When running a business, you want to enable your employees to be productive and motivated, because at the end of the day, the better they perform, the more successful your business will be. While it’s important for employees to be happy and healthy in their lives outside of work, the truth is, the well-being of a workforce can affect an entire organization. Although some CEOs put a lot of pressure on their employees, an employee will only put their best foot forward if they are content with their job’s atmosphere and the quality of life while “at the office.” With so many proven benefits, it’s time to stop viewing employee wellness only as a moral decision, but instead as an investment in their lives and the success of the business.
By offering employees resources, incentives, and more to encourage good health, both you, your business and your workforce as a whole will be in the best position to thrive. To get a solid understanding of how a healthy company culture can change your organization for the better, you first need to recognize the connection between health and success. Additionally, we’ll delve into the benefits that your employees can reap, and some ways for you to encourage this positive way of life.
The Relationship Between Health and Workplace Success
The success of an organization and the good health of its employees should be viewed like a symbiotic relationship. Without one, you can’t have the other. Not only will increased employee wellbeing encourage better performance and production, but it will also foster a work environment allowing the company to grow. To see this relationship at work, let’s look at ways a company can benefit from a healthy work culture.
Increased Engagement and Motivation
When a group of employees feels like they are truly valued and taken care of when it comes to their well-being, they will likely be more engaged in the workplace. Feelings and actions are often reciprocated, and when deciding to invest in your workforce’s health, it sends them a message that you don’t simply think of them as a means of production. In turn, this appreciation will often come back to you in the form of more satisfied and motivated employees who want to give their best efforts.
How someone treats their body, will greatly affect how they feel mentally, and there’s no exception when it comes to the workplace. Employees who are physically healthy will likely be in a better state of mind overall. This can come in the form of more energy, or a greater sense of alertness and focus. Additionally, healthy employees are proven to miss less days due to illness, which will help the business run smoothly, and reduce everyone’s stress.
Reduced Healthcare Costs
Encouraging employees to be healthy can also benefit you financially. When it comes to your employee’s group insurance coverage, the healthier people are, the less they will need to have major medical treatments or file expensive claims. This can ultimately lower your insurance premiums, which will decrease the overall amount your business spends on healthcare.
While employee well-being is generally up to the individual, and therefore affects the individual, it can also promote a sense of camaraderie between co-workers. Especially if you are able to encourage the use of employee wellness programs, your workforce will feel unified having a shared goal. You can even start a fitness or healthy eating initiative in your workplace. Sometimes people thrive in a somewhat competitive environment, just remember to make it fun, and not too serious.
Attract and Retain More Employees
When people outside of your organization notice your commitment to employee health, they will likely be impressed and want to be a part of the positive culture. The same remains true when it comes to talented prospects in search of new opportunities. In a competitive job market, what better way to stand out from the competition than showing off your healthy workforce and job environment.
When looking at your current employees, a sense of well-being also has a positive impact. Employees who feel cared about by their employer are much more likely to remain committed to the company. Having less company turnover will encourage a close-knit team, and will save you money that you’d otherwise have to spend on recruitment and training costs.
Personal Employee Benefits
In addition to a variety of benefits inside the workplace, the promotion of employee health also affects individuals positively in their personal lives.
Lowered Stress Levels
Company initiatives such as fitness programs, mental health services and stress management resources all contribute to employee well-being. The lessons that they learn from these initiatives will likely bleed over into their personal lives, helping them to be more calm and better adapt to stressful situations.
Being healthy can also have a great impact on your employees financial well-being. A healthy individual will usually spend less money on medical expenses such as procedures, doctors visits and prescription drugs, alleviating that financial burden that often comes along. Additionally, they will feel happier knowing that they have more money to use on personal investments, pleasure or to put into savings.
More Engaging Relationships and Hobbies
Good physical and mental health will likely affect the mood of individuals in a positive way, making them more engaged with their loved ones. Rather than feeling bogged down by the day-to-day responsibilities of life, people will likely want to spend more time with family and friends, and may feel an urge to engage in more leisurely activities or hobbies.
A healthy lifestyle generally coincides with higher levels of energy. In addition to playing a role in the workplace, the spike in energy will usually increase people’s enthusiasm in their home life as well. These levels of energy can also foster a greater sense of accomplishment, since the likelihood of getting more done in a day’s time is higher.
A Better Work-Life Balance
In general, balancing the stress of both work and home life is more achievable when someone is in good health. While lots of people tend to bring the negatives of work home with them, or vice versa, a healthy individual will have an easier time separating the two, helping them to be more present and effective in either environment.
Ways to Promote Employee Well-Being
While making the decision to become a healthier person comes down to personal choice, there are a variety of ways for you as an employer to encourage positive habits. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
Employee Wellness Program
Offering your workforce some type of employee wellness program will push them to live a healthier lifestyle, while also encouraging teamwork. When forming the program, look at various aspects of health including nutrition, physical health, mental health, and more. Some common wellness program activities include group therapy, mindfulness seminars, and exercise classes.
Healthy Work Environment
To make some more immediate changes, look to make changes in your physical workplace. If you don’t already, offer healthy snacks and meals in your kitchen area or cafeteria. You can also encourage better mental health by suggesting that employees take short breaks throughout the day, to give their mind a rest and stretch if needed.
Remote or Hybrid Work Options
While some employers may be hesitant, offering remote or hybrid work options will allow employees to be more flexible in their lives, while also attending to work matters. Some companies also offer flexible hours, or shortened Fridays to encourage employee happiness.
Providing fun incentives in the form of rewards for healthy behaviors will also encourage employee well-being. Set up a company wide competition, and set specific goals or milestones for employees. For the employees who stick with it, you can offer things such as gift cards or extra paid time off.
Lead the Pack
As a business owner, some of your employees probably already look up to you in the professional world, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Set an example for the rest of the company when it comes to well-being by living an active lifestyle and by adopting healthy habits. Success rubs off on others, and by establishing yourself as a healthy individual, you can set the tone for the rest of your company.
The health of your employees is a future investment that can benefit the individual and your company as a whole in a variety of ways. On average, employees that feel mentally and physically healthy will be more engaged, motivated and productive both at work and in their personal lives. In turn, you will reap the benefits by having lowered healthcare costs, and better employee retention and attraction, but you shouldn’t leave everything up to your workforce.
Instead, take the initiative by encouraging healthy habits through wellness programs, healthy food options, flexible schedules, and company incentives. No matter how engaged your workforce becomes with these initiatives, they will feel thankful that they have a boss who truly cares about them. The success of your business and the health of your employees walk hand in hand. By coming to terms with the reliance your company has on its employees, you will be enabled to foster a healthy work environment, and your company will reach new heights.
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