Any business manager who doesn’t realize by 2018 that the Human Resource is the most important resource of all isn’t paying attention. Gone are the days when employees could be treated like numbers or mere pawns on the battlefield. People nowadays are a lot more self-aware and realize that their health should come first. They are also far better educated on personal well-being and fitness, making it a priority in their daily lives. There are just too many cases of “burnout” or chronic diseases diagnosed around them to ignore the strains of their daily lives. If they don’t feel good in today’s world, they don’t perform as well, no matter how much pressure is put on them. So if you haven’t already accepted it, its time to start believing that healthy employees are the key to success in business! But how to keep them happy?
Physically fit, mentally strong, emotionally stable. We look for all these traits in a mate or business partner; why aren’t they more important when selecting or supporting our workers? It’s not just new-fangled tree-hugging granola-eating fantasy anymore: your staff’s well-being matters in so many ways. Increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and decrease HR related expenses are 3 of the benefits. Hundreds of studies around the world have been performed in recent years, and they all basically say the same thing: healthy employees are the key to success.
When surveyed about whether healthy employees are more productive, almost 94% of management in small and medium-sized businesses said yes. The same study also determined that workers who get regular exercise are 16% more likely to perform significantly better on the job. Staff members were found to feel 13% more focused after returning from a couple of days off after a busy period. That number jumped to 19% better concentration when they spent their time off exercising or take active holidays. When employers decide to offer flexible work hours, a 17% spike in average engagement levels can be found.
Wondering how nutrition helps performance? Around 11% of the workforce report that they feel better and more committed when healthier food and drink options are provided in the company kitchen. Another study determined a 24% higher likelihood of increased job performance among personnel that eat healthy (at home and at work). Overweight staff members incur billions of dollars per year in insurance claims, paid days off, and lost productivity while they file twice the number of compensation requests. More “fit” employees (who eat better and exercise often) use far less sick-days, with 28% lower rates of absenteeism. More reasons to believe that healthy employees are the key to success.
How to Jumpstart Healthy Employee Productivity
To launch healthy workplace initiatives on a responsible budget, here are a few suggestions:
- Negotiate group discounts at a nearby gym.
- Offer group exercise sessions in a designated area of the workplace, and hire a professional trainer once a week.
- Fill the office refrigerator with healthy food and drinks.
- Provide time off without question, or the ability to work from home, when needed.
- Encourage everyone to actually take regular breaks, and allow minimum 1 hour for lunch (30 minutes doesn’t cut it).
- Put in a workplace mental health program and make sure confidential counselling is easily available.
Yes, it’s Worth it!
So start thinking of your employees as your greatest resource. They are the engine that powers your machine. Place renewed importance on exercise, nutrition, stress relief and mental well-being. Not only in word, but in action, and yes create a budget for tangible health benefits. Bulding a healthy workforce will help your business become more productive, lower absenteeism, decrease costs associated with health care, and squash employee turnover. And did we mention a huge boost in morale? It can’t be denied: healthy employees are the key to success in business!
About the Author: Sal Ragusa was born in 1976, and has lived half his life in Toronto and the other half in Montreal, where he currently resides. His comical and sometimes profound Social Media Posts are all the rage among his followers, and after years of being told that he should share his writing skills with the world, Sal has decided to bring his works to market.