Healthy employees equal productive employees, and they contribute to the overall success of your company. Forbes states that employees are more likely to get involved in wellness objectives if they can access those objectives on company time. You may think that promoting the health of your workforce is an expensive or complicated task, but the reality is quite the opposite. Here are several simple steps you can take to improve the health of your employees.
1. Provide Health Education
Offering a short in-service program once a month is a great way to motivate employees to improve their health. Even featuring basic health information in a newsletter is a simple but effective way to educate your staff. It's important to keep the advice simple and practical so your employees are more likely to put it into practice.
2. Promote Health-Related Activities
To help your employees improve their health, you could try sponsoring company athletic teams. Basketball and softball teams are popular activities that many people enjoy. If maintaining regular practices and a schedule for games isn't a realistic option, you may want to select one-time events throughout the year. Choose a good cause that has annual events, such as a walk-a-thon or a mini-marathon. Even having a picnic with games and friendly competition can get your employees involved in physical activity.
3. Encourage Preventative Care
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, every year, 69 million workers miss work days due to some type of illness. Preventative services can help reduce sick days and increase employee productivity. Encourage employees to undertake routine testing as appropriate, everything from mammograms to colonoscopies. Even something as simple as promoting and providing a flu shot could make a difference. Offering a "flu shot day" onsite is a great way to increase participation.
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4. Provide Incentive Programs
Health incentives and wellness programs offer financial awards or prizes for employees who reach certain health-related goals. You might offer to cover part of health care premiums if employees lower their blood pressure or maintain a healthy BMI. Castlight suggests customizing incentive programs that specifically meet the needs of your employees. For example, you'll want to create incentive programs that help specific groups such as pregnant women or those employees with diabetes.
5. Offer Healthy Lunches
Eating one healthy meal a day can make a difference in an employee's overall health. It can also provide ideas and incentives for healthy eating during off-hours. Healthy entrees or a well-stocked salad bar can provide employees with several great food options. If there's room in the budget, consider hiring a nutritionist, even part-time, to work with the kitchen staff. You should also remove soda and snack vending machines and replace them with a water cooler and bowls of fruit.
6. Provide Onsite Fitness
Regular exercise can improve both physical and mental health. Investing in even a few exercise bikes and free weights may encourage employee fitness. If possible, you can lengthen lunch breaks for employees willing to work out for 15 to 20 minutes. Hiring an aerobics instructor to lead before-work classes is another option. In fact, Livestrong reports that offering onsite fitness options is cheaper than providing gym memberships. It's often easier to keep up a regular exercise schedule if completed either at home or at work.
Check out the post "6 Benefits of a Healthy Workplace" to get you excited about implementing the tips you learned!
7. Offer Corporate Screenings
Your employee health benefits could include workplace clinics. From blood work to onsite mammograms, there are several types of screenings you can provide for your employees. If your budget is limited, consider offering blood pressure and weight screenings; these options are relatively inexpensive and may encourage employees to seek out further medical care.
Incorporating even a few of the above suggestions may make a difference in the overall health of your workforce. This shift in employee health can ultimately save your company money and improve productivity.