Risk & Business Magazine Sterling Insurance Summer 2018 - Page 6

WORKPLACE WELLNESS I f there is one thing business owners know, it’s that having happy and healthy employees will lead to improved productivity and increased revenues. According to the Harvard Business Review, over 60 percent of corporate leaders recognize that employee productivity and performance are directly linked to employee health. Fortunately, there are of myriad ways that small businesses with limited budgets can implement low-cost solutions aimed at improving employee health. Companies that establish formal wellness programs see employee absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar they spent on those programs. These plans are a valuable recruiting and retention tool that are not only becoming increasingly common, but are also something that prospective employees are actively seeking. Successful wellness programs are dependent on both employee engagement and the support of management. Make it clear that health is important. Promote a general atmosphere of health. If employees do not see or understand the benefits, they will be reticent to participate. One of the best ways to do this is to lead by example. Take your own health seriously and employees will see that and follow suit. Here are some simple things you can consider implementing as part of a wellness program. INCREASE ENERGY LEVELS IN THE OFFICE Tired workers are less productive, have increased absences, and are far more likely to be involved in accidents on the job. Encourage the building of healthy habits in employees such as getting enough sleep, regularly exercising, and addressing consumption of alcohol and tobacco (in a nonoverbearing way). Changes to the workplace can also reduce fatigue. Some examples could be changing the lighting, improving break areas, and allowing the use of more ergonomic equipment around the office. PROMOTE STRESS REDUCTION Lowering stress has an almost unimaginable number of health benefits. Stress is a leading cause of a number of ailments and can lead to significant 6 WORKPLACE WELLNESS: Low Cost, High Returns drops in productivity. Help ensure your employees have options to manage their stress through communication, maintaining a positive work environment, celebrating success, and ensuring workloads are appropriate. Consider adding extra break time if necessary. PROMOTE HEALTHY WEIGHT If you are breathing the same air as the rest of us and haven’t just emerged from under a rock, you probably know that being overweight can cause serious health problems and significantly increased healthcare costs. Promote healthy eating habits and exercise to your employees to help them maintain a healthy weight. No need to be overbearing, just light encouragement in the form of optional group exercise, healthy snacks in the breakroom, and avoiding having soda machines everywhere in the office is enough. PROMOTE A SAFE WORK ENVIRONMENT Make your business culture one that promotes safety. Regularly talk about safety protocols at meetings and keep it in the forefront of your employees’ minds. By making it clear that working safely is a priority, you can reduce the chances of lost productivity, costly medical bills for employees, and increased insurance premiums. As a business owner, you know your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Keeping those employees healthy and vibrant is a huge key to your continued success. Here at Sterling, we offer our own employees a number of wellness activities, including lunch-time yoga classes, fitness contests, on-site flu vaccinations, and optional stand-up desks. We have seen the benefits for ourselves, and we want to help you see them too. If you are interested in learning more about how workplace wellness programs could benefit your business or want to move forward on implementing your own programs, contact me today. + BY: JOE HANEY STERLING INSURANCE GROUP Joe Haney is the President and Founder of Sterling Insurance Group. Celebrating 22 years of business ownership and growth, Joe believes in continuous improvement as evidenced by his earned designations as a Certified Risk Advisor, Certified Benefit Wellness Advisor and Certified Authority on Workers Compensation. Joe works with a variety of clients in both Risk Management and Employee Benefits. Joe is involved in several industry-related groups and philanthropic organizations as well. Contact him at jhaney@sterlingagency.com or (586) 873-7803.