How to encourage employee participation in a healthier workplace?

According to a recent study by HBR 75% of employees cite their jobs as the major source of stress and employers across the globe are looking to implement wellness programs that would help employees lead the healthy life.

Most of the corporate have started providing health benefits, discounts on health insurance premiums to employees who enroll in wellness programs.

One of the most attractive features of these programs is “free initial screening test” – that may include blood tests, blood pressure tests etc. The programs take place right at work, saving employee time and a co-payment at the doctor’s office.

By joining these programs employees can definitely save a lot of money on health insurance premiums, health care costs.

Let’s examine toxic consequences of a stressful work environment:

  1.  Poor work-life balance: Employees working under stressful long hours and demanding environment struggle to maintain the healthy relationship with family and friends. That, in turn, affects their creativity, productivity, and mental health.
  2. Decreased productivity: Working long hours under stressful environment leads to lack of proper sleep and it leads to sleeping sickness. It leads to decline in productivity among most of the employees.
  3. Increased absenteeism: Insufficient sleep, stress, and a higher likelihood of occupational disease combine to lead to greater absenteeism among workers who are stressed to the brink.
  4. Employee turnover: Employees get burned out in their roles and these symptoms lead to higher rate of employee turnover and costs related to employee hiring and retention.
  5. Lower revenue: Unhappy customers and canceled contracts can drive your clients and their dollars directly into the arms of your competitors, causing your revenue to suffer. Your industry reputation and referral business may also take a hit.

How to encourage employee participation in a healthier workplace?

1. Create a healthful workplace culture.

Health and wellbeing should be the primary focus of corporate leaders and they should implement:

  • Awareness and onboarding programs that address employee health and wellness
  • Training initiatives based on wellness programs
  • Free health screening activities to check health risk factors among employees

2. Flexible work environment :

A flexible work environment like – work from home, flexible working hours, telecommuting, work-share, breaks within working hours act as a catalyst in employee productivity.

  •  It helps employees in attaining a fruitful work-life balance
  • Employees are motivated to achieve personal as well as professional goals
  • It helps employees to reduce stress and foster on-site engagement

3. Implement a wellness program: :

Wellness programs are directed towards eliminating stressful environment and fostering employees to create a healthy workplace.

The core elements that make a program successful are

  • A vision and plan of action to attain measurable results
  • High partnership and membership rates among employees

4. Incentivize employees to participate in wellness programs :

Human resource professionals can design an incentive plan to encourage employee participation in wellness programs. These incentives can be associated with particular goals like attaining fitness goals or achieving significant improvements in weighing or health status.

A healthier and happier workplace is beneficial to employees as well as employers. Employers should encourage workplace wellness programs for the healthy workplace and environment.

The programs related to work-life balance are focused on the employees: what can they do to align their personal and professional goals. However, as an employer, encouraging a healthy balance shows your employees that you don’t just value their job performance, but that you respect and value them as people.

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