There are no second thoughts to it that, “Employee health is extremely crucial”. Everyone wants to work in a healthy environment surrounded by healthy employees. So, in case there is some health issue, it is wise to stay at home, away from work – as simple as that. When the employee is staying at home should the employee work a full day from home? It is an important concern.
At times, the scenarios are such that despite feeling worse, employees have to work as bosses demand it. From them, work must get done, no matter how the employee feels. In today’s time, employee health is a sensational topic, but the question is what you as a company are doing about it?
We have narrowed down some of the important points that will convince you to look into employee health seriously. Prior to that let’s understand what does employee health mean?
What exactly is employee health?
Employee health refers to both the physical and mental state of your employees in your organization. Concern towards it includes illness and wellness in the same ratio. Generally, physical health comes to mind, when talking about health but mental health is equally important. Both are interconnected to each other. If the physical health is bad, it will lead to bad mental health and vice versa.
We can also discuss the wellness and prevention side of employee health, which usually happens due to smoking, lack of exercise, and irregular eating habits. These areas should be intervened by the companies. The annual physicals and even free flu shots are something that companies are concerned about and it all rolls into one employee health package.
Here are some practical ideas of what you can do to improve employee health within your organization.
1. Adopt wellness programs
Nowadays employee wellness programs are in trend and of course for a good reason. People appreciate the idea of getting their employees to exercise more or think about their eating habits. The main objective of the efforts is to translate into healthier employees. Though it might not be successful at times.
According to a recent study, “Those companies that have leverages the wellness program did exercise at a higher rate, but there were no significant differences in other self-reported health & behaviors, clinical markers of health, healthcare spending or utilization, or absenteeism, tenure, or employee work performance”.
While it sounds like working at the same time it does not guarantee the significant benefits that are usually expected. Daily exercise will eventually benefit the employees in the long run, but not within any specific time limit.
2. Encourage employee vacations
Who does not love paid vacations? It is one of the best benefits you can give to your employees and they will value it the most. Globally, it has a considerable advantage over the United States, which has no compulsory vacation time. Taking a short break from work and taking a vacation reduces stress, lowers the risk of employee burnout, and boosts productivity.
Ensure that your employees take the vacation at the right time when they are entitled to. If you allow employees to accumulate vacation and have it paid out when they quit, which is a common practice in government jobs, a vacation should be discouraged and encourage overwork and burnout. Making changes in your policies to encourage vacation usage.
Vacation breaks are a need for all teams. With proper planning and the right execution, the senior members to low-level employees can take their vacation in a distributed manner. Hence, make it a priority for everyone to take a vacation every year.
3. Provide precautionary healthcare
Encouraging early health care to your employees. Starting with offering free flu shots at the office. The flu costs $10.4 billion per year and if the employers pay for healthcare as well, so much of that cost is directly on business shoulders.
Providing preventative care saves the lives of employees and money. Other preventative healthcare investments can also reduce costs. If your employees have a chronic illness, ensure that they have the time to see their doctors. So, that they can help keep their conditions under control. Also, encourage your employees to have regular healthcare checkups.
4. Make mental health a priority
The cost of depression costs 617 billion euros per year in Europe. That’s a huge amount to be considered. As we know stress is a substantial, contributing factor to depression and burnout.
Do you have adequate employee hierarchy levels?
Are your employees working 60 hour work weeks?
Do your managers have adequate training so that they can support their staff?
Remember, managing is not just about doing the work, but leading the team. If your managers create an unhealthy environment, the stress levels will certainly increase. Managers who bully or ignore bully employees create a highly toxic environment at the workplace that damages your employee’s health, lowers their productivity, and increases turnover.
5. Provide an Employee Assistance Program
The place of work is one of the main places where employees experience stress. There are many things such as divorce, broken friendship, accidents that can result in injuries and stress, and an unexpected lawsuit can break someone down.
All these things have an impact on the workplace. An employee assistance program can help your employees find a relevant therapist, a financial planner, or a lawyer that can guide them in the right direction. As a result of this, stress can be reduced in the workplace, as can an employee financial wellness program for example.
Adequate training and proper investigation along with a response to bullying can make your workplace a better and healthy place to be. A better workplace is something that makes employee health overall better.
6. Special concerns followed in the United States
In the US, employers provide defined health insurance to their employees, which is one of the most common types of employee benefits. The employees who are not well not only affect productivity but can have a direct impact on the health insurance costs. And health insurance costs rise every year, actually faster than wages.
Also, in other countries, businesses and employees are not directly responsible for their healthcare costs, but it impacts everyone via taxes and additional costs. And low productivity affects the business and coworkers. What can your company do?
Every company wants happy and healthy employees. It should not be a good person as happy and healthy employees cost you less and bring in higher productivity levels. Hence it is a wise idea to invest in your best interest to invest in employee health. In big companies, people who are involved with the employee health efforts will be the compensation and benefits manager, while in SMBs it is just an HR generalist.
Now that it is clear that employee health is one of the key aspects focused by the human resources departments. They should prioritize employee health along with other things like working on the environment, which can have a more significant impact than easy things, like leveraging a wellness program.
About Net Health
Net Health is reuniting caregivers with their calling through cloud-based software for specialty medical providers across the continuum of care. Net Health interoperable EHRs deliver end-to-end solutions that ensure compliance, improve outcomes, empower providers and inspire care. The company serves over 14,000 facilities, including 98 percent of the largest hospital chains, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities and many leading hospice organizations and private practices. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity and Silversmith Capital Partners.