Maintaining a healthy workforce is crucial to any organization. According to Harvard Business review, employees who worked despite an illness have cost employers about $150 billion to $250 billion. That is 60 percent of the overall cost allotted to worker illness.
But before planning and launching a health-and-wellness program within the workplace, it’s important to realize there is more to keeping employees healthy than just the desire to maintain productivity within the team and to avoid additional healthcare costs.
Defining a Healthy Work Environment
A natural rule for employers is that they are responsible for keeping their work environment safe and healthy for employees. Simple things such as installing good lighting and securing ergonomic chairs can do so much in creating a healthy workplace. But aside from altering the physical environment, it is best to approach workplace wellness holistically.
A healthy work environment should promote healthy lifestyle habits among employees. Whether you want to offer healthier food options in the pantry, organize weekly yoga sessions, or equip the clinic with health monitors like a pulse oximetry sensor or a blood pressure monitor—there’s so much that can be done to cultivate a health-conscious workplace culture.
Fewer Sick Days
Having health-conscious employees mean having fewer health problems. And when your employees are in a fit-to-work condition, this results to a significant cut in sick days within the team. What a no-brainer, right? In fact, a study by Brigham Young University shows that employees who eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly cut back absenteeism by 27 percent. Think about the costs that can be saved with that alone.
Less Health Insurance Costs
The good thing about having health-conscious employees is that they have a wider understanding about health as they continue to explore their lifestyle. Since they are armed with the right knowledge about eating habits and exercise routines, this eventually translates to fewer doctor’s visits and fewer healthcare costs. After all, health insurance rates will cost less for healthy employees than some of their unhealthy peers. Even just having a wellness program within the company can reduce your premiums as well.
Improved Work Performance
Nobody loves to work when they are feeling under the weather. Doing so will only do more harm than good to the team at the end of the day. But when employees’ energy levels are at an all-time high, it’s easy to get more work done promptly and efficiently. It turns out that employees who practice health-conscious habits are 3.1 times more productive than their unhealthy coworkers. Looking at the bigger picture, ensuring a healthy workforce not only keeps staff morale high but improves business performance too.
Promotes Confident Employees
An employee in tip-top condition is able to gain more confidence in the workplace than when he is down in the dumps. At the end of the day, this promotes cooperation within the team and higher efficiency when it comes to finishing tasks.
Excellent Corporate Image
Simply promoting a health-conscious culture within the company can improve your brand’s reputation in the industry. Having a healthy workforce under your roof easily plants the impression that you are taking good care of your employees and that your organization is worth patronizing. Having an excellent reputation does not only attract clients and customers to your business but also invites qualified applicants who are looking for a job.
Have you ever wondered why we are so easily transfixed on job posts that feature images of healthy, young go-getters? That’s because, at the end of the day, these are the people we want to become—healthy, satisfied, and committed employees who work for an awesome organization.
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