4 Tips for Healthy (and Happy) Employees
If you want your staff to be productive and happy, it starts with keeping them healthy – both mentally and physically. The question is, do you have a strategy that prioritizes your workers’ health?
The Connection Between Employee Health and Happiness
Unhealthy and disengaged employees drag down productivity and profitability. On the other hand, healthy and engaged employees increase productivity and boost the bottom line.
Fortunately, you can usually address both foundational items with a single program. That’s because health typically has a direct and positive effect on happiness (and vice versa).
As CEO Naz Beheshti explains, “Healthy employees are happier and show higher rates of job satisfaction. Engaged employees show up to work with a bounce in their step and are less vulnerable to stress, a significant driver of poor health.”
If healthy employees are happier employees, this raises the question: What impact does employee happiness have on one’s business? According to one study, happy employees are anywhere from 12 percent to 20 percent more productive than dissatisfied ones.
Four Tips for Keeping Employees Healthy
Keeping employees happy doesn’t require a rocket scientist – but it does require some intentional planning. Here are four useful suggestions.
- Implement a Wellness Program
If you don’t already have a formal employee wellness program, you ought to get started on one right away. Research shows that 61 percent of employees make healthier lifestyle choices when they’re encouraged by a company wellness program.
Such initiatives improve decision-making, both at the workplace and in many employees’ personal lives.
Launching an employee wellness program might sound more intimidating than it is. In many cases, it’s as simple as coming up with a few critical health objectives, training your staff on their importance, and empowering everyone to meet the goals through support, guidance, and opportunities.
- Offer Telehealth Services
Depending on the type of business you have and the risks involved with working in your operation, you’ll have to address the safety of your employees. Although there are hundreds of ways to prioritize employee safety, one excellent approach is to protect your people with telehealth services.
Telehealth essentially makes non-emergency healthcare services accessible to individuals regardless of where they happen to be. In the case of employees, you can give them access to healthcare while they’re at work.
This increases the likelihood that they’ll actually seek treatment or medical advice at the first sign of trouble, rather than letting an issue develop unaddressed, and potentially creating more serious problems.
Workplace telehealth services are commonly applied in factories, warehouses, and construction job sites. They can serve as on-site injury triage in situations where employees get hurt on the job.
This kind of setup is mutually beneficial for the employee and the firm. The worker gets immediate medical attention, while the employer gets expert guidance on how to proceed without having to file unnecessary OSHA reports.
- Invest in the Right Office Furniture
If your employees spend most of their time working in offices or cubicles, you want to make sure they’re comfortable and properly supported. Investing in the right office furniture – including ergonomically friendly desks and chairs – goes a long way in keeping employees focused and productive.
For employees who spend more than five hours a day in the office, standing desks are highly recommended. These allow employees to transition readily from sitting to standing without wasting much time.
- Gamify Healthy Activities
If your employees are like most, they’ll need a positive nudge to encourage them to engage in healthy behaviors. The best way to do this is by gamifying healthy activities. For example:
- Encourage physical activity by giving employees a 30-minute break in the middle of the day if they’re willing to go on a walk or engage in some form of physical activity.
- Incentivize good nutrition by offering free healthy snacks (and even the occasional free lunch).
- Create mini health competitions in which you reward workers for pursuing healthy and responsible tasks during work hours.
Simple little steps like these can go a long way toward motivating employees to be healthy, which typically amplifies their happiness and engagement. Don’t hold back!
Adding it All Up
When you empower employees to become a healthier version of themselves, you free them up to be happier and more productive. Take some time to invest in this facet of your business and positive results will follow.