Keeping employees healthy

Workplace Wellness continues to be a growing concern for companies. Having healthy employees can result in a happier, healthier work force and as an employer, there’s something you can do about it.
 
Many companies are combating the issue by implementing workplace wellness programmes and taking a proactive approach around preventive health and wellness tools and practices.
 
They are finding that such initiatives result in not only a direct health benefit for employees, but also show cost saving opportunities from influencing healthy employee behaviours: Motorola reported saving almost $4 for every $1 invested in wellness programs and Microsoft realized a 132 per cent return on investment during the first year of its wellness programmes including increased access to health care information and tools and the addition of a nurse line.
 
Wellness programmes can do the following:
Reduce absenteeism: It has been shown healthier employees spend fewer days away from work due to illness, saving the company thousands, even millions, of dollars on down time and temporary employment. Additionally, because good health typically carries over into better family choices, your employees could possibly miss less work caring for sick family members.
Improve productivity: While it is not as easily measured as the increase in health care costs, improved employee morale and productivity plays a big role in the success of a company or business.
 
Improve presenteeism: Presenteeism is a new phenomenon occurring when employees are at work but do not feel as productive as usual due to stress, depression, injury or illness.
 
Reduce injuries: Healthy employees with fewer risk factors are at a lower risk for injury than those unhealthy employees with more risk factors. Classes are a popular means of trying to prevent injury, including exercise classes, smoking cessation courses, back care programmes and stress management lectures. More examples of workplace wellness programmes / courses include health education classes, subsidized use of fitness facilities; internal policies that promote healthy behaviour and any other activity, policy or environmental change that affect the health of an employee.
 
Improve employee morale and retention: Employee turnover is expensive and an employee wellness programme is an added benefit to encourage employee retention. Company sponsored workplace wellness programmes send a clear message to employees that management values their well-being.
There are many real benefits to workplace wellness programmes. There is increasing evidence to support implementation of programmes in all types of companies and businesses, big or small. By taking advantage of preventive care offerings and screenings included in your health plan, you can help keep your employees healthy by preventing them from developing a particular condition or helping in early detection. Contact your health care provider for more information.

Maureen Cubbon
Manager – Marketing, Communications, Health & Wellness
Generali Worldwide
Maureen. [email protected]

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