Kingston Smith

How to Incentivise Non-Smoking Staff and Promote a Healthy Workplace

In many workplaces, smoking breaks are a cause of dissatisfaction for non-smokers and, for HR professionals; it can be a difficult situation to manage. However, a marketing company based in Tokyo has come up with a new way to stop non-smokers envying their smoking colleagues.

Piala Inc. has decided to grant non-smoking employees six extra days of paid holiday per year compared to their smoking colleagues. The company is located on the 29th floor of an office block, meaning that employees wanting to smoke, going outside each time, having a cigarette and getting back to their desk take an average of 15 minutes.

So far, since the beginning of September, 25% of the workforce has benefitted from the additional paid holiday and four employees have given up smoking. This idea encourages employees to give up smoking through rewarding a healthier lifestyle rather than penalising or coercing employees who smoke.

A client has recently consulted with staff and has reduced its smoking employees’ unpaid lunch break by 20 minutes a day to account for the two 10-minute smoking breaks their employees typically take. This is an attempt to ensure that non-smokers feel they are being fairly treated by having the same amount of time for breaks as their smoking colleagues.

Many of the smoking employees have agreed to this reduction in their unpaid lunch break, and those preferring to retain their one-hour lunch break now no longer take any smoking breaks. While this particular initiative has not encouraged employees to give up smoking completely, it has reduced the number of cigarettes employees are smoking on a daily basis.

These are just a few ideas of how employers are trying to encourage their workforce to be healthier as well as treating everyone in a fair and equal way. This means one part of the workforce is not being demotivated by a certain group of employees being treated differently.