The key to happy, efficient employees is good health, but sometimes your workforce may need a helping hand to make sure their health is front and centre.
Businesses often talk about how much they encourage their employees to put their health first, but not everyone knows how to put this into action effectively. Encouraging your employees to focus on their mental and physical health isn’t as difficult as you might think. With a few simple changes, you’ll be able to make your workforce happier and healthier, and by extension, more productive.
Ways to help your employees stay healthy:
- Encourage them to take their holiday allowance – time off to recuperate is important!
- Have an effective sick day policy – if an employee is unwell, it is important they can take time off to recover and avoid spreading any germs throughout the rest of the workforce.
- Introduce a wellness program – especially one that supports employees to take a break from alcohol.
- Encourage open communication – if an employee feels comfortable enough to share any problems with management, these issues can be solved quickly, causing as little stress as possible.
Taking time off
Each organisation will have different holiday allowances, but it is important that employees are encouraged to take these days off to allow them to recharge their batteries and come back to work refreshed. It is easy to get drawn into the hustle of working life, and powering through big projects, but studies have shown that taking regular breaks and holidays can help to reduce stress, which can have a knock on effect on reducing obesity, depression and other health issues. By encouraging employees to take their scheduled holiday days, you are less likely to have them call in unexpectedly due to burnout and have to find last minute cover.
That is not to say that employees being off sick will not happen. Everyone will have a sick day at some point in their lives, it can’t be avoided. But, many businesses have such complicated and strict guidelines that employees don’t feel able to call in sick – even when they need to. Requiring a doctor’s note every time or making it difficult for employees to get in touch can leave them feeling tied into coming to the office, despite how sick they feel. Not only does this negatively impact on their health, but it can also affect others in the office if they are contagious. It is worth taking a look at your sickness policy and making sure that employees know how to get in touch when they need to miss a day of work.
This sickness policy should also extend to mental health. Some people will need to take a day every now and then to work on their mental health, and this should be treated the same way as physical sickness. Allowing employees to take mental health days can allow them to feel more focused and refreshed when they come back and let them know that they are supported when working through any issues.
Wellness programmes are becoming increasingly popular within organisations aiming to attract top talent as this can be an important factor when employees are looking for a job. By providing these kinds of programmes, you can show that you care for the health and wellbeing of your workforce and raising their employee satisfaction. Including a wellness programme as part of your employee packages is a great way to ensure they have the support and encouragement they need to keep themselves as healthy as possible. We’re not just talking about free fruit in the cafeteria or discounted gym memberships though.
Instead, try investing in a programme that focuses on an important aspect of your employee's health that they can continually work on and improve. For example, the One Year No Beer programme helps to transform your relationship with alcohol. This then has a knock on effect on wellness as a whole as bad habits are replaced with new, healthy ones. Taking a break from alcohol can also do wonders for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Your workforce can build in confidence, achieving goals and using the techniques and principles from the alcohol-free challenge to approach any aspect of their lives. Encouraging your employees to take part in something like this not only helps their health improve, but can create stronger inter-office relationships if multiple employees take part together.
Open communication channels
Having a dedicated contact within your organisation that employees can come to if they have any health issues can do wonders for their overall health. Sometimes, it can be difficult to know who to speak to in the workplace if you need extended time off, or need a helping hand. This can be especially true when it comes to mental health. By appointing this representative, and ensuring your workforce know that there is a process for such an eventuality can relieve a lot of the stress that comes with an employee falling ill.
If you have the capacity to hire a professional, even better. But, even just assigning a member of HR as the dedicated employee contact can help to improve communication between workers and management when it comes to their health. If they feel open enough to communicate with you, then they’ll feel more supported and engaged at work.
The Final Word
Through open communication and integrated wellness programmes, you can help to create employees that feel supported at work and end up more productive and engaged throughout the week. If you would like to find out more about how OYNB can help your organisation, send us an email to [email protected] or visit us at www.oneyearnobeer.com.