16 Feb 7 simple ways to encourage better employee health
Your employees are the best asset to your organisation. Placing a focus on your employee health can encourage better teamwork, increase productivity and reduce sick leave and workplace accidents.
Knowing where to begin with initiatives for your employees will aid in the development of your employee health strategy. We suggest reviewing the below ideas with your health, wellness and safety team whilst putting together your overall plan. Working together will improve your chances of creating a solid strategy that will be loved by your team.
Once you have your agreed employee health program set out, continue to assess the outcomes and results. Regularly survey your team and gain feedback to ensure you’re reaching the engagement and results you set out to achieve. At SiSU Health we provide detail on engagement rates and results, so you’ll be able to see firsthand the impact our program has on your organisation. If you’re looking to heighten engagement, look to incentivise your activities with prizes and rewards for participation and improved results.
These seven simple ways to encourage better employee health are a great basis for any employee health program:
1. Focus on prevention
Prevention is better than cure and in the long run, it is much more cost-effective. When looking at what general factors affect employee health (e.g. diet, general health, mental health), identify what you can do as a manager and an organisation to help positively affect these factors.
- Provide Health Checks to your employees – Ask us about our 4-minute automated Health Checks!
- Arrange flu vaccinations
- Offer a rebate or incentive on health insurance
2. Encourage a balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet not only prevents the development of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cancer but did you know that unhealthy diet habits are linked to a 66% decrease in productivity? (Nash, 2019). Educating and encouraging your staff around nutrition and eating a balanced diet benefits not just individual employees, but your workplace productivity!
- Remove sugary drink and snack options from your communal areas
- When arranging catering, opt for healthy options
- Provide basic nutrition training and information to staff
- Encourage your staff to enrol in our free lifestyle programs and use our free meal planner on the SiSU Portal!
3. Go smoke-free
The negatives of tobacco are well known and linked to around eight million deaths a year (World Health Organisation, 2019). Encouraging your employees to quit the habit will make a significant difference to your employee health.
- Encourage ‘quit smoking’ programs
- Create a smoke-free workplace and smoke-free company car policy
4. Promote physical exercise
Moving your body is a great way to encourage better health. It doesn’t need to be expensive or remain outside the workplace. Try these subtle methods of encouraging your employees to get physical:
- Join a steps challenge
- Encourage walking meetings
- Install bike racks in your carpark for staff
- Encourage staff to take the stairs over the elevator
- Promote the free exercise planner on the SiSU Portal!
5. Be mindful of mental health
Ignoring mental health costs Australian businesses $11 billion annually (PWC, 2014). As employers, we have a duty of care to ensure the mental health of our employees is not at risk due to your organisation. Create a sustainable working environment by implementing the following:
- Create a mental health plan
- Encourage positive communication throughout the company
- Provide training on mental health to staff and managers
- Add the Stress Awareness test to your next SiSU Health Station installation. Tell me more!
6. Get out of the chair
An American study found that people who sit for most of the day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack (Ford and Caspersen, 2012). Reduce the risk and implement a few of the following:
- Install standing desks
- Encourage staff to have lunch away from their computers (suggest local parks or walking tracks)
- Encourage stand up or walking meetings
7. Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption contributes to several lifestyle diseases and problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart failure, liver and mental health problems. By promoting responsible drinking and discouraging drinking whilst at work, you can reduce the risks associated. Simple health promotion and minimisation of readily available alcohol replaced with healthier alternatives can turn cultural influences and expectations on drinking around.
- Develop an ‘alcohol at work’ policy
- Promote responsible drinking at work events
- Avoid regularly providing alcohol at work
Setting the basis for better employee health doesn’t need to be difficult. If you implement several small initiatives, it will grow to make a stronger, more holistic strategy.
Looking for more?
SiSU Health Group is a leading provider of employee health solutions. We provide customisable and scalable health solutions that will meet the needs of your workforce. Enquire today about our Employee Health Program which includes a SiSU Health Station, additional employee insight analysis and our tailored employee health reporting. SiSU Health Group empowers your employees to own their health.
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SiSU Health Group specialises in employee health. Speak to a SiSU representative today and start empowering your employees to ‘own their health’.
Nash, D, 2019, ‘Population Health Management’, available from: https://home.liebertpub.com/publications/population-health-management/301
PwC, 2014, ‘Creating a mentally healthy workplace: return on investment analysis’. Accessed online from http://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/beyondblue_workplaceroi_finalreport_ may-2014.pdf
Katzmarzyk et al, 2009, ‘Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer,’ Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, May 2009, Vol. 41, Issue 5, available from: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2009/05000/Sitting_Time_and_Mortality_from_All_Causes,.5.aspx
World Health Organization, 2019, ‘WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2019’ external icon. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2019 https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/326043/9789241516204-eng.pdf?ua=1