Tag Archives: healthy employees

Easy Ways to Implement Employee Wellness into Your Business

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.

 

Photo by with wind

Another Sick Day? How to Keep Your Staff Healthy

Winter is a time of year when cold and flu season is in full swing with many people succumbing to some type of illness. In fact, information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “Most seasonal flu activity typically occurs between October and May — and flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and February.”

This can create a problem for many businesses because it often leads to excessive absenteeism, leaving employers scrambling to fill in the gaps.

 

Common Absenteeism Issues

When there’s a higher than average rate of absenteeism, your business can suffer in several ways. First, it can be a major detriment to productivity and can be especially problematic if a “linchpin” employee is absent. Next, it hurts your profitability — and according to Circadian, “Unscheduled absenteeism costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried employees.”

Finally, absenteeism often ends up creating a more stressful working environment because other employees are forced to pick up the slack. Combine all of these issues, and you’re facing some major headaches.

 

Applicable Federal and State Laws

There are four federal laws that relate to employee absenteeism:

  1. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  2. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  3. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
  4. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Most states also have workers’ comp laws that protect workers if they acquire a work-related illness. Each state dictates how to handle employee absenteeism — and you need to make sure that you’re staying within the law.

It’s necessary to follow a fair procedure before terminating employees for excessive absenteeism. For example, you want to maintain thorough documentation of absences, treat each employee the same, follow the same procedure for every case, allow an employee to state their case and so on.

 

How to Incorporate Workplace Wellness

Perhaps the best way to reduce the number of absences in your workplace is to make employee wellness a priority. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to offer healthcare benefits to your employees. When you look at the long-term advantages, this often makes sense.

Another idea is to pay for flu vaccinations each year or reimburse your employees after they’ve received their shot. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, allowing this strategy to go a long way, especially during the peak of flu season.

Other ideas include:

  • Offering healthy diet seminars
  • Encouraging employees to exercise or even pay for their exercise classes
  • Creating a policy that requires employees to wash their hands after each trip to the bathroom
  • Placing hand sanitizer throughout the workplace

Although you can’t eliminate employee illness and absenteeism altogether, there’s a lot you can do to reduce the frequency and severity of it. Taking measures to incorporate workplace wellness will keep your staff healthy and your business running smoother.

 

 

Photo by Claus Rebler