As the saying goes “health is wealth” and you get wealth by working hence, it is mandatory that your workplace also thinks about the health. The workplace should be healthy, safe and hygienic for the employees to ensure high productivity. With high productivity come good outcomes which can help the organization to increase their profits. It’s now mandatory by the law to take care of the health hazards in the workplace by the employers otherwise they can be prosecuted. These laws have helped employees and employers to coexist in a healthy and highly productive environment.
Lessons from the yester-years – Past full of health hazards:
Workers or employers were not treated well in the past. They were thought of as slaves and were working in the most dangerous of the conditions. Employers were not responsible nor were taking measures to ensure the safety of their employees. There were many health hazards and accidents which came along with the work causing a lot of economic damage to the family of the employee. It was a time that there was something for the employees to save them from such horrible condition.
What is Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)?
Every organisation has its own list of risk which they need to address for the safety of their own employees. Be it a desk job or a job that requires a lot of travel, till the employer does not look after the employee, he or she will not work hard for the company. Many organisations did implement safety measures without the laws but there are many who feel that it is a waste of time. These laws force all the organisations across industries to take care of the health and safety of their employees to ensure the increase in productivity.
What is a Wellness Program?
The wellness program is an extension of OHS. It has been adopted by the organisation to take care of the mental and physical health needs of their employee. It ensures an increase in the productivity and also reveals how compassionate the company is towards their employees. Everyone wants to work for an organisation that can take care of them in monetary as well as in health areas. Employee Wellness programs at work help in unveiling the caring nature of an organisation and building a good healthy professional environment for the talented employees.
Why is Workplace Wellness Programs Important to Employees?
Employees work hard for delivering result and in doing so they often ignore their health. Their productivity takes a hit and so does their personal life because of the stress and other health problems. A common mistake that an employee commits on health grounds in the workplace is to eat at wrong times and to sit in an inappropriate posture. Wellness programs at work help the employees to understand what they can do to improve their stress levels and health issues. In doing so, they can be active in the workplace with outstanding results and at the same time return home stress-free, giving a smile and joy to their loved ones.
Why should an organisation pay attention to implementing Wellness Programs at Work?
An organisation hires talent that can help it grow in the market. These talented employees need to have a healthy mindset while working and a channel where they can address their health needs if any. By implementing wellness programs ideas, the organisation is creating awareness amongst its resources on how important it is to have good health in terms of mind and body. A healthy mind can work with full concentration delivering good quality of work. A healthy body can sustain well in stress full environment, not affecting their productivity and outcome.
Benefits of Implementing Workplace Wellness Programs:
The employer needs to take care of their resources and hence the wellness programs for employees came into the picture. An employee wants to have a healthy work and personal life. Wellness programs offer awareness to the resources making them understand what they can do or should do to make sure that they are in good state of mind and body. There are many ways in which these workplace wellness programs can be executed but let us first see the benefits that these programs offer.
a. Motivated Employees:
Every employee wants to work in an organisation that works towards taking care of them. A trust is built that their smallest needs will be taken care of, sometimes without asking. Company’s culture is what gets embedded into the talented resource’s system which becomes a support system in the later stage. A manager who takes care of the health needs and supports the team in the stressful stage will have a team that is motivated and engaged. Motivated Employees are happy and highly productive at work
b. Attract Talented Workers:
A workplace that takes care of the employees’ health is an organisation that will attract talented workers. These workers are no longer after money as they have understood the fact that there has to be a balance between work and personal life to have a good state of mind as well as be content with what they are doing. They are looking for organisations that are offering the content way of working. Employee wellness programs at work are offering a medium between content and work productivity. The staffs need to be happy in an organisation to continue working with it as they can advertise how good care is taken of everyone who is a part of it.
c. Reducing the number of leaves:
Applying leaves every now and then due to back issues, headaches, stress related illness or any other thing can cause a lot of pending work for the employee and the employer. No one wants to return to work with a desk full of pending items. You would need to work extra hours to ensure that your work is completed so that your project is not behind schedule. Health and wellness programs benefit employees with health awareness and what can they do at their workplace to ensure healthy mind and body. Wellness programs if followed by the organization can reduce absentees to a drastic level and increase the work productivity.
d. Get to know your peers better:
Wellness programs at work are done in groups or team wise. While doing an activity you get a chance to know your peers on a personal front. You can develop a bond and strengthen your work relationship when you are able to strike a conversation both professionally and personally. There are many programs like walking clubs, weight loss programs, sports team extra. Don’t shy away from joining to add a little adventure to your work life and at the same time create relationships that work with your peers.
e. Get fit and fulfill your goals:
Every new year you would have a resolution of going to the gym and walking the healthy path. But with the work schedules and pressures, many are unable to fulfil their health-related goals which get pushed onto next year. Employee health and wellness programs in the workplace offer you to fulfill those goals by selecting activities that you want to do. You can join a sports club or the gym or the walking club and get your body and mind healthier. With your goals being achieved you get a cheer in your life which helps you in your work.
f. Improve focus:
To get good outcomes you need to have the right focus or concentration towards your work. That can only come with a healthy stress-free mind. Wellness programs offer you to relieve yourself from the stress and pressure that you are facing by various activities that they have to offer. With a break from your work and regular practice, you can work with full focus even in a stressed out environment. A 100% input is what every company wants as it leads to 100% output!
g. High Job Satisfaction:
Employee centric companies have high retention percentage as the resources are very happy and positive. A high job satisfaction index leads to a low percentage in resignations. A positive environment keeps the talented resources happy which leads to high productivity in work. If the company shows that they have a heart and are looking for the well being of their resources then the employees respond in a positive way towards the company. It creates a WIN-WIN situation for both.
The Importance of Workplace Wellness Programs:
A company is like a parent who needs to take care of their children in sickness and health. You can even compare it with a spouse. Wellness programs help the company to take care of their employees in an effective way. Employees can ignore their health but with the wellness programs, a company can make sure that they are looking after their staff. Healthy employees equate to a healthy company.
a. Early Identification:
Any disease when detected early can be cured easily and within fewer time frames. By focussing on early identification of diseases the company is encouraging its employees to identify the risk that they can face. For example, a company can issue a breast cancer drive through wellness program where they can urge their women employees to go for a check up. There are many onsite machines available which can help in conducting the drives within the office campus. Such wellness programs help the company to encourage employees to have good health with high productivity and also ensure a reduction in medical claims.
b. Promotion of Healthy Lifestyle:
A healthy lifestyle has become a nearly impossible task because of our daily routine. A wellness program offers the employees to achieve a healthy lifestyle with various sessions that they conduct online and offline. You can even have a personal session with the expert if you are not comfortable to talk in a group. There are many online courses which many companies have incorporated in their system to help their resources understand how they can live a healthy lifestyle. These courses, online or in-person, can help employees achieve their goal of health and prosperity.
c. Employee Education:
Most of the companies now are making sure that their employees are aware of what needs to be done when in emergencies. There are many certified sessions that are being conducted at the workplace to ensure that the employees can help each other in the most dangerous situations. Sessions can include training in CPR, First Aid, and Automated External Defibrillation (AED). These trained employees can be a good asset in life-threatening situations as they can assist in medical emergencies until a professional help reaches. Hence, educating employees with such sessions should be a mandatory training program in every company.
d. Injury Prevention:
Every industry comes with a risk of its employees getting injured at the workplace. Injury can be anything from getting hurt by lifting heavy objects, factory related injuries or any other physical injury due to the labour type of work. If you have a desk-based job, then you can face back pain or leg pain due to inappropriate sitting posture. If you are the one who has to sit in front of the computer, then you can have headaches most of the time. Wellness programs at work create awareness among the employees and tell them what they can do to prevent the injuries.
Wellness programs at work have financial as well as a mental impact on any company that implements it. These programs make sure that the workplace has all the health benefits that a company can offer and the employees are capable enough to reduce the risks on their own. A healthy company will always have financial gains as the employees are dedicated to making sure that they give their best. A company with health benefits and educational sessions is always on priority while looking for work as it can help its resources to return home happy when they leave from work.