6 Ways Employers Can Support the Health of Their Employees

With the current employment crisis, finding qualified help is becoming increasingly difficult. Also, employee retention suffers without the appropriate care. So what can employers do to recruit the right talent and encourage staff to stay?

Studies have repeatedly proven the importance of employee physical health and mental wellbeing to overall satisfaction in the workplace. Supportive administration and a culture of wellness can increase retention and performance.

Even with the best intentions, many employers don’t know where to begin supporting their employees’ health. These tips will give you a jumping-off point to start the process of becoming a workplace that promotes wellness. When you invest in the well-being of your employees, they may be far more likely to support the company’s well-being.

1. Offer Control Over Work Schedule and Location

If the recent pandemic has proven anything, it’s that employees don’t need to be chained to the office to get their work done. More and more people are searching for new jobs with at least some flexibility in hours and work-from-home opportunities.

According to a 2022 survey from McKinsey, flexible work is the third highest reason people search for new employment, right behind better pay, hours and career opportunities. In fact, 87% of employees opted to work from home part-time or full-time when offered.

Control of their schedule and location allows your staff to take care of themselves better. They can start their day with a run or some meditation. Parents can get work done while staying home with a sick child. The opportunities and customization can be endless and shift with their ever-changing needs. Your employees will appreciate your trust in them to take some control.

2. Provide Mental Health Training to Managers

Historically, management’s philosophy on employee mental health was to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. The stigma was powerful and even the thought of discussing such an issue was uncomfortable.

However, if you want to take care of your employees and keep your retention and productivity high, you need to be proactive about mental health. Mandatory training for management of all levels will help them learn the signs of mental health issues. They also should have an intimate knowledge of the tools and policies your company has available to help employees who are struggling.

3. Swap Out Soda and Unhealthy Snack Machines

It seems nothing encourages snacking like sitting at a desk all day. If your employees work in an office, you may want to consider ditching the traditional soft drink, candy bar and chip options. Instead, swap in bottled water, nuts and power bars full of protein to combat the afternoon slump.

Over 50% of American employees don’t eat healthy lunches at work, but 77% say they would make more nutritious choices later in the day if they did. Taking the unhealthy options out of the office could help inspire better eating habits.

Is there a restaurant offering healthy lunches nearby? Perhaps you could bring them in to cater or encourage the office to take a walk there with you a few times a week.

4. Be Open About Hard Times

People with mental health issues often feel like they’re alone and no one can understand them. To support them, provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere where people don’t sweep uncomfortable topics under the rug. If you or others in management struggle with your mental health, consider being open about your experience.

Employees may feel more comfortable using company mental health benefits if they see others doing so. Sharing about your mental health also instills a sense of mutual trust and respect with your workers and will help them feel valued and more likely to continue at the company.

5. Sponsor Gym Memberships

Physical activity is crucial for health and wellness. Regular exercise can improve focus and productivity by stimulating blood flow to the brain. Working out also boosts serotonin, helping workers to feel happier and more satisfied.

With continued practice, physical activity can be preventative medicine for many disorders and diseases, such as diabetes, heart problems and depression. Sponsoring gym memberships can encourage employees to keep themselves healthy.

6. Offer Expanded Mental Health Coverage

A health insurance offering only focused on physical health is missing half the story. Taking care of an employee’s mental needs is essential to their well-being and continued success at your company.

Ninety-four percent of HR personnel say mental health benefits can improve well-being in the workplace. You may struggle with hiring and retention if you don’t have these benefits.

When putting together a mental health package, look beyond therapy coverage. Your employees may also benefit from other treatments like drug and alcohol rehabilitation, acupuncture, massage and chiropractic services.

A Healthy Employee Benefits Everyone

Investing in support for your employee’s physical and mental well-being is ultimately an investment in your company’s health. Happy employees often work harder and can be more likely to care about the company they work for and the quality of their performance. These professionals also tend to stay in their positions much longer, saving your company from costly recruiting.

At the end of the day, the best advice is to treat your employees how you would want to be treated. Even a little compassion and human decency go a long way.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 14, 2023

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