Every business, whether large or small, is looking for better performance. It doesn’t matter what type of business it is — being successful is all about looking for ways to increase productivity and decrease unneeded expenses. One of the great things that has happened in recent decades is that business leaders are recognizing, more and more, the necessity of healthy employees. You can demand that people report to work on time, and stay on task throughout the day. There are all kinds of rules you can enforce in order to increase business performance. But when you drill down even further, you find that productivity is inextricably linked to how your employees feel. When employees are healthy, they have increased levels of motivation and energy. This translates to better overall performance for your team and your company.
To that end, many companies in the 21st century have been paying more attention to employee wellness programs. There are extreme examples, such as the Google campus in Northern California, where employees have everything from free child care to meals and exercise facilities they can use throughout the day. But these are exceptions. For most companies, such tactics are nowhere near realistic.
What is realistic is a simple wellness program that provides employees with incentives to stay healthier and perform better. There are many different types of wellness programs out there — it can be as simple as providing your employees with health-related information, or offering rewards to make healthier choices like quitting tobacco. It can involve a subsidized or free gym membership, or even a company gym on site (if you have the space and budget). It can involve a brief paid exercise break, or even consultations with a health professional to privately discuss any health and performance issues that may have arisen.
When we turn our attention to the benefits of employee wellness efforts, we find very clear reasons to implement these programs in your workplace. Companies with wellness programs tend to see a reduction in the number of workplace absences amongst employees — which ends up saving a lot of money and boosting performance significantly. Employees who make use of employer-sponsored wellness programs also show increased productivity in the workplace. Mental focus and overall morale get a noticeable boost when employees are fitter and happier. When they do fall ill, they tend to bounce back more quickly.
Finally, wellness programs can directly reduce the cost of health insurance paid by employers. This may not happen immediately — and it’s not the strongest reason to start a wellness program at your company. But over time, healthier employees can lead to reduced premiums for group health insurance.
How do I learn more about employee wellness programs?
You may not have realized it, but Family First Urgent Care is a useful place to start. Our urgent care centers, in Oakhurst and Toms River offer a special focus on occupational medicine, complete with wellness programs for your business. If you’re lucky enough to find one in your area, the process of getting your team healthier and more productive can be easier than you ever thought possible.