Investing in a culture of health can impact your bottom line more than you think. In fact, studies show that healthy employees are happier and more productive.
However, when the economy experiences a downturn or a company’s budget is tight, employers modify spending plans to operate in a slower market or fiscal period. Oftentimes employee benefit packages and programs are the first to go. But what is the result of implementing these cost-cutting measures?
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that each year businesses spend roughly $170 billion on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses, which directly impacts company productivity, and, thus, profits.
So what can a company do to save money, improve productivity, and boost employee morale?
Make a Healthy Investment in Employees
It’s a no-brainer that employees are generally more productive when they are in good health and feel valued. When employee productivity and morale are high, so is the company’s productivity—and, thus, its value. Workplaces that institute safety and health management programs can minimize costs associated with occupational injuries and illness by up to 40 percent, according to OSHA. By employing workplace health programs, businesses can significantly reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism among employees.
Implementing the following strategies could boost employee—and company-wide—capacity:
Financial guidance programs.
Monetary concerns can cause a significant lack of productivity and morale among employees. The National Council on Strength and Fitness reports that employees who express financial concerns typically regard their health status as poor, and the decline of both health and wealth contribute more distraction while working, and, thus, less productivity. By providing employees with financial tools—such as budgeting spreadsheets, tax tips, and retirement and savings advice—you can easily increase financial health and employee productivity and morale.
Many households have two adults or parents who are working full time, which can make achieving a work-life balance more difficult. Offering flexible work schedules, leave-of-absence options, and even support groups can positively impact work-life balance issues.
You can reduce injury- and illness-related costs by offering health screenings, access to a company or local fitness facility, health and wellness classes—such as mid-day yoga—and health fairs on popular health and wellness topics.
Creating a Culture of Health
Workplace health and benefits programs aren’t the only way to boost employee health, safety, value, and your company’s productivity. We all spend a considerable amount of time at the office, and we all tend to get mentally bogged down after a while. To keep productivity flowing:
Encourage break times.
Simply taking a five- to 10-minute walk or completing busy work (such as organizing files or sorting through emails) can enhance clarity and concentration by minimizing stress and required mental energy.
Promote good mental health.
Everyone needs to periodically recharge and clear their minds throughout the day. When we don’t, we become overwhelmed and our thinking becomes clouded. Meditating, or deep breathing and stretching, for five minutes at your desk can improve clarity, concentration, and overall productivity.
“Work smarter, not harder.”
The myth that multitasking is productive continues to thrive, but taking on to much at once actually impedes productivity. Multitasking requires a continual shift in attention to and more time and energy spent on tasks, thereby hampering both productivity and quality.
A company’s productivity and success is dependent upon its employees. When employee health and overall well-being are valued, companies are more likely to prosper.
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