The Importance of Lunch ‘n Learns
As worksite health promotion initiatives have increased in sophistication over the last 10 years, there are some people who vehemently criticize the concept of lunch ‘n learns. Discarded as too simple, there are those who will tell you that lunch ‘n learns don’t really do a lot in terms of bringing about immediate and sustained behavior change. And while that might be true (it’s unlikely that anybody is going to change behaviors as a result of attending a single 60-minute presentation) lunch ‘n learns do indeed play a critical role in the overall long-term behavior change process. In fact, in our experience working with small businesses throughout the U.S., we’ve found that lunch ‘n learns are an important activity for a variety of reasons.
Lunch ‘n Learns Facilitate Personal Growth
First, lunch ‘n learn seminars facilitate personal growth by disseminating important health and wellness information in brief, yet engaging, formats. By securing talented and informative speakers, employees have the distinct privilege of learning how to eat better and be healthier without having to leave the workplace. Not only is this convenient in terms of time, it also saves your employees the
headaches of having to search the self-help sections of local bookstores trying to track down information about successfully and healthfully losing weight.
Lunch ‘n Learns Encourage Employee Bonding
Second, lunch ‘n learns are important because they encourage employee bonding. For anyone who has ever attended a well- orchestrated lunch ‘n learn session in a small business setting, they’ll tell you that not only did they have an opportunity to learn more about staying healthy, they also had an opportunity to do it side-by-side with their fellow co-workers. And while this may not seem like a big deal, it’s important that you not underestimate the power of peer support in bringing about behavior change. Thus, if you offer lunch ‘n learns that are well-attended, you significantly strengthen the bonds between employees and, as a direct result, increase the likelihood that they’ll support one another as they embark on the journey toward healthier living.
Lunch ‘n Learns Provide Peer Support
Similar to strengthening the bonds that exist between employees, lunch ‘n learns can also provide important support to employees who are wrestling with the behavior change process. How so? Well,when employees attend something like a seminar on managing weight or eating better, they’ll walk into the room and find themselves immediately surrounded by other employees who are looking to do the same thing. As a result, when your employees leave the lunch ‘n learn session, they’ll go back to their jobs knowing that they’ve got friends and colleagues who are wrestling with the same issues—and they’ll be able to help, encourage, and support one another throughout the behavior change process.
Lunch ‘n Learns Demonstrate Care And Concern
Last but not least, employer sponsored lunch ‘n learns openly demonstrate to each and every employee that you care about them as human beings. In fact, lunch ‘n learns demonstrate that you care
so much about them that you are willing to provide a speaker and important information that can help them to stay healthy and well as long as they are working for your organization. Not only is this a good thing to do in terms of human kindness, it’s a great thing to do in terms of retaining your present workforce over the long haul.