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The caring and far-sighted company will recognise that a happy, healthy workforce is a more productive, more loyal workforce.
Having resolved to help as many of the smokers in the company as possible to quit, many organisations believe the recent quitter is a “work in progress”, and having demonstrated a real willingness to improve one’s position, they may well be open to growth in other directions.
We often find, following the rallies we run in businesses, that one or two of the successful quitters go on to achieve a remarkable new approach to life.
They are spurred by the realisation that they are capable of achievements and goals far exceeding simply ditching a negative and costly habit.
Indeed, they undergo almost a life-changing transformation, start to eat better, often buy a bike or join a gym, embark on a study course or aim at promotion.
And the caring employer should exploit this opportunity for the good of the company and the employee, in assisting and encouraging him or her to live their dreams.
Similarly, when inviting the smokers to attend a quit smoking rally, it often helps for management to provide small and subtle incentives to the employee.
One company we recently did work for gave quitters time off in proportion to the time saved by the frequent trips outside, at least for the initial period. Others mention the achievements in newsletters, and often just plain congratulations will do wonders.
Ideally, a company should forge an overall culture in the organisation of a smoke-free environment, and run the rallies on a regular basis.
Often it makes sense to involve, in a mentor role, successful quitters from previous courses, showing recognition to both the previous and current batch of potential quitters. But don’t beat up on the smokers slow to respond!
The smoking habit is tough to ditch, especially without a firm psychological approach, but once smokers see their peers gaining an unimaginable freedom, and appreciating the non-smoking culture growing in the organisation, the time must come for even the most hardened smoker to leave behind the addiction that chains them to old habits.
l Michael Hook is the spokesman for the Beyond Nicotine 15-day quit smoking programme. Contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the web and blogsite at www.beyondnicotine.com