Why Keeping Employees Healthy and Happy Will Improve the Bottom Line

Fri, Jun 1, 2012


Some companies do not judge the relative health and happiness of their employees to have any bearing on the bottom line. This is a mistake. When employees are in peak physical and mental form and their morale is high, they are likely to perform every task more efficiently, thus improving the bottom line. If, however, they are feeling badly in body, mind, and/or spirit, the speed and quality with which they produce their work could suffer along with them, and it’s extremely likely that it will. The employer that fails to realize this parallel between employee health and happiness and overall productivity will no doubt see losses over time. But how does one see to the state of their employees without overstepping professional bounds?

Although there is little you can do about the outside lives of your employees, there is actually quite a bit you can do within the office setting to ensure optimum health and high levels of morale. In some cases these strategies may even carry over into the personal lives of your staff. The first area you may want to address is health concerns, and you can deal with these issues at both the individual level, and in terms of company policy on the whole.

As far as company policy, you may include health restrictions insomuch as they affect the workplace. For example, you could ban smoking, drinking, and the use of illicit substances in and around the office. You might also offer services that will help employees to deal with issues of substance abuse as a way to encourage and support them should they endeavor to quit smoking, drinking, and so on (as well as counseling services for employees dealing with hardship or mental issues). Of course, you should also have policies to discourage the use of banned substances, such as warnings, demotions, and firing for any employees that are caught breaking the rules.

Many organizations now opt to see to the health of their employees in other ways, as well. Some provide gym facilities stocked with equipment or make arrangements to offer discounted health club memberships at nearby gyms. Others have an in-house cafeteria that provides nutritional food options at competitive prices (to encourage the staff to stay away from fast food). You might also use an open floor plan in order that everyone in the office can enjoy a view of the windows and access to the natural light they provide (a view of nature has been proven to reduce stress).

And some companies are even beginning to offer incentives to employees that become healthier (by quitting smoking or seeing a nutritionist and a fitness professional, for example) because it can help to reduce the costs of health care benefits. Since heart disease statistics show that more and more people are suffering due to poor diet and lack of exercise, any steps you can take to help your employees improve in this area could be beneficial to both them and your business.

As for happiness, raising morale is entirely within your purview as the employer. By providing a work environment that rewards loyalty, praises success, and encourages both individual and team efforts (without the stress of constant micromanagement) you will let employees know that their contributions are valued. Help every employee to take pride in their work and reward them for their efforts (above and beyond processing payroll) and you’ll end up with much higher productivity and a significant improvement to your bottom line over time.

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