Executive Chronicles | 5 Methods for Protecting Employee Health and Productivity | As the current pandemic makes abundantly clear, keeping people healthy is directly proportional to growing economies. Even before the pandemic, business and healthcare experts have pointed out that sick employees cost business and countries a lot of money. Now more than ever, companies need to understand the high cost of employees with poor health.
If you run a company in the Philippines, here are more details on why you should prioritize employee health and how you can protect their well-being and productivity.
The High Cost of Poor Health
As far back as 2013, the Society for Human Resource Management conducted an extensive study on the financial impact of employee absences. The organization discovered that unplanned absences was the leading cause for perceived loss of productivity by most companies from around the world.
Unplanned absences can stem from physical accidents or family emergencies. However, it’s most often due to employee illness.
Another study conducted in 2012 identified the average economic cost of illnesses in the workplace as 4 percent of a country’s GDP, potentially losing billions of dollars. If that’s not enough, the current pandemic has epitomized the high cost of poor health. Economic experts have theorized the current pandemic will drain approximately $375 billion from the global economy every month.
Business in the Philippines, and all over the world, can stay productive by ensuring your employees remain healthy and happy.
Protecting Company Productivity
Although people can individually make long-lasting healthy lifestyle choices, as a business owner, you’re also responsible for your employees’ health.
Here are five effective methods for ensuring employees remain healthy in the workplace.
- Keep Employees Hydrated
The importance of water can’t be stressed enough. Aside from quenching your thirst, water is essential in keeping your body systems functioning. It regulates your internal body temperature and protects your organs and tissues from dehydration. It’s also important in removing waste products from your kidney and liver.
Ensure your employees have a regular supply of clean drinking water in the office. It can be a water dispenser or a steady supply of packs of flavored water. Either way, your employees will be refreshed and healthy.
- Hire a Company Nurse or Doctor
Business in the Philippines with a certain number of employees are required by law to have a company nurse or doctor. According to the Department of Labor and Employment, if your company has less than 100 employees, you’ll need a company nurse with at least first aid training. The largest companies, those with more than 400 employees, require a company physician.
Medical professionals are essential in ensuring sick employees receive medical care. They’ll also protect your healthy employees from catching illnesses from co-workers.
- Encourage Sick Leaves
Employees may be hesitant to miss work if their schedules are already cluttered or if they really need the income. In the United States, a study found that 90 percent of employees went to the workplace when they were sick. This jeopardizes the productivity of your company if the sickness spreads through your employees.
Encouraging employees to take the day off if they’re feeling unwell is the best way to shield your healthy employees. Company physicians can ensure sick employees don’t infect their co-workers and assess if they’re healthy enough to rejoin you in the office.
- Provide Healthy Snacks
Employees need a lot of energy to get through the workday, whatever the job. Unfortunately, they may binge eat sugar-loaded snacks and caffeine-infused beverages. Neither of these are good for their well-being if consumed excessively at work. You can save a lot of money on lost productivity if you provide them with healthier alternatives.
Stock up your office pantry with fruits and low-sugar snacks. You can survey your employees on which healthy snacks they’d like to eat and find a way to provide them. Perhaps you can serve healthy food in your next company meeting or form partnerships with nearby restaurants who offer healthy meals.
- Gamify Healthy Living
You can make healthy living more fun and engaging for your employees by gamifying the entire concept. Keep things enjoyable and competitive, especially when promoting physical activity.
For example, you can host a competition for the greatest number of steps taken, which is a great way to burn calories with little effort. You can also host company-wide athletics tournaments and give out prizes to the winning teams or players. If you want less physically intensive options, perhaps you can announce a competition for the most delicious vegetarian meals.
You employees’ well-being are the best investments for your company. Cultivating a healthy office environment will help your employees stay productive and competitive.