Healthy employees are happier and more productive. Unfortunately, many employers don’t realize this. Although companies often include private health insurance in their benefit plans, they don’t bother to educate their employees about the preventive care. In this article, we’re going to list some of the best practices for promoting healthy lifestyle among company’s workforce.
Preventive care promotion
Most employee health programs focus on problems and issues after they occur. This approach results in more sick days and lower productivity. Health programs should promote preventive care instead. Preventive care is a very broad term. It encompasses everything from regular exercise and healthy eating habits to flu vaccines. To promote preventive care, entrepreneurs need to work together with other businesses and institutions, including the fitness and wellness clubs, health insurance providers and communities that promote healthy living.
Fitness and wellness programs for employees
Regular exercise is the best preventive measure for many illnesses. A healthy mind and a healthy body combined can easily brush off all the work-related stress and keep employees happy and productive. That’s why employers need to make sure that their employees work out on a regular basis.
They can do that, by awarding them with gym and wellness club memberships and introducing various incentives for employees who visit these clubs on a regular basis. Bigger companies can equip their offices with bike racks and other workout equipment and include chill out rooms where employees can freshen up after the exercise. Small business entrepreneurs, who aren’t able to provide expensive fitness club memberships and in-office gyms, can organize regular walking meetings and park workouts.
Promoting a healthy diet
Diverse and balanced diet is the most basic element for a healthy life. Employees eat at least one meal during their work hours, which means that they take 1/3 of their nutrients inside or around the office building. Since nobody will say no to a free lunch, entrepreneurs can easily influence the eating habits of their team. They can make an arrangement with the local restaurant that serves organic food and provides discount coupons for the employees. Bigger companies can add an in-office canteen, with lots of vegan, vegetarian and macrobiotic dishes, or they can replace the regular vending machines with the ones that offer healthy snacks.
Home-cooked food is usually healthier than various fast food meals which employees eat in downtown restaurants. Entrepreneurs can also give out lunch bags to employees and provide them with an adequate set of appliances and kitchenware for reheating their home-cooked lunch.
Occupational health and safety
High levels of occupational safety are crucial for the promotion of employee health and well-being. Most employers think that the office environment doesn’t require large investments when it comes to employees’ health and safety. They are wrong. Office employees are prone to various occupational injuries and diseases, from strains and musculoskeletal injuries to chronic back pain and the work-related stress pileup. To turn company office building in an employee haven, employers need to invest money in both safety equipment and comfortable office furniture. For example, office employees should sit on comfortable chairs. Workrooms, where employees are required to stand for extended periods of time, should have their floors covered with multi-purpose anti fatigue mats. All these investments will pay off, because they will increase company’s productivity and help employers to avoid expensive compensations and lawsuits.
Companies usually send their employees to seminars, conferences, and training to improve their business skills. The same model can be applied to employees’ health and well-being. Regular classes about healthy lifestyles can teach employees how to live a healthy life to prevent various diseases and issues. Small businesses that work in co-working spaces or small offices can organize health webinars or send their employees to workshops that promote wellness, healthy eating and exercise.
Employees can’t always follow the exact recipes for healthy living they’ve learned about on seminars and lectures. That’s why they also need to inquire about healthy lifestyles during their free time. The Internet is full of health-related information. Companies should not only motivate employees to find ways in which they can improve their health and well-being, but also provide them with enough online sources and free time to conduct the research.