Owning and operating a business isn’t always easy. Problems can pop up when you least expect them, and they can come from virtually any direction. You may not be able to influence some things, but keeping your employees performing at peak efficiency is one area where you can have some effect. Many employers feel that able-bodied, healthy employees make happy employees, and happy employees perform better. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to encourage health and fitness in the workplace.
Reward Your Employees
Nothing works to motivate people like a reward for accomplishing something. If you implement a health education program that will dish out prizes for meeting certain goals you’ll be surprised how swiftly and enthusiastically your employees will respond. Offering something like a free company jacket or a monetary bonus to all employees for beating the record for days on the job without an accident could influence people to be extra careful. Employees will watch out for one another, and help each other do their jobs swiftly, but safely. You can also reward employees for on-the-job safety by presenting a gift card periodically to employees who haven’t missed any time at work during that period. The same sort of program can be instituted for people who haven’t missed work due to illness.
Fewer Sick Days
Although it’d be impossible to eliminate sick days altogether, the time your employees miss work because of illness can be drastically reduced by improving their health. In order to increase their overall level of health you can encourage each division within the company to field softball or tennis teams and play against the other divisions. It would create a friendly rivalry and also increase their health. You can also provide an outdoor walking or jogging track for employee use.
One way to make people aware of the dangers of ill health, and to encourage employees to become healthier is to hold instructional seminars on the benefits of health and fitness. It may help turnout at these seminars to offer some sort of incentive, such as an afternoon off providing they attend the seminar. By educating your employees you should eventually see an increase in job performance, and a decrease in time off for illness.
Lower Health Care Costs
As the overall health of your employees increases, you will see tremendous benefits from it. Your health care costs will go down because you’ll have fewer claims filed on behalf of sick or injured workers. The savings in what you pay for health insurance can go into a fund to pay for more health and fitness related items, such as a weight room or indoor swimming pool. The more benefits you offer your employees the happier they’ll be.
People Will Want to Work for You
If you implement programs that will help your employees get in shape and stay that way, the word will spread, and you will eventually have people coming to you for jobs because of the work environment you provide. The employees you already have will want to stay on longer, and you’ll attract the cream of new workers.
Institute a Health-Risk Assessment Program
Many people aren’t aware they are in danger due to bad habits, such as smoking or lack of exercise. The above mentioned seminars will help alert them to the possibility of becoming sick from their lifestyle choices, and instituting a health-risk assessment program along with it will drive the point home. After they’ve been instructed in their potential danger the health-risk assessment team can work with those individuals to clean up their act.
If your company has vending machines or a cafeteria, make sure they’re stocked with and serve healthy foods. Make sure the cafeteria offers an abundance of salads and vegetables, and that vending machines have granola and energy bars instead of (or at least in addition to) potato chips and candy bars.
Health Insurance Discounts
One surefire way of reaching people is by offering incentives. By instituting discounts in health insurance costs to employees that take the necessary steps to improve their health, you can be sure that a majority of employees will attempt to get fit and stay that way.
Practice What You Preach
The height of hypocrisy would be for you to implore your employees to get fitter and healthier so they can perform better while you sit in your office eating ice cream, drinking sodas, and smoking cigars. If you hope to encourage your employees to get fit and healthy, you need to practice what you preach. Meet them on the basketball court or the ball diamond. Lift weights right along with your employees, and make use of the walking or jogging trails. Eat right, and present a healthy appearance. Lead by example. You’ll be glad you did.
Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes business insurance reviews for BusinessInsurance.org.