In all countries in the developed world, millions of hours are lost each year to worker absence. Common viruses and colds can cause staff to need time off to recover. For serious ill health, a company may need to hire supply workers on a short-term basis to allow business continuity to take place for higher-priority tasks and projects. However, short-term staff are unlikely to have the same skillsets or experience that permanent staff have gained from years of working, so the same levels of output and quality cannot be assured.
Business leaders are increasingly making worker health and well-being a priority in the workplace. Put simply, a healthy workforce is a more productive one. In this article, three key ways in which business leaders and senior managers can improve the health of their workforce will be explored.
Introduce health benefits cards
Health benefits cards are an intelligent way to encourage staff to make healthier life choices in their routine purchasing habits. These types of cards can be used to encourage the consumer to make a range of healthcare purchases, such as health foods and vitamin supplements. They can be used to effectively channel purchase activities towards healthier options, which can lead to an improved standard of living and general health for your employees. When choosing a supplemental benefits provider, ensure that the scheme covers a wide range of healthy products and is approved at the majority of high street and online retail establishments. In short, this type of benefits card can help your workforce make more intelligent purchase decisions that benefit their health and allow them to be more productive in the workplace with less time lost to illness.
Start a company sports team
A company that demonstrates a culture of healthy living and fitness is one that attracts like-minded staff and encourages fitness and well-being to become a priority in the workforce. Starting a company sports team can be an extremely effective way to achieve this. Team sports help to boost communication and teamwork between employee groups, and this can also make it an effective way to build a stronger corporate culture and reduce the likelihood of silo working practices developing in the workplace. Choose a sport that is popular in your company to allow a full team to be selected (ideally with a second team if your company size allows it) and network with other business owners to see if there are other local corporate teams with whom you can compete.
Subsidize healthy meal options
Many larger workplaces have their own dedicated canteens where employees can sit and enjoy lunch together. However, the range of healthy food options at many of these facilities tends to focus on snacks and convenience foods rather than truly healthy meal options. If your organization has a canteen, you can promote improved dietary habits by subsidizing specific meal choices that are lower in calories or have reduced fat content. Some forward-thinking organizations even give out free fruit to their workforce during the day to ensure that healthy snacks are consumed, and staff can focus effectively on their tasks without suffering from hunger-related fatigue.