It's no secret that well-being is a growing priority for many companies aiming to foster a more resilient and thriving workforce. At the same time, addressing something as multifaceted as well-being can be daunting with so many important pillars to consider, like social, physical, mental, spiritual, and even financial health, to name a few.
Workforce nutrition programs offer a tangible way to address physical health, building on what many companies already have in place. Nutrition is also linked to mental health, as the food we eat affects how we feel and vice versa. With organizations like the World Benchmarking Alliance and the Access to Nutrition Initiative evaluating workforce nutrition commitments, it is becoming an increasingly critical area for businesses to focus their well-being efforts.
Good for Health, Good for Business
Nearly 60% of the world's population spends one-third of their adult life at work. And most people eat at least one meal at work each day. That makes workforce nutrition an effective way to impact employee health and well-being. Intentional programs also have bona fide business benefits, including:
- Reduced absenteeism
- Increased productivity
- Greater job satisfaction
- Increased employee retention
- Lower rates of accidents and mistakes
- Reduced healthcare costs
Workforce Nutrition: Where to Start
Despite the benefits, many companies struggle to know how to begin. The Workforce Nutrition Alliance (WNA), a collaboration between the Consumer Goods Forum and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, offers a useful framework to guide companies around four programmatic themes:
- Healthy food at work - Increasing access to healthy and safe foods by improving meals and snacks or by working with local vendors
- Nutrition education - Supporting behavior change towards healthier eating habits and lifestyles through increased knowledge on good nutrition
- Nutrition-related health checks - Providing periodic meetings with health professionals for assessments and guidance for better health
- Breastfeeding support - Create breastfeeding-friendly workplaces and policies that support parental and child health and well-being
WNA offers a variety of resources for companies just getting started (e.g., toolkits, webinars, trainings). Those looking to develop or improve their program can also sign up for a three-month masterclass.
How Eat Well Global Can Help
As a technical partner to the WNA, Eat Well Global supports companies looking to further develop their well-being and workforce nutrition programs. We provide tailored strategic guidance as well as implementation support, including:
- Needs and opportunity assessments
- Customized approaches to align with other internal strategies
- Guidance on catering standards and agreements
- Turnkey nutrition educational modules and materials
- Policy development and dissemination
- Tailored measurements to optimize reporting
Get in touch to find out how Eat Well Global can make workforce nutrition work for your business!
About the Author
Allison Pigatto, MS, RDN
Allison is a nutrition communicator with global expertise in sustainable food systems. With strong experience on global health strategy development including nutrition guidelines, FOPNL implementation and goals articulation, she excels at connecting the dots between the nutritional, social, environmental, and regulatory dimensions of food, and bridges the gap between theory and practice.