Whether you are a Human Resources HR Manager for a large company, Non-Profit organization, a small business owner or somewhere in between, there are many so many benefits to both the employer and the employee for providing health and wellness education. Promoting a total-health culture that improves employee health, job performance and morale.
Studies show that unscheduled absences can cost employers $3,600 a year per hourly employee. Plus, when employees are at work but not fully productive due to chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can potentially cost employers another two or three dollars for every dollar they spend on direct medical costs.
Bottom line, having healthier employees can produce higher Productivity, less sick leave, increased morale and Positive Attitudes.
There are many ways to create an effective work force health program, but the most successful programs share several important elements including leadership first. A program has a much better chance of success if your company’s owner or CEO is onboard and leading by example.
To maximize participation, you can involve employees in designing your program. You could conduct a short survey to find out your employees’ interests. They’ll tell you what’s important to them.
You may also want to set-up a program that works on many levels. For example, your program should support individual employees in achieving their personal goals. A weight loss challenge supported by training, material and resources to support their efforts and increase personal successes. Your company policies should encourage physical activity in the workplace for example; provide healthy food choices in your cafeteria and vending machines.
Your program doesn’t need to be expensive. Another example can be a walking program. It is cheap and easy to do, and it can do wonders for employee camaraderie and teamwork. Just remember to offer something for every fitness level. Something for employees who are fit and healthy and want to stay that way, to those who want to change their lifestyle.
Communication and motivation are also critical. If you want your employees to participate, you need to get the word out, consider increasing visibility by creating a name and a logo for the program, and you can celebrate successes with your employees in a variety of ways, including e-mails and newsletters.
Finally, make sure you understand what you want your program to accomplish, and then set appropriate goals, such as the number of participants or behavior improvements. It may take time to start your work force health program, but it’s an investment that will pay dividends.