No matter how you look at it, every one of your personnel, from the secretary and junior bookkeeper right through to the janitor, are essential to your business. And sometimes we only notice this on days when one or more people are off sick. According to an accounting firm called PWC, UK businesses lose up to £29 billion a year due to employees taking about four times as many days off sick than any other developed nation.
Seeing as such a considerable sum is lost, one of your main objectives as an employer should be encouraging your staff to lead healthier lifestyles. There are a number of ways you can do this, some of which we’ve covered below.
1. Introduce incentives in the workplace
Introducing wellness programs that reward staff who live healthier lifestyles has been cited as a method to increase employee participation and cut healthcare costs. A survey by Mercer, a human resources consultancy, shows that employers who offer incentives enjoy considerable participation in biometric screenings, health risk assessment completion, and lifestyle management programs.
However, as a business owner or manager, you should create clear cut goals for your healthcare programs so that you can measure the effectiveness of each initiative.
2. Improve sanitary standards
A stuffy, dusty and dirty office is likely to breed germs that cause illnesses such as colds while aggravating existing conditions like allergies. If your office is not regularly cleaned, especially the toilets, you can look forward to someone calling in once every week to tell you that their nose is blocked and runny, and that their throat feels like they’ve been breathing fire all night.
As such, you should employ people to clean your establishment regularly. What’s more, internal incentives that reward staff that are hygienic will encourage more people to keep their sections of the office spic and span, as well as make them clean up after themselves.
3. Adequate access hygienic products
If your office has one bathroom stall for 25 staff members, you’re asking for trouble. Apart from having to deal with a long queue just to relieve yourself, you’re also looking at a serious health problem. The same goes with the availability of drinkable water in your office. You should have enough water coolers positioned around the office to cater for your employees’ thirst.
Instead of tap water, you should consider filtered as it doesn’t contain many of the particles that are harboured in tap water, such as chlorine and fluoride. Although these elements are cited as economical methods of killing germs and improving the health of teeth and bones, respectively, at higher levels they can become lethal to humans and may lead to birth defects among other health risks.
4. Staff with contagious illnesses should stay at home
Your bottom line is affected by employees who come to work sick with a contagious illnesses. This is because they’ll soon infect everyone else, leading to lower productivity levels and more people taking sick leave. To remedy this, you can institute programs that allow staff to work from home, which will enable them to recuperate while also being productive. What’s more, staff feel more flexible with their work, which might even increase productivity at the end of the day.
As a business owner or manager, your staff are your business. They shouldn’t be overlooked for the sake of profits because, at the end of the day, they impact your bottom line. Their health and well-being should be among your top priorities and you must put structures in place that will encourage healthier and more productive employees to ensure that your business flourishes.