Showing your employees how much they mean to the company should not be expressed only through promotions and paychecks. To help them understand that they are a vital part of your business and that you plan on working with them in the long run, you should implement some work culture strategies that will illustrate how much you care about their wellbeing as well.
Take a look below to familiarise yourself with some ways how you can improve the health of your employees as told by Mat Shop.
Ensure the workspace is safe
The first thing you, as a business owner, must do is conduct a thorough inspection of the workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are in the construction industry and often change work sites or are confined to the same office every day, the safety of the work environment must be constantly on the top of your mind.
There are various checks you should get professionals to perform, from making sure the structural integrity of the building is sound to see whether there are any HVAC, mould or dangerous chemicals issues. Address these factors on time to avoid dealing with sick building syndrome or SBS, which can cause fatigue, headaches and respiratory problems among your workers.
Additionally, keep up with the building maintenance, check with your workers whether they are allergic to anything or if they’re bothered by any specific smells and ensure the office air temperature suits, everyone.
Address the safety of the workplace
Once the work site has been properly inspected, you will have more knowledge about any potential hazards. While you’re working on fixing the issues, make sure your employees know which areas to avoid while improvements are being made. However, invite them to address any other risks they might have encountered while on the job. Maybe they’ve noticed some electrical or plumbing issues or some of the equipment you use is faulty.
Furthermore, if there are any tripping hazards or dangerous objects what are wobbly or not properly fixed, ask them to bring it to your attention. Then, work together to see how these issues can be solved. You should also create some safety guidelines for the office to avoid harmful situations.
Encourage them to take care of themselves
You need healthy employees for your business to run smoothly. Plus, if they’re healthy, they’ll be happier in the workplace. Therefore, you should do your best to encourage preventative care and offer some corporate screenings. Depending on your budget, there are various options out there. You can offer weight and blood pressure screenings, which are relatively inexpensive but can do a lot when it comes to inspiring people to seek further care. On the other hand, onsite mammograms and flu shots can go a long way in preventing certain health issues. Moreover, look into offering rebates or incentives in terms of health insurance.
Invite a professional to speak to them
Continuing from the previous point, you can also invite medical professionals to speak about some common health troubles that people in your line of work are experiencing. They will also encourage your employees to get regular checkups and tests to make sure their health is top-notch. However, there are other types of specialists you can bring in that can teach your workers about healthy living. For example, there are chefs who can show them how to eat healthier meals and fitness experts that can demonstrate some useful exercises to prevent back and neck pain.
Don’t ignore mental health
While physical health is important, it’s vital that you don’t forget about your employees’ mental health. Stress and exhaustion at work can often result in much bigger problems like anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation and high blood pressure. So, in addition to getting experts for healthy cooking and fitness, you should also try to start a program that offers counselling services or at least offer rebates for seeing a therapist. Furthermore, make sure your workers know that they can talk to you whenever they need help.
Encourage proper eye care
If the job you do includes staring at the computer for most of the day, it’s not uncommon to experience eye strain and fatigue – the same goes for your employees. These issues make it hard to focus and be productive but taking regular breaks can help a lot. A good eye exercise is to take their eyes off the screen every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Of course, occasional longer breaks are also necessary. Plus, installing an anti-blue-light screen filter and using overhand and task lighting will play a big role in preventing eye strain.
Avoid having them sit for too long
You must have heard by now that sitting for too long is not good for your health, which is why you should work on implementing certain equipment that allows your employees to stand for a part of their day. In addition to getting ergonomic chairs or even cycle chairs, you should also consider adjustable desks which can easily be turned into standing desks. However, seeing as how standing for too long can also be tiring, the ideal solution would be placing a standing desk mat. This type of mat is made from spongy foam which provides additional comfort and reduces leg pains.
Other ways to prevent all the downsides of sitting the whole day include holding meetings while standing and encouraging the staff to take regular breaks. For those who cannot stand for extended periods of time, you should give some advice on how to sit properly as their posture can lead to less pain.
Provide them with fitness opportunities
Besides standing desks and encouraging regular breaks, you should provide your employees with various fitness opportunities. In case you have enough space at the office, you can add a fitness centre. If this already came with the office building, great! On the other hand, you can collaborate with someone else who shares the space to create a gym for the people working in the building or do it on your own. However, if you’re lacking space and/or funds, you can at least offer your employees the benefits of a gym membership. If you pay for it or give them a discount even, they’ll be inspired to take better care of their body.
Give them healthy eating options
What the employees eat also plays a big role in their wellbeing. If you have a cafeteria, work on creating some healthy, nutritious lunches for the staff. If your meals are ordered and delivered, encourage them to make healthier choices when picking dishes. Also, you can consider removing vending machines which are typically full of sodas and snacks that are simply unhealthy. Instead, you can provide free fruit, juices and water as well as a fridge where the workers can keep the healthy meals they brought from home.
Offer remote work and flexible hours
You can also boost your employees’ health by allowing them a flexible schedule. On some days, they might have an emergency at home, their kid might get sick or the nanny might be running late. Allowing them to come into work later and stay longer will mean the world to them and they are bound to feel less stressed. Furthermore, you can even introduce working from home. Once again, remote work will come in super handy if there are some personal things they have to deal with. If every task is done properly and on time, you should have no issues with this arrangement and the workers will feel much more inspired and not micromanaged.
Teach them CPR and first aid
Last but not least, you need to prepare your team members for some expected situations. You never know what emergency they might find themselves in. Maybe someone faints, maybe a colleague hurts themselves on the job, maybe there’s an earthquake – unfortunately, the situations are countless. This is why it’s important that all of your workers have first aid and CPR training. Ensure there are first aid kits on every floor, as well as fire extinguishers, and mark them clearly. Establish some emergency procedures and conduct regular practices to be sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
Implementing these eleven strategies is sure to work well for improving your employees’ health and safety. It will show them that you care about their wellbeing and this will create a sense of loyalty which will inspire them to stay with you for a long time.
More on looking after your employee mental health and HR and staff management.
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