May has come and gone; unfortunately, so has the focus on health in the American workplace. According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, poor health costs the U.S. economy $576 billion a year, which is just one reason why it is important to continue health discussions.
The health and wellness of an organization’s employees cannot be overlooked. For those who maintain an apathetic attitude, here are three reasons to encourage a new vision centered on workforce health.
- Health and Productivity
When employees invest time into their own health, they reap the benefits, especially in the workplace. Research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization showed that absenteeism was 27 percent lower for employees who maintained healthy eating patterns and exercised regularly. The same research also revealed an 11-percent increase in job performance over their unhealthy peers.
Employers can encourage their employees to work out by offering onsite wellness coaches, physical fitness programs or off-site gym memberships. By offering health perks, organizations not only encourage healthy lifestyles for their employees, but also a healthy environment to enrich the workplace.
- Health and Mental Discipline
Anyone who has tried to keep up with a diet knows how difficult it can be. Every day presents its own challenges, and the dangerous temptation of a “cheat meal” always lurks. However, employees who can stave off these temptations learn an element of mental toughness. Not only will this dietary discipline contribute positive health effects, but it also can be translated easily into work habits. When obstacles arise through various reports or difficult requests, employees with a disciplined, mental dexterity will be more persistent and, thus, more successful.
To further encourage these disciplines, organizations should consider adding healthier options to cafeteria menus and in vending machines.
- Health and Wealth
When unhealthy practices flourish and sickness rises, so do health coverage premiums. As increased premium costs rain on organizations, employer’s occasionally trickle down those costs to their workforce. Organizations that disregard their employees’ health also disregard the monetary repercussions that go along with it. However, if companies can open dialogue surrounding employee health and encourage workers to practice good habits, they can make positive steps toward lower premiums. This trade-off helps employees spend less on insurance, leaving more money in their pockets.
National Health Month may have passed, but as companies step into the summer heat and beyond, it is important they carry healthy practices with them.