How to Improve the Health and Happiness of Your Employees

How to Improve the Health and Happiness of Your EmployeesEvery business will have to cope with employees getting sick from time to time, which leads to time off taken for sick leave. This can affect the productivity of your entire business, which is why managers and business owners should do everything that they can to keep their employees healthy.

Becoming aware of how absenteeism can be detrimental to your business is a great motivator.

So how much does health-related absenteeism cost?

According to the Chartered Management Institute, absenteeism due to sickness is costing employers £12.2 billion per year. This amount is quite alarming, to say the least. Since full time employees spend a large percentage of their time at work, there is plenty of opportunity to provide them with an environment that will promote better health. So, what are the steps you should take to encourage better health among your employees?

Keep your workplace clean.

Since it is impossible to tell what will trigger an employee to get sick, it is important to keep the workplace environment clean at all times. Dust that is allowed to build up can provide a fertile habitat for germs, microbes, and allergens to thrive. Dropped food provides additional fuel to the fire, and it can also attract insects, which carry with them all sorts of germs. You can’t expect your employees to be responsible for thoroughly cleaning their own work environment, and there are other parts of the building to consider, so it is in your best interest to have your work environment cleaned by professional cleaners on a regular basis.

Establish a workplace policy for sick leave.

Encourage your employees to take a sick day when they are ill. This will help speed their recovery as well as reduce the spread of germs in the workplace environment. Most employees will adhere to this policy, but every once in a while you will have an employee who is so dedicated that they will still come into the workplace, even though they are not feeling well. Such employees should be sent home immediately. Having your workplace maintained daily by professional cleaners, especially during the winter months when germs abound, will help curb the spreading of those germs. Good professional cleaners will not only clean, but they are also well equipped with disinfectants.

Recognize and combat Sick Building Syndrome.

Sick Building Syndrome (also known as SBS) is a term for when employees start to experience illness or health problems stemming from time spent in a building. If you begin to notice regular absentees in your business, then you may want to try to have an HVAC specialist visit the building to check for air pollutants in the ventilation. This should be done about once every three to five years to ensure your ventilation system does not become a problem.

Closed circulation can also cause germs to spread from employee to employee. You see this a lot with airplanes, but it can happen in the workplace as well. Fresh air and sunshine are natural killers of germs, and if you have the ability to get fresh air into your building, then you should utilize it to naturally combat these contaminants.

Reduce stress in the workplace.

People who are under a lot of stress on a daily basis will eventually become ill. It is important that you take care of the health of your employees, and that includes their emotional health. According to the CDC, many studies suggest that stress on the job can result in a lot of serious and even life threatening illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, psychological disorders, workplace injury, and occasionally even suicide. Having an open door policy can create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable discussing the things that stress them out about their employment, which will help relieve tension.

In addition, it is a good idea to do things to boost the morale of your employees. Fortune magazine listed Google the number one best place to work for in 2014, and a quick search of their practices shows that they take the morale of their employees very seriously. While you don’t have to be as extravagant as this corporate giant is, it is certainly a lesson that you can learn a lot from. Workplace parties, employee achievement recognition, and casual dress days are all easy and affordable ways to help improve morale, which in turn helps to create an atmosphere that promotes good health.

In the end, putting these simple policies into place will cost a bit of money, but they won’t cost nearly as much as absenteeism due to illness. Happy employees are healthier and more productive than unhappy employees. Taking care of your employees and their work environment is a great way to show them that you value their service.

Editorial Team
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