Best Ways to Keep Staff Nourished

We recently had the privilege of spending half an hour chatting with Abbey Cameron from Nourish’d about the best ways to keep your staff holistically nourished. Nourish’d is a Brisbane based meal delivery company that has clients Australia wide.  Their focus is on holistic health, more than just nourishment for the body, with their values incorporating nourishment for mind and spirit too. 

Abbey recognised early on that in order for her business to be a success, her team also needed holistic nourishment so we felt she was the best person to share why it’s important, how you can achieve it and what kind of impact you can expect.

Why is it important for your staff to be nourished?

  • Approximately 50% of our time is spent working, 30% sleeping, and 20% doing everything else we need to do in our lives.  As an individual, when you’re spending such a large part of your time working, it’s crucial that we gain some enjoyment and satisfaction from the workplace, which is why it’s valuable to implement ways to make sure your staff are individually nourished in their work environment.  Individuals create your team which is everything and without them, generally you wouldn’t have a product or service to sell so it’s crucial to keep the team nourished. Firstly, because it’s the right thing to do, and secondly, because it makes good business sense to have a healthy and happy team.  From a business perspective, it’s really expensive to have a high staff turnover with low retention, a healthy team keeps your retention rates high, whilst a happy one does wonders for your brand if and when staff do leave you to work for someone else. Ultimately they take the goodwill of your business with them and ensure the quality reputation you’ve worked so hard to achieve stays with your brand even when your staff move on.

What can you do to nourish your staff?

Abbey literally nourishes her team by providing food for them in the workplace. As Nourish’d is a food business, concentrating on the delivery of healthy balanced meals, her business is perfectly placed to nourish her staff by providing them with meals each day. She jokes that “nobody has 3.30-itis because they haven’t had a good lunch!”

Not all businesses have the same ability as Nourish’d to offer healthy meals for their staff, and for start up businesses or businesses that are in their first few years of operation, the idea of keeping your staff nourished can be daunting especially if you don’t think outside the box. 

Nourishment doesn’t have to be expensive, in the form of gifts, or weekly massages or yoga classes. Look at your business and think about what is unique to you and where you can have an impact with the resources, the skills and the environment that you already have in place.

Would a perk like a  9 day fortnight work for your full time staff? Many businesses including Nourish’d are implementing ways to nourish their staff without requiring any further output or taking a wage cut. When you give your team the flexibility to have one day a fortnight for personal care, it increases productivity in the workplace, and your team know that you empathise with what it’s like being a human and trying to juggle things like dental appointments, eye check ups, time with the kids, and even time for self care.  This is one option to keep your staff nourished and have that time to be present in their life outside of work, which in turn makes for a happier and more stable workplace.  

Making room in your business for your staff to increase their skill set is another great way of giving your team nourishment.  By getting to know them and their life goals on a personal level means your business can be used as a learning environment to teach them new skills and knowledge thus helping them to feel valued, confident and nourished. The most important thing is to look at your own business and its circumstances and seek ways that you can make your staff feel nourished within that environment, it could be as simple as a group hike in your local mountains.

How will this impact your staff and your business?

The most important thing to highlight is that if you don’t nourish your staff, you’re going to see a high turnover, which equates to a huge cost to your business. In the same way that continuing to find new customers but not retaining the ones you have costs your business more money, having to continually find new staff rather than retaining your existing team will also apply a substantial cost to your business. 

Unhappy staff who move on have your business on their resume and as part of their employment history. A company who doesn’t nourish their staff risks damaging their brand by developing a reputation as difficult to work for. 

Make sure that your business has a strong set of values and hire people who resonate closely with them. This helps greatly in staff retention because even on the difficult days they remember the values and nourishment your business provides them, making it less likely that they’ll begin to look for employment opportunities elsewhere. So many businesses focus on customer retention, and rightly so, but that same focus needs to be put on staff retention because it will have the flow on effect of retaining your customers.

Top Tip from Abbey Cameron

Remind yourself often that you are one of your staff, so remember to nourish yourself first and foremost so that you have the energy and ability to nourish your team. As they say in the safety demonstration before you take off on a plane, put your own oxygen mask on first, then assist others. This applies to every part of your life, because as Abbey says,  “if you’re not healthy, mindful, aware, full of love, all those ‘fluffy’ things, then you don’t have the energy to give more to your staff.” This also applies to bringing in new clients or customers. If you appear stressed, unorganised, or tired and frustrated, your customers will pick up on that energy and more than likely take their business elsewhere. Make time for yourself and the people you love, and be present in their life, and above all nourish yourself holistically, for your physical, mental and emotional health.

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