Gina Blitstein Article

Gina Blitstein Article
Picture of Gina Blitstein Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.

Healthy Workforce, Healthy Business

Healthy Workforce, Healthy Business

When we’re healthy, we feel and work better; our outlook is more positive and we’re generally happier. Because of that brighter state of mind, it’s safe to say that good health leads to greater personal efficiency and productivity. Similarly, your business will perform better when its workforce is healthy. Clearly, it’s in an employer’s best interest to foster a workplace that values the health and well-being of her team.

Let’s explore ways in which an employer can encourage and foster a healthy workforce.

What makes a healthy workforce?

Healthy workers know that their health and that of their coworkers is paramount to their employer. In defining the concept of health, it’s important to include both the physical and the emotional; they are equally important to an employee’s ability to operate at peak performance. Healthy workers know that you are invested in their health by the considerations you make toward seeing to their needs, enabling, educating and encouraging them to be healthy.

A healthy workforce implements measures such as these:

Help Ensure Health With Insurance

If possible, enable your employees to choose from a wide variety of health insurance policies so they can get what best suits their individual needs. By helping them to afford insurance, you can be assured that they’ll be more willing and able to have their health issues addressed. This can help assuage illness in the short and long term.

Allowance for Absences

When employees feel they will lose income if they call in sick, they most likely will try to work while ill, which is a problematic scenario.

  1. Provide paid personal days which can be used to recover from sickness or injury; attend healthcare appointments; or as “mental health” days in order to cope with an emotional issue. Additionally, flexible working hours allow employees time to attend to their health issues without compromising their work output.
  2. Allow sick employees to work from home so as to speed recovery and prevent spreading illness among coworkers and customers.
  3. Assure employees that their work will be covered if they need time off. Have a contingency plan in place that ensures that every employee’s duties can be carried out by others when he or she is absent due to illness.

Make Healthy Choices Available to Employees

  1. Encourage movement - A sedentary job can lead to health problems. Encourage employees to get up and walk for five minutes each hour.
  2. Vending machines/cafeteria - Insist upon having healthy options available for eating at work.
  3. Exercise - Provide onsite fitness equipment or subsidize a gym membership to help employees keep in condition.
  4. Hydration - Provide water for free to employees - especially if working conditions are hot or strenuous.
  5. Health resources - Make helpful health resources readily available to employees, like substance abuse counseling, stress management classes and smoking cessation clinics.
  6. Health information - Sponsor health and safety seminars to provide important basics of health care, like hand washing, food safety and flu shots.

Create A Healthy, Safe and Comfortable Work Environment

Whether you do it yourselves or hire a professional cleaning service, it’s crucial to keep the work environment clean. At the very least, provide disinfecting wipes for daily cleaning of surfaces, phones and keyboards. Remember cleaning supplies for kitchen and bathroom areas as well.

Remember that much of health is preventing injury. Beyond simple comfort, ergonomic equipment provides employees with healthful, supportive positions in which to perform their work.

Incentivize Health

Make it even more appealing to be healthy by offering your employees some sort of bonus for attaining a health goal like quitting smoking, weight loss, blood pressure management or reaching fitness goals.

As an employee, knowing that you’re encouraged to be healthy (but that it’s okay to get the care you need when you’re not), is an empowering concept. When your team is feeling that their health is appreciated and supported, their productivity and job satisfaction will be heightened. Help your employees to feel healthy and you will be rewarded you with a healthy, robust business.

How do you encourage your employees to be healthy?

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