Unhealthy employees cost companies money in many ways – from the unmotivated employee to the seriously ill. Your employees are your number one resources, and it’s much better for the bottom line when those resources are healthy. Global Employee Health and Fitness Month is every May, and it’s a great opportunity for companies to educate their employees on the benefits of adopting healthy habits and behaviors into their daily routine.
Employees who believe their employer cares about their health feel more engaged and invested in their company, which then leads to higher employee satisfaction. Higher employee satisfaction has been shown to save companies money, have higher productivity, and a more positive company image. A win-win in so many areas!
It has been documented that healthy employees reduce a company’s tangible and intangible costs in the following ways:
• Accidents – healthier employees are more focused and aware, so not as prone to accidents from inattentiveness
• Work-related illnesses – better fitness decreases stress, increases strength and boosts immunity
• Sick pay and absenteeism– healthier employees don’t get sick as often, saving companies money lost to sick pay and lessened productivity
• Insurance costs – healthy employees often qualify for lower health insurance rates
• Workers compensation claims – healthy and fit employees file less claims whereas overweight employees file twice as many claims and cost U.S. companies around $73.1 billion a year
• Turnover – happy employees tend to stay longer at a job and less likely to seek other employment
• Stress – healthy lifestyles include more awareness of and need for work-life balance and making sure they are taking care of themselves, so they can be more productive, which leads to lowered stress levels
If a full wellness program is not an option, companies can jumpstart a healthier environment for employees by offering these tips and incentives:
• Encourage employees to take the stairs and encourage them to walk around and stretch their legs throughout the day – it’s not really the amount of time, it’s just a commitment to be more active, which helps improve overall fitness, decreases stress, and strengthens mindset
• Invest in a fitness tracker – provide incentives for those who consistently reach that heart-healthy 10,000 steps or more a day
• Provide a gym membership or pay a large percentage of a gym membership as part of your company’s benefit package
• Take a walk outside for that morning business meeting, which has been shown to boost the mood and creativity
Progressive employers understand their greatest asset is their employees. Investing in their health is essential for managing health care costs, increasing your company’s productivity, and improving employee morale.