Knowing the Importance of Employee Health & Wellbeing
If you are an employer who is indifferent to their employees’ health outside of the workplace, it may be time to switch up your mindset.
Chronic health conditions in employees cost US employers roughly $36 billion each year. From healthcare costs to decreased productivity, having unhealthy employees or employees who suffer from preventable chronic diseases can cause a financial crisis at any company.
If you’re skeptical about just how much companies spend on employee healthcare costs each year, let’s break it down.
Healthy, active employees at General Motors saved employers about $250 in healthcare costs per person, according to a study by Johns Hopkins. Employees that were less active were costing employers more money and more time for HR departments for filling out healthcare paperwork. The study concluded that if the inactive employees became regularly physically active, healthcare costs could be saved 1.5%.
According to a 2020 study, “the cost of group health insurance averaged $14,563 annually to cover a family and $5,946 of the premium for an individual.” Let’s say your company, like most average companies, has around 500 employees. Half of those employees are taking advantage of the individual coverage, which means 250 people will cost you nearly $1.5 million. Yes, some employers are enrolled in a plan where they are not 100% responsible for employee insurance costs, however the majority of companies do pay at least half. Ensuring these employees are healthy, active and taking care of themselves could save you big when it comes to healthcare costs related to preventable disease and injury treatment.
Working with a workplace health and safety partner like On Demand can help your company lower healthcare costs across the board. Measures such as company-wide trainings and education can decrease the risk of workplace injury, as well as encourage employees to begin taking better care of themselves at home.
Company culture should be a priority for any business. Company culture can be defined as the happiness level of employees in their work atmosphere and how they view the company they work for. Basically, if your company culture is poor, employees will be sluggish at work, skip out on events or meetings or keep to themselves in order to avoid conflict or socializing with coworkers. If company culture is excellent, employees will most likely engage daily with not only their customers but also their coworkers and daily tasks, exuding consistent positivity and contributing to the workplace in a positive way.
Let’s say you notice several of your employees acting sluggish or fatigued at work and just going through the motions of their daily tasks. Although there could be several factors contributing to this behavior, the wellbeing and health of these individuals most likely plays a large role. This is where employer initiatives come into play. Offering healthcare contests such as hydration challenges, walking challenges or calorie tracking activities could encourage employees to get fit not only for themselves, but for incentives at work. Rewards such as PTO or gift certificates can incentivize employees to participate in health challenges and show up to work refreshed and ready to go.
Productivity relates to both financial and company culture issues when it comes to healthcare. People who work in the U.S. full time spend at least five days a week at work and one third of their day at work. So, when employees come into work sick or injured, that much more productivity decreases. Employers who promote healthy, happy employees receive results such as significant improvements in health outcomes, reduced absenteeism, reductions in sick leave and positive returns on investments.
Be sure to set realistic goals for your employees to reach weekly, monthly or quarterly, and assess the success with the individual at the end of the term. If you choose to work with a partner like On Demand, we can help coach you to communicate with your employees on a respectful level as well as work with your employees to educate them on why workplace productivity is crucial to maintaining their job and even their mental health.