Over the past year, organizations have faced the daunting challenge of maintaining a healthy workforce. The health and well-being of both employees and customers have been at the center of decisions regarding when to reopen offices, how to gather, and how to keep business running. Leaders and those in management have become acutely aware of how employee health affects overall business productivity.
Even once the pandemic is in the past, prioritizing the mental and physical health of employees is something that should stay a focus for your business. According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), research shows that prioritizing and promoting employee health benefits both employers and employees. By supporting the health of your employees, you are demonstrating that you not only value the work they do for your organization but you also care about them as people. Discover the benefits of promoting employee health as well as three ways that you can support employee health in the workplace.
Benefits of Having Healthy Employees
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lost productivity due to both personal and family health problems costs U.S. employers billions of dollars every year. On the other hand, a study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) showed that employees who participated in a health and wellness program regained productivity and saved their companies money.
Support your employees and your bottom line by investing in employee wellness. Companies are often looking for ways to save money and boost productivity. It turns out that investing in employee health is a great way to do both. Just a few of the benefits of having healthy employees include:
- Improved productivity and engagement
- Reduced absence rates
- Improved employee satisfaction and morale
- A better company culture
- Attracting and retaining talent
Healthy employees means happy employees, and that translates to a better business. Happiness, job satisfaction, isn’t just a nice perk, it’s critical for productivity, engagement, company culture, and talent retention.
Three Ways to Support Employee Health
Once you’ve recognized the benefits of having healthy employees, there are many ways to go about supporting employee health. Consider the following tips for promoting employee health.
#1 – Practice Flexibility
The pandemic has been a game-changer for offices, and the way employees work. Across industries, the pandemic has forced companies to be more flexible, necessitating that companies allow employees to work from home and participate in meetings virtually, as well as other changes. While many businesses have already reopened, it’s likely that the situation, and your company’s needs, will continue to change and evolve in the upcoming months.
With that in mind, flexibility will continue to be important for your business and for supporting employee health moving forward. Some ways to practice flexibility include allowing employees to set their own schedule and work when they are most productive. This flexibility provides employees with a sense of empowerment, resulting in happier employees and yielding higher productivity. Flexibility can help your employees thrive.
#2 – Communicate Often
A study from Qualtrics showed that communication and keeping a sense of community is more important than ever, particularly for employees working remotely. It’s essential for managers to ensure that employees feel supported and have the resources and information they need to perform their jobs. This can be done through
- daily check-ins
- team video calls
- using collaboration tools
- utilizing a chat room that team members can drop into throughout the day
Additionally, make your team aware of any available mental or physical health resources and encourage them to use them. If your team uses a specific collaboration tool, you could make a dedicated channel just for wellness tips.
#3 – Offer Wellness Resources
You don’t need to offer a nap room or have an onsite fitness center. Wellness resources can include training and wellness courses that employees can take online. You may consider promoting a mindfulness app. Other ways to promote employee wellness might include
- employee assistance programs for issues relating to depression or anxiety
- healthy food options in the break room
- ergonomic workstations
- encouraging employees to use the stairs by providing posters in strategic locations
- post maps for outdoor walking routes
- special rates for gyms or fitness centers
- games in the break room to reduce stress
- creating a health library, either physical or digital
Reports from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that workplace wellness programs can inspire important and lasting changes for employees. As you can see, companies can provide a wide variety of wellness programs and resources that meet the needs of their employees and organizations.
The health and well-being of your employees can have a positive impact on your business. Consider how your business can support employee health during the pandemic and beyond. At Safeguard, we know that a healthy bottom line starts with a healthy workplace. You can depend on your Safeguard Advisor for knowledge, expertise, and tailored solutions to help build a path to your success. Call 855.778.3124 to get started.
- Employee health affects overall business productivity.
- Research shows that prioritizing and promoting employee health benefits both employers and employees.
- Investing in employee health is good for employees and the bottom line.
- Support employee health by practicing flexibility, communicating often, and offering wellness resources.
- Prioritizing the mental and physical health of employees is something that should be a focus for your business.