To keep your company running smoothly, you need the best people and your employees need to be at their best when they are working. Healthy employees miss fewer days, and use less of your resources in terms of health and disability insurance, worker’s compensation, and substitute worker costs. They are also happier in their jobs, meaning they are likely to stay long-term.
If your company is not already building a culture of health, you are behind the times. In the US, approximately 70 percent of businesses address health issues in the workplace. These companies recognize that a healthier workforce is a happier, more productive workforce.
So, if you want to improve your company’s bottom line, as well as the well being of your employees, here’s how you can promote health in the workplace.
Commit Company Resources
Your employees will know you are committed to their health if you devote resources to addressing issues. Create a budget that can be used to support employees’ health efforts such as classes and company-sponsored events like wellness runs. Be sure to put a face on the budget and the health program. Your employees need someone who will run your health initiatives.
Offer Practical Health Benefits
Don’t just offer your employees a health insurance program with basic coverage – find out what health services directly impact their lives, and offer health plans that will improve their situation. One example is eye care; if many of your employees work with computers, make protecting their eyesight a priority. Offer to cover regular sight tests and at least partial reimbursement for eye care like glasses, contacts and laser eye surgery.
There are specific injuries related to work that you can address. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome and back and neck strain are common work-related injuries. Begin by offering ergonomic work spaces, and then make screening for, and treatment of, symptoms easy and inexpensive to access.
Be sure to address mental health issues, which can be a concern in any workplace. Most of your employees will experience stress at some point in their lives, whether because of work or their personal lives. By providing awareness of potential issues and access to mental health services, such as support groups and counseling, will show you take your employees’ emotional health as seriously as their physical health.
Small Things Count
There are many smaller things you can do to promote health concerns. If you have a lot of smokers, you can sponsor a stop-smoking campaign, and make sure smoking is not allowed at company events.
If you want to help employees with weight loss and exercise, make sure company events, from meetings to holiday parties, offer healthy alternatives when it comes to food and drink, and sponsor a support group. Paying for gym membership works well in getting employees exercising, or you can offer in-house classes run by either a qualified employee or a hired specialist.
Flexible hours and telecommuting are becoming increasingly common. The many benefits include easing the expense and time lost from commuting, accommodating the parents of school children, and allowing employees to work while recovering from illness or injury.
This list is not comprehensive by any means, but as you start to promote the importance of health in your company, it should help you gets things up and running.