Stoptober – Time to Quit Smoking!

10th October 2017

It’s a great time to look at improving the health of your employees (and possibly yourself), as October marks the start of a 28-day campaign aimed at getting the nation’s smokers to quit the habit.

The premise behind ‘Stoptober’ is that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good. This can have a major effect on a person’s personal health, and in turn, have a positive impact on the workplace.

Why is Smoking Bad for Business?

According to a recent article about impact of smoking on the workplace, businesses lose over 11 million days of productivity each year due to smoking-related sick days, costing employers in the UK a staggering £1 billion a year!

To ensure your company’s long-term productivity and success, here’s a few thoughts that might help you to help your team to quit smoking.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive recognition and encouragement is the easiest and probably most important way to help your employees on their quest to quit smoking, so make sure you acnowledge their effort and achievement every day through October.  Giving up smoking isn’t easy and even if they don’t say anything, they will probably be suffering from the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, so your support and encouragement will go a long way to keeping them motivated.

Workplace Triggers

Lighting-up usually follows a routine, for example after meals and during breaks.  As an employer, you can encourage your people to look out for those little triggers and think of ways that they can shake up their routines and tackle the smoking urges. Stress can be a major trigger for smoking, so you need to be sensitive to anyone who maybe going through a bit of a tough time and not put too much pressure on them as it might only make matters worse for them.  At the end of the day, they need to want to do this for themselves, not just because their boss says they should.

Team Support

Team support is often the best way to give employees that final motivation to stop smoking – all for one and one for all as the saying goes!  Knowing they are in it together to share the highs and lows can be hugely encouraging. Fun challenges to motivate and incentivise each other or sponsored campaigns to raise money for favourite charities can also be hugely motivating for those taking part to make it all worth while.

HR Guidance

By helping your employees to quit smoking, everyone benefits. The most important thing is that they will be improving their health and wellbeing and as a result will be less likely to take time off sick – so if you think about it, your encouragement makes good busines sense, so why not support Stoptober this year and help your employees to reap the benefits.   If you would like any HR support to help you help your employees to kick the habit, give us a call.

Mandy Fitzmaurice, Managing Director of Purple HR

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