When considering the wellness of your employees, you need to go beyond health insurance. Encouraging improved health and incentivizing change can improve the overall workplace environment.
Consider Baseline Screenings
It may be difficult to determine the needs of your employees if you do not know where to begin. Baseline medical screenings can be used as a way to address common problems in your employees, such as weight issues or chronic disease management. Based on the results, you may decide you want to implement an on-site gym or discounted gym memberships as part of your employee wellness program. Additionally, classes or lectures can be offered by trained medical staff to help educate your employees about the relationship between their health and work. Medical issues can translate into poor work performance, more absences, and less productivity.
Encourage And Incentivize Changes
Many work environments want employees to lose weight, stop smoking, and engage in more exercise, but you need to find ways to make changes easier on employees. For example, if you want a smoke-free workplace and simply forbid employees to smoke at work or altogether, you need to help them through the process. Smoking cessation classes, online or in-person, are just one strategy. Many people need medication or smoking cessation products to help them quit. Your business should encourage quitting by offering free or reduced-priced smoking cessation products. Allow employees to use nicotine patches or gum at the workplace to ease them through the transition.
For any positive changes by your employees, you should find ways to incentivize them. For example, if employees lose a certain amount of weight, you might offer them a gift card that can go toward the purchase of new clothes. This is especially beneficial in medical care settings or other workplace environments where uniforms are required. As people lose weight, offsetting the costs of new uniforms can make weight loss feel less like a burden. Other changes that should be rewarded are if lifestyle modifications allowed an employee to reduce their dosage of a chronic disease medication or stop medication entirely.
Expand Services To Include Family
Encouraging family members to engage in healthy lifestyle choices and reduce chronic disease issues will have an impact on your employees. If you offer weight loss, exercise, or smoking cessation benefits to employees, try extending the benefits to their families. Some employees may be faced with missing days from work to care for family members with acute or chronic diseases. The healthier family members are, the less negative impact on your employees.
There are many ways you can integrate improved health into the workplace. Investing in your employees now with preventative strategies can save your business later in sickness and lost productivity. For more information, contact local professionals like Employers Health Coalition.