A Health-ing Hand: Ensuring Your Employees Are Healthy

August 23, 2023

A Health-ing Hand: Ensuring Your Employees Are Healthy

Learning to solve the many problems in your business is about ensuring you have the right foundations. Your employees are so important for every single function of your business so therefore you need to give them the tools and the skills to thrive. But we have to go beyond this. Our employees need to be healthier in the workplace so they can be more productive and more positive. But what should we focus on to give our employees the real solutions to be healthier?

Key Takeaways on Ensuring Employee Health

  • Encouraging Physical Activity: Combat the sedentary nature of office work by promoting short breaks, stretching, and even incorporating standing desks to improve employees' physical health and well-being.
  • Education on Health Topics: Empower employees with knowledge about various aspects of health, including stress management and overall well-being, to encourage personal improvement.
  • A Positive Work Environment: Cultivate a positive workplace culture that values work-life balance, open communication, and collaboration, contributing to better mental and emotional health.
  • Gather Feedback: Seek input from employees to tailor wellness initiatives to their needs, showing that the organisation values their well-being and opinions.
  • Lead by Example: Leadership commitment to wellness sets a positive tone, encouraging employees to prioritise their own health and balance, ultimately boosting productivity and overall well-being.
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Encouraging Physical Activity

If there is one thing that we all associate with the office it's that we sit down all day and this means that over the years little aches and pains turn into long-term problems. Lower back issues and repetitive strain injury are two common things associated with the office. We have to figure out a way to encourage physical activity. 

Encouraging employees to take short breaks for walking or stretching is one thing but if an employee feels they're not able to step away from the desk because of the workloads, the problem needs to be addressed from a completely different angle. Incorporating standing desks could be the solution here. 

Additionally, you need to make physical activity a key part of your culture. With regards to health and safety, there's a lot of box ticking to do, such as through a manual handling training program, but we have to remember that physical health is going to provide a greater foundation for our employees to thrive.

Education on Health Topics

Lots of employees think they have a handle on their health or they believe they're doing the right things. Conversely, many employees plead ignorance on the topic of health because they don't want to face up to the fact that they are not doing the right things. It can be a part of a company's policy to educate their employees on numerous aspects of health. For example, stress management is something that we can all benefit from learning about. Health doesn't just cover nutrition but it can encompass a wide variety of components that will help to arm employees with the foundations to look after themselves. 

Employee autonomy is such a key part of any business’s culture and if we are going to be able to benefit our employees in the workplace, letting them understand what they are doing wrong on a personal level can be a major eye-opener. Workplaces are not just somewhere for employees to congregate and do what is asked of them but they can be workplaces that genuinely provide meaning to people's lives. Everything doesn't have to be about the work itself but it should give employees the ability to understand what they can do to improve their lives.

A Positive Work Environment

Well-being is something we're all striving for. We need to cultivate a culture that encourages healthy practices. A positive working environment that values things like work-life balance, open communication, and comfort will nourish your employees. The topic of open communication is something that is definitely difficult to achieve. Many businesses opt for a very professional stance and this means that encouraging employees to talk about their mental health can contradict so many different parts of the business. But we must remember that if an employee feels happier in themselves they are going to work better. 

We also want to focus on creating a team or a collection of teams that are able to collaborate and feel like a group of friends. Work colleagues that socialise outside of working hours are like gold dust. There is a lot that needs to be unpicked especially with regards to things like office politics. But we must prioritise that culture that will generate a working environment that makes people feel like they want to come to work, despite the job they do. This is a very difficult thing to achieve indeed but it can be done!

Gather Feedback

Getting feedback from your employees will give you that insight into what you can achieve. Employees are people who have their own specific opinions of what constitutes health and wellness from a personal and business perspective. Organisations that do not prioritise wellness will invariably attract people who feel indifferent towards it and this can be a very old-fashioned attitude. Therefore we must gather feedback from employees about if what we are attempting to do actually meets their needs. 

We should be implementing feedback in every part of our business, but in terms of employee wellness this has such an impact on the organisation as a whole, but only now are subjects relating to mental health being discussed widely in the workplace. Even something as simple as a Headspace subscription could be exactly what your employee needs to help them get a balance in life and be better workers as a result. 

Lead by Example

This goes back to fostering a company culture that values wellness. So many leaders embody an attitude where they feel they've had to put every part of their life on hold for the sake of leading a company. Employees want to see themselves in their leaders. If you show a commitment to employee health this can set a positive example to employees and encourages people to prioritise their own well-being. 

It's never too late to prioritise wellness in yourself, for example by having regular breaks and understanding that life is not all about work but we live in a world where people are actively being encouraged to do more especially right now as there's a big return to the office. For the sake of well-being, flexibility is one of those critical things that will result in far better workmanship. 

By creating a workplace culture that doesn't just promote health and well-being but actually values it you can help your employees beyond the workplace. A healthy worker will always deliver better results and in terms of physical, mental, or emotional health we should all help our employees to be healthier versions of themselves, inside and outside of the workplace.

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