The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Member Blog: Why feeding your workforce can make you money

By Laura Jones, Marketing and Communications Manager – Good Mood Food
At Good Mood Food we actively promote the importance of healthy eating and a well balanced diet on mental health. As the social enterprise leg of mental health charity Manchester Mind we provide catering for a whole range of occasions from corporate events and business lunches through to canteen catering, private dining, festivals and markets. Our menus are intentionally healthy as we recognise the impact this can have on our overall wellbeing.

The majority of people know the benefits that a good, healthy diet can have on their physical health including weight management and energy levels. However less people are aware of the positive impacts nourishing food can have on mental health. Most people will identify with the ‘mid afternoon slump’ after a carb-laden lunch or the mid morning mood swings and grumpiness after skipping breakfast, ultimately leading to an unhealthy snack from the office vending machine(!)

With many organisations looking to save money and increase efficiencies, investing and committing resources to ensuring employees remain well can actually save money in the long term. According to ACAS, with mental health issues costing employers in the UK in the region of £30 billion a year (through lost production, recruitment and absence) committing these resources can also prevent staff absence and increase productivity – so a business no-brainer.

Physical conditions can be a source of long term sickness but the majority of long term illnesses are actually mental health related. Most commonly depression, anxiety and stress, as employees are ever more asked for better results and quicker turnaround times plus the increasingly 24/7 nature of many jobs with smart phones and wi-fi. So the importance of preventing these should be paramount to businesses. In addition, poor nutrition is not just linked to mental health but of course can increase the risk of conditions such as coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Businesses can easily help their employees to stay healthy both mentally and physically through promoting a good diet, perhaps healthy treats in the vending machine, a free fruit bowl or teaming up with local companies, (such as ourselves) for a healthy meeting buffet selection, including plenty of fresh fruits, salad and other buffet items.

An employee’s wellbeing is a main category in the Times Top 100 companies to work for. Those listed place a real emphasis on how their employees feel, including stress management and overall welfare, which includes things like offering a breakfast club, mid morning fruit rounds, ensuring employees take their full lunch breaks and ensuring canteens offer healthy and reasonably priced food

About Good Mood Food:

Good Mood Food is a catering social enterprise and part of Manchester Mind. We cater for a whole range of events and occasions and deliver across Manchester.  We can also cater for special dietary requirements from vegan and halal to gluten free and low carb.

As part of Manchester Mind, by placing your order with Good Mood Food, you will also be helping to fund vital services for those with mental health problems. We use all of our profits to promote positive mental health, teach new skills and provide volunteering placements.

Please visit www.goodmoodfood.org for further information.

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