There’s no doubt that employee wellness should be a top priority for today’s employers. After all, healthy employees are happy employees — and more importantly, they’re present and productive employees. Fortunately, it’s not all that difficult to promote employee health. There are several ways you can implement wellness into your workplace.
Importance of Illness/Disease Prevention
According to information found on the Small Business Administration’s website, “93 percent of small businesses consider their employees’ physical and mental health to be important to their bottom line, and 54 percent say ‘it’s extremely important.” However, only a third of these employers feel confident that they can manage the health care needs of their employees.
This is unfortunate because the well-being of your employees plays a critical role in overall operations, productivity and profitability. Healthy employees tend to work harder and are more efficient at their jobs. On the other hand, unhealthy employees tend to be more sluggish, are absent more often and are less productive on the whole.
Benefits of Keeping Employees Healthy
Besides your employees feeling better and being happier, there are several reasons why employers will want to make employee health a priority. Some statistics found on the Zane Benefits’ website tangibly demonstrate just how important it is to keep your employees healthy.
- Employees who eat healthy are 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
- Employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week are 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
- Absenteeism is 27 percent lower for those workers who eat healthy and exercise regularly.
- Overweight employees cost their employers $73.1 billion a year and file twice the number of workers’ compensation claims.
Implementing Employee Wellness Into the Workplace
So what can you do to promote health and wellness? For starters, you can contact your healthcare provider because many offer an array of free tools and/or programs that can get you started out on the right foot.
Next, you can encourage healthy behavior by organizing events where your employees can meet up for activities like walking, bike riding and other recreational events. This is nice because it can develop team chemistry while simultaneously contributing to the well-being of your staff.
Another idea is to be health conscious with the types of food you offer at your workplace. For example, you might switch out candy bars and junk food in your vending machine and opt for granola bars and other healthy alternatives. For meetings, you could offer food like yogurt and apples rather than potato chips.
Or you may want to be more direct about it and establish a formal employee wellness program. You can find the basics on setting up one of these on the Health Advocate website.
Here are a few other possibilities:
- Consider investing in adjustable desks that can be placed in a standing position
- Clear clutter that can contribute to the mental well-being of your staff
- Offer free gym memberships
By doing a lot of little things, you can make a big impact on the health and wellness of your employees. Through a health-centric approach, you can do both your employees and your business a lot of favors in the long run and improve your bottom line.