Employee productivity is a large factor in the success of any business – both in terms of your bottom line and your company culture. So, how do you help employees improve their productivity? One way is to help them stay healthy and happy, because as we all know, everyone is able to achieve more when they feel well.
There are a multitude of benefits that employers and employees will enjoy when productivity is at its peak.
All of these benefits work in tandem with each other to create a self-propagating cycle for productivity.
Healthy and happy employees are generally more productive. In fact, employees in good physical health are more likely to focus better, have improved moods and higher energy levels. Employers can help their employees improve and maintain their health and wellness by implementing strategies and programs designed to achieve this.
Physical wellbeing is usually the first one that comes to mind when someone talks about their health because certain physical signs of health are easy to see. But there are many chronic diseases, for example, that are invisible but just as important to address.
Employers can help employees on their physical wellness journey by providing employee benefits such as extended health and dental care, or a health care spending account (HCSA). These benefits promote preventative care as well as help with maintenance of chronic conditions.
Other ideas include employee physical challenges (offer prizes to increase participation) or desk exercises, providing healthy snacking alternatives, offering access to innovative wellness devices, ergonomics training, or discounted gym passes.
When employees have financial worries, it can negatively affect their productivity and engagement. In fact, financial concerns can cause increased stress and absenteeism, and decreased motivation, communication and problem solving. And with inflation and the housing crisis causing even more anxiety for Canadians, employers would do well to help their employees when it comes to savings and financial literacy.
The Credit Counselling Society offers free webinars to help employees learn more about how to take care of their personal finances. And the Canadian Government also offers a host of self-paced financial learning modules.
Employers can also help by providing professional development dollars or helping to pay back student loan debt. Lastly, there are group registered retirement savings plans (GRRSP)s which allow employers to deduct amounts from employee paycheques directly for retirement. Employers can incentivise employees to sign up by offering to match their contributions.
The comradery of your employees impacts their productivity. Employees are more likely to come to work happy and engaged when they have friends at work and are happy to see their colleagues. They also tend to be more loyal to your company. Increased social health within your organisation can also help with cross-departmental collaboration, since employees will be excited to work together.
Try offering paid volunteer days and lead by example by volunteering yourself. Or get employees interacting by having team building activities during work hours.
Getting employees to take all their vacation days can be a bit of a struggle. Some companies have success by offering an incentive to all employees who use their entire vacation allotment.
Our mental health is connected to the other aspects of our wellbeing. When our social, physical, or financial health is in jeopardy, our mental health is bound to suffer.
There are several options within employee benefits which can help, such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or psychological therapists, and/or counsellors.
However, employers can be proactive and help employees even more by giving consistent employee recognition and appreciation and maintaining a consistent company culture. Other ways to help employees is by ensuring they have manageable workloads and have a healthy work-life balance.
Lastly, it is a good idea to have alcohol and drug policies in place, and to provide a confidential outlet for employees dealing with substance use issues.
The adage, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is a great metaphor for our health. While it is easy to separate our wellbeing into categories for ease of treatment, each aspect directly affects all others. This is why it is important to ensure that employee health and wellbeing is being looked at from all angles. And when that is achieved, employee productivity follows.