Wash Your Hands! How to Promote Employee Health Policies to Keep Everyone Healthy & Happy

Your employees are the backbone of your business. In today’s competitive market, it’s crucial that job satisfaction is high on your list of priorities. Studies show that 79% of employees quit their jobs because of “lack of appreciation.” 

What if you could improve job satisfaction as well as wellness in your workforce? Instituting comprehensive employee health policies can improve staff health and happiness.

Wellness-focused workplaces offer not only better quality of life for your employees, but also provide the knowledge that employers care about the health of their workers. This trust and care fosters company loyalty that can last a lifetime.

Ready to help your employees get healthier and happier? Read on for ideas on how you can take better care of the lifeblood of your company. 

Provide On-Site Fitness

Less than 25% of Americans get enough regular exercise, according to the CDC. Providing opportunities for fitness and exercise on the job can help your employees maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Consider offering an exercise room with professional equipment. The option to run a mile on their lunch or lift some weights after a long day could boost job satisfaction and reduce stress.

Your team will save money on gym fees, which can be a great competitive benefit to attract new talent. Employees who find it hard to fit the gym into their schedule will appreciate the ability to come in early or stay late to get their regular exercise in.

Encourage Physical Activity

Besides on-site exercise equipment, you can take other steps to encourage healthy activity. Provide fitness trackers to employees as a bonus or holiday gift. Join a team together for a 5k charity run or on a program like MyFitnessPal.

Give the option for walking meetings, standing desks, and other sitting-optional tasks. Consider subsidizing the cost of public transport. What about offering an onsite shower for those who walk or bike to work?

Encourage team camaraderie by starting a sports team or entering a bowling league. Have a fitness or yoga instructor visit for free sessions for the whole office.

Preventative Medicine

Make sure your employer-funded insurance offers plenty of preventative care. Regular checkups, well-women visits, and screenings should be zero copays. Give women coverage for birth control and other family planning services, so they can focus on their career. 

Offer incentives for your employees to use preventative care. Some workplaces offer insurance discounts when patients complete a yearly on-site exam, for example. 

Set up a yearly flu clinic that is free or low-cost. Give your staff plenty of time to visit this clinic. Allow them reasonable time off for their regular doctor appointments.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Expand your healthcare to accommodate new parents. The United States has some of the worst maternity leave policies in the world.

Women often suffer when they must take limited, unpaid time off to give birth. Coming back to work early or worrying about finances or job security during maternity leave can cause undue stress and hardship.

Place value on the families in your company by offering fair, paid maternity leave policies. Go beyond the federal or state minimum to help your employees come back to work on their terms. 

Go the extra mile by offering help with childcare services. More than a quarter of families pay over $20,000 for childcare. For a family’s largest expense, offer subsidies, flex spending accounts, and childcare assistance. 

Promote Healthy Nutrition

Offer delicious and healthy food options for catering or on-site cafeterias. Respect any dietary restrictions and allergies of your employees as well.

Supply a fridge for employees to store healthy options from home. Offer a selection of healthy items in vending machines, or a free bowl of fruit for snacking.

Consider hiring a nutritionist as part of your employee services. A yearly appointment with this counselor could help them plan a healthy diet and give them a discounted rate on their health plan.

A Smoke-Free Workplace

Offer a support program to help employees quit smoking, subsiding or covering the cost. Ensure the drug plan on your insurance covers at least one smoking cessation method. 

Enforce and promote smoke-free company events, offices, and company-owned vehicles. Recognize employees who succeed in quitting by rewarding them with a small gift.

Cater to Mental Health

Easier to miss than physical ailments, mental health is just as important as caring for the body. An employee under mental distress will be less effective at work, unable to concentrate or handle the daily pressures of the job. 

Create a company-wide health plan that gives rebates for visits to a therapist or counselor. Practice and reward positive workplace communication, instilling it as a core value from the management downward.

Keep track of employee satisfaction and morale through regular surveys. Ensure diversity and equality is a priority in your workplace, with zero tolerance for workplace bullying or harassment.

Take all complaints about inappropriate workplace behavior and harassment seriously. 

Consider allowing work-from-home days or downtime for meditation and reflection on a weekly basis. Allowing your employees room to recharge and get a change of scenery can do wonders for their well-being. 

Trained and Ready

Help your staff get certified in programs like CPR and bloodborne pathogens. This knowledge may protect them from dangerous situations, and even help save a life.

Especially in customer-facing jobs, training for emergency situations will increase employee safety. Requirements for certification can be found here on the OSHA website. 

Employee Health Policies: Good For Business

Promoting employee health policies is a surefire way to improve employee engagement and satisfaction. Improving the health of your employees not only benefits their wellness but avoids losses in productivity. 

Put your company above the competition by offering a better quality of life for your workforce. Investing in the wellbeing of your staff is the number one step you can take to stay competitive and relevant to today’s discerning workforce.

Is your business up to date with current workplace health and safety laws? Visit our guide on workplace safety compliance to find out!