Emmie Sahlan

3 Ways to Encourage Healthy Employees

Turning regular employees into healthy employees can be a bonus to your organization in many aspects. Healthy staff means higher productivity and lower absenteeism, which converts to reduced health care costs. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, 191 million people in America have one or more chronic diseases, and 75 million of that group have at least two. From an economic perspective, chronic diseases could cost $2 trillion in medical costs and $794 billion each year in lost employee productivity from 2016 to 2030.

The big challenge lies with ambivalent employees who aren’t taking measures to keep themselves healthy. The Employee Benefit Research Institute explained that 68 percent didn’t participate in wellness programs at work because they could make changes on their own. Another 61 percent felt they were already healthy. But, there are ways to convince them. Here are three ways you can get employees more invested in their own health care:

1. Promote a Healthy Work Culture

One way to promote good health is through a healthy work environment and culture. Offering an effective prevention program, such as smoking cessation, along with wellness initiatives — subsidized gym memberships or in-house exercise programs — can encourage staff to adopt healthy lifestyles.

Educate employees on healthy eating through brochures and the internet. Stock healthy snacks in workplace vending machines, which should be low in added sugar and sodium. In addition, it’s essential to teach employees what to eat, what to avoid and how to read nutrition labels.

2. Draw Attention to Free Preventive Care

Every employee loves a freebie. On this note, encourage your employees to take advantage of free preventative screenings, immunizations, lab tests and prescriptions offered by select health clinics or pharmacies. Inform your staff of preventive and maintenance plans to increase the chances of their utilizing freebies and staying healthy.

3. Include Fun Elements Through Measurable Challenges

Organizing health-oriented, incentive-driven workplace challenges is an indirect method to promote a healthy lifestyle. Below is a list of challenges you can implement:

  • Maintain weight management between Thanksgiving and New Year
  • Walk 150,000 steps within a month using an exercise monitor
  • Increase vegetable and fruit intake within a month
  • Share healthy recipes within departments
  • Bring healthy snacks

You can turn regular employees into healthy employees through activities like these. The key is to inject fun and hassle-free elements into your healthy lifestyle initiatives. After all, having a healthy workforce results in better and more satisfied employees, fewer absences and a positive reputation for your company.

Emmie Sahlan has a graduate degree in English and has been writing professionally for the past five years. Her niche areas are insurance, credit cards, personal finance and education.