicine, scheduling, leadership and Practice Management. Dr. Devin has a wealth of knowledge and he's eager to share to help functional medicine become more productive. And for the practitioners and patients to live better lives. Our podcast shares the good and the bad of our industry. Because Dr. Deb knows the pain you live every day building a functional medicine practice with practical tools of how to manage money, taxes and patient care. She will discuss it all with you.
Welcome back to the FMBI podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Deb. And today I want to share with you wellbeing initiatives for your workplace for 2022. You know, I can't believe that we're halfway through the year already. There's so much time left, but yet there's not so much time left, right. I mean, it's it's crazy how quickly the year goes. And before you know it the years off and half the things we wanted to accomplish in the year for our business we haven't done. So what I want to talk about is investing in workplace wellness. You know, if you've been looking for a employee, and you have been hiring, you totally understand the problem that we're in right now with being able to hire quality employees, people that actually show up and want to work. And everybody wants way more money than what most of us can afford for the positions we're hiring these days. So it's getting harder and harder to find those quality people. So I want to talk a little bit today about incentives that we can do to one encourage people to join your practice to invest in your people so that you create an environment that they don't want to leave. And three, it helps to reduce reduce the stress within your office, which just makes it a really great environment for everybody if there's less stress, your research has shown that there are many reasons why workplace wellness pays back. And of course, we can actually put a number to that. But studies are very clear that there is a good ROI on investment into your team once they gain better performance and general well being. So the three reasons to promote wellbeing in the workplace is it increases productivity and motivation. healthy employees physically perform better, they have more energy, they have better focus and concentration. And they're just in general, healthier. So you know, they're not sick as often they're not staying home as often.
And when you have healthier employees in your office, there's certainly a lot less drama. It also number two is it brings teams together and builds morale. So when teams engage in wellness activities together, inside and outside the workplace, there's a shared purpose and it builds a network or a team of people that want to work together that work together well and has each other's back. And that's super important. In a small office, you want your team to work cohesively together, you don't want your team pitting one another against another person and creating drama for you. It also decreases work related stress, fitness and healthy eating can reduce the stress. And if your business can implement mindfulness and meditation, this totally helps to reduce the stress level. Healthcare is stressful these days. I've been in health care for 25 years, it's always been stressful. But it certainly feels more stressful now than it has in a while. And part of it is just what's going on in the world around us the changes in health care.
You know, COVID doesn't help. It's just got everybody on edge. So it is much more stressful. You have sick people out all the time you have sick people coming in all the time. So the stress is getting higher and higher. Not to mention that we're working with fewer people, and the workload is just that much higher. So if we can get our employees to relax a little bit more, this will really help elevate your practice and ensure that the team can be their best selves and can produce the best for you and your clients. So let's talk a little bit about how we encourage wellness goals into a practice. Well, we want more productive and healthier, happier employees, that's the key. So if we don't engage in a health program, then sometimes your money is wasted. But honestly, you could do this on such a limited budget. So I know there's some of you out there that are listening and are thinking I'm just starting out, there's no way I can invest in this program. But I think you can actually, and I'll talk about some ways that you can do this with minimal investment on your side, but with a ton of upside in getting your employees to be healthier, and have them be what you want.
So a great way to start a wellness strategy is by slowly rolling out your ideas so that your employees won't even realize that you're starting to initiate this wellness program. So you want to create a productive environment, create a space that allows for minimal distractions, it prevents fatigue, and headaches, good lighting is key. You know, most of the buildings have these fluorescent bulbs, which are really hard on the eyes, really hard on a person, we have them in our office too. But we swapped out the fluorescent bulbs for the natural lighting bulbs that you can purchase. And that just makes it so much easier for us to practice all day in the office. And if we need that brighter light, like in our laboratory, we have a little bit different lighting system there. But in the exam rooms where we don't need that really bright light and that harsh light, we just put natural bulbs in. And that has made a huge difference working on the computer every single day. The other thing is you want to have nice colors in your office, you know, have stimulating colors, but they're warm, and they're comforting, and they're inviting. And this really helps to calm not just your employees down, but it also calms your patients down. But in the same token it stimulates their cognitive function. So colors can be really important for you to look at.
The next thing is to encourage work life balance. Now, why do we want to do this? Well, it actually makes for a more productive day. And I am probably the worst one to talk about this because I work all the time. But it's because I love it. Like I get super excited about doing different tasks and doing different projects. And I'm always working. So if I take some downtime, my staff isn't really happy about that. Because when I take downtime, my mind is quiet and it becomes more creative. And it just kind of gets new ideas. And then I want to implement these things. And so they're cautious about me taking downtime. But honestly, you know, you still need downtime. So this week, I'm on a business retreat week. So once a quarter, I take the last week of every quarter off. And I spent it working on my business instead of in my business. And this is where I work with my office manager and some of my team members to implement new things into the practice, we look at what kinds of things need to be changed what things need to be upgraded. I meet with new vendors and new people to bring different things into the practice and vet those people. And so it's usually a pretty busy week for me, I'm usually tweaking protocols, and then trying to share that with my key members. So my husband came in this morning and said, What's on your agenda for today, and I only have two meetings today. But I have a ton of just task work to do right protocols to write and things to design. And I said, I'm so busy. And he said we need to go play and, and he's my play guy, he makes sure that I get my work life balance. So he said, Let's go we'll go for a motorcycle ride or we're gonna go fishing. Let's pick something. Let's get out for a couple of hours. And you know, I could sit here and work all day and all night and it wouldn't bother me at all. But I know that's not healthy for me.
So I start the morning with my walk. I do a mid day walk or an after dinner walk. And then I carve out a couple of hours throughout the day where I can go play, I'll go play for a couple hours, come back and work, go play for a couple of hours come back and work. And that works for me. But for some people, they can't do it that way. They need to have that break set up and structured like maybe it's an entire day that they go and play in and trust me I have those days to where I go and play for an entire day and I don't work. But this week for me. I have to get certain things done and there's always more things on my to do list than I can accomplish but I'm, but I sneak away and I get those things done. So try to create that balance and, and encourage that for your employees to, they need to have that balance. So you want to encourage encourage them to do single task not multitask.
Now, I'm really terrible at this too, because I'm always multitasking, I have things going off on my phone, I have things written on a piece of paper, I have things written in my remarkable I have 20 tabs open on my computer. And that's my way. So I don't forget what I'm doing. Because I'm always getting interrupted in the middle of things. So but when you're working with your employees, it's better to unless they're that type of person like I am, which is clearly add. You want to encourage them to do single task things so that they get things done there, there's no errors in it. And it doesn't stress them out quite so much. So work on creating a area that's easier. Like even at your front desk, if you have everybody answering the phone, everybody checking emails, everybody checking people in and out, it gets really challenging. Not everybody can do that. So sometimes it's better to have one person answering the phone, one person checking emails, one person checks in one person checks out. And that doesn't mean that those people can't cross over and help each other. But you got a dedicated person there. So they know what is their responsibility for the day. And that really helps.
The other thing is I would encourage your employees to get up from their desk and move around. You know, when smoking was really popular everybody took smoke breaks. So every hour, hour and a half people were out having a cigarette, right? Well, now that we don't have that, and most wellness places don't allow people to smoke, you still need to encourage your employees to take breaks. So at least every hour, have them get up walk around talk to somebody, we have a really nice area behind our building that has some beautiful trees and some flowers and birds. And when it's nice out, we encourage everybody to go sit for a few minutes or go take a little walk, you know, get out of the building get away from what's going on, just to clear your head for you know, even just 5-10 minutes. And it works really nicely to rejuvenate your staff and not burn them out. Because the key is that you don't want your staff to burn out. If they burn out. They're not helpful to you, they're not helpful to the patient. They get crabby, which means we get crabby, you get complaints, and then eventually that person is going to leave because they're so burnt out that they can't deal with what's going on anymore. So you want to protect your employees as best you can.
Next is the ideas of workplace initiatives. How do you do this? Well, you could have an official wellness program, where you send employees to health education meetings, you send them health education, emails, create corporate culture and company goals, things like that. But you could also have a softer launch, where maybe you just have healthy food be brought in, you know, once a month for meetings, instead of bringing cupcakes and donuts, you bring fruit plates, and you bring protein bars and things like that, or you bring in smoothies.
There are a lot of different ways that you can encourage your employees to be part of the healthy wellness group. We have a lot of ancillary services. So we have biofeedback and we have RF, and we have IBS. And we have shockwave therapy. And we have body sculpting. And we have detox foot baths and Let machines. I mean, we have all kinds of stuff. So we allow our employees to take advantage of any of the things that we have in the Office for free. Unless there's something that we're doing that there's a cost to the clinic. So like our IVs, there's a cost to that. And so all we ask is that they pay the office costs for the IV. But we let them do it on company time. Anything else that doesn't have a actual hard costs to it, like our biofeedback that doesn't cost us anything to do except somebody's time. We let them do for free. And I think that's important for you because your employees not only learn exactly what it is that these things do, and they can speak better to it to your patients. It also brings them in and encourages them to be healthier, and to take care of themselves a little bit more and why not let your employees experience everything that you have in the office. I mean that they should just be part of that that's a given. So the next thing is exercise and fitness is really important to encourage your employees to exercise. After all, there's a lot of hard work that happens at the desk, but we don't want them just sitting. We know the statistics of people sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. So encourage them to go take a walk, get up, talk to people, maybe you want to do a group walk or bike to work event. So you could do a competition for people to who walk or bike to work. And whoever does the most miles gets a prize, you could do that. You could do a walking meeting, where you just, instead of sitting around the boardroom table, or the kitchen table, you guys get out and you walk and you have your meeting outdoors, you could do on site yoga classes for stress relief, this is really a great idea. And you can also offer discounts to the local gym as part of a benefit package to your employees. And this could encourage people who normally wouldn't go to a gym to actually join and be part of it, if they had a discount, you could work with a local gym, to set up this discount, and to get your employees to socialize outside of work. And it really is nice when your employees can socialize outside of work, because it really builds a nice team. You know, all of this actually helps to increase your productivity. So you want to design your office with seating and tables that people can gather around. But then you want to make sure that they're not always talking business either. Because it's important that they actually get downtime, where they're not talking about patients or not talking about the business, where they can just talk about life and person, what's going on in their personal life and what's going on in the world around us.
Another great thing would be to offer flexible hours. Everybody has demands outside of work right now from Family Health to kids being moved to place to place and events and sick dogs and you know, elderly parents and things like that. And so it helps to reduce burnout, if you can help accommodate some of this time when it's happening. It shouldn't be happening always, you know, every employee should not be having a crisis in their life at the same time or forever. But if you have somebody who's maybe their parents are sickly, and they need to take them to doctor's appointments, and things like that, and they're a good employee, be flexible with that person, because you don't want to lose that person. And if they don't have the flexibility to take care of their family, you will lose them. So be kind, be understanding be flexible, give them different hours, you know, maybe they could split a shift. Instead of the typical eight to five, maybe they could work from home some days to you know, working remotely, is a big thing these days. And some offices have certain tasks that can be done remotely. I have a girl that works remotely for me actually have to my biller works remotely. And then I have one of my medical assistants who works remotely. And she does all our behind the scenes things. So she gets all of our labs loads them and does all our prior offs. She triage does a lot of our phones and answers all of our emails and things like that. Those kinds of things can be done from home, they don't necessarily have to be done in the office. And so when you have tasks like this, and you have people that want to work from home, or need flexible hours, think about that, and how you can accommodate that and still get those tasks done.
You could also pay for courses for them. You know, you want to educate your staff, the more educated your staff is, the less work it actually is for you. Because if your staff knows what you know, I mean, they're never going to know everything you know, but if they understand what you know better, they can speak to it better. They can help triage patients better, they can educate patients better. So they're not always asking you for an answer, because they already know the answer because you've trained them appropriately. The other thing is looking at nutrition and looking at eating habits. You know, many of us have had a lot of challenges with eating over our lifetime. And like I mentioned before, just simply bringing in healthy snacks for a business meeting. fruit baskets and getting rid of all the junk food in your business can be a huge turnaround for people. We used to do a lot of potlucks for birthdays and holidays and things like that. And those are really fun too. You could do monthly potlucks or just do birthday potlucks, and holiday potlucks, and everybody brings something healthy. And of course you're going to have desserts but because they're homemade, they're going to be healthier versions of them. You know a lot of people in the wellness world they they cook with Mung fruit are stevia instead of sugar. So there's no reason you still can't enjoy some of these things occasionally. But it also opens the door to people who don't know how to cook with these kinds of things and engages in conversations about how to cook this way. And it shows your team that you walk the walk, and it actually shows your patients that you walk the walk when when you're doing things like this.
Using nutritional technology is really great, too, we have a program that we use a software to create meal plans for our patients, and giving access to your team so that they can create their own meal meal plan is huge. It not only gets them bought into the idea that meal planning is important and healthy eating is important. But it also teaches them how to use this program. And they'll share the information that they've learned with your employees and with your patients. And so you can expand that out. And that software typically has an annual cost. So it's it's not a separate cost for every single person you use it with. But it gets your employees bought into the healthier lifestyle. You could also order lunch in and instead of ordering in your typical typical fast food, you order in healthy salad bars, soups, proteins, things like that. And it doesn't have to be all the time, it can just be on certain occasions.
The other thing you want to look at is emotional well being and destressing. So you could do an inspirational quote of the day this can set everybody up for the positive outlook on their working day. And you can also do group volunteering with community organizations where maybe you go pick up trash, or you do blood pressure clinics, or you do fundraising events as a team. And this can be really helpful as well. And very bonding for your team and your group. Also, you can do mindfulness training, which helps to reduce stress and promote positive emotions. This kind of training can be done as a group, it can be done as a digital program. There are lots of different ideas that you guys can implement, to create that wellness program within your office so that your employees can promote health, healthy ness and happiness. And it can be shared with your patients as well. And your patients will start to see that everybody is happy and excited and, and working together. And it just creates such a wonderful atmosphere of things. So I hope you guys implement this. And even if you just implement one or two things, you don't have to implement the entire thing. But one or two things can be a huge change in your practice, and building stability and camaraderie, and really engaging your team to keep them with you for as long as you possibly can.
So everybody have a safe and happy Fourth of July. And get out there and just experience the world view with your family and friends and be safe. And I hope that I hope that the second half of 2022 is really empowering for your business and you really just kill it and make your business grow. So be well everyone.
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode and you'd like to help support the podcast, please share it with others hosts about it on social media, or leave a rating and review. To catch all the latest for me. You can follow me on Facebook at FM bi, join our free group where we support one another and share our struggles. Thanks again and I'll see you next time.