A great businessman once said, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” Well, it stands true as a happy employee works better. Higher outputs mean a better business which in turn makes the employer happy. It is a chain reaction, really.
Unfortunately, many workplaces do not follow this ideology. In our country especially, the work culture is generally not healthy. Unhealthy workplace protocols make the employee stressed. The stress and tension is continuous and the result–poor mental health leading to severe complications.
Why employee health is important
Work-related stress not only negatively affects the employee’s physical and mental health, but it also bleeds out the company costs associated with frequent leaves that the employee takes.
Healthy employees are happy, resilient and are more likely to stay with their employer for a long time. A happy employee will take fewer leaves and will do their work better.
A healthy and happy employee will find joy in their work. When they love their work, they become shining role models for other employees, thus encouraging them to enjoy their work as well. Therefore, a healthy employee boosts morale and productivity.
The need for an employee wellness programme
Employee wellness programmes are initiatives adopted by employers aimed at improving and maintaining their employees’ overall health. Wellness programmes are a fairly new workplace trend. But it has been found that these initiatives have a direct, positive effect on the company’s productivity and profit. The benefits of such a programme are:
- Higher engagement & job satisfaction
- Improved productivity
- Reduced absenteeism & health costs
- High retention
- Easy recruitment & better company future
An ideal employee wellness programme
Workplaces in India are now pacing up to incorporate employee wellness programmes for employee well-being. Here are examples of some successful employee wellness campaigns:
Flexible work hours
Flexi-working helps the employee to be in control of their time. But flexible work hours impart more to the company. Your employees will achieve more, work longer hours and will be happier with their work. Also, a happy employee will get less sick often.
Healthy lunch & snacks
Providing food eliminates the need for eating food from outside. Healthy food can improve mood, boost energy and help in weight control. If you do provide food to your employees, switch to healthier alternatives for a better outcome.
Preventive health assessments
This involves screenings for weight, blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Feedback reports can help employees identify their health habits and take necessary action.
Providing fitness trackers
After a while, screenings become unnecessary for them as follow-up treatments can be needless and costly. Poor health habits and tests cannot just motivate change. Thus, companies should give their employees tools like fitness trackers that can help change their health habits and track their behaviours.
Sitting in one fixed position for a long duration can negatively affect your employee’s posture and health. Standing desks can offer optimal health benefits and can motivate the employee to switch their positions throughout the day.
Not just the body, the mind needs to be healthy as well. Providing guided support for issues like stress, anxiety, abuse, and depression can help your employees achieve their peace of mind. Such initiatives increase satisfaction between the employer and employee and boost the latter’s confidence.
On-site gym services and fitness classes
Moving around or exercise can help those employees who sit for long hours in the office. On-site gym, swimming pools, sports ground, or fitness classes can help keep your employees fit.
Providing transportation options such as company cabs, carpooling, bike-sharing or public transport incentives are a great example of a successful employee wellness programme. Such initiatives entice current and potential employees who are passionate about the environment.
A catnap after lunch can leave one feeling completely refreshed. After the nap, the employees can return to their work with renewed energy. Studies have found that a short nap can boost energy and productivity. Thus, having a nap room is great add-on for your employee wellness programme.
“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
– Angela Ahrendts (Senior Vice President, Apple)