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5 Principles to Encourage Employee Health

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Employee health is something that many organizations talk about but few have mastered. Some of the latest findings by MetLife show that more than half of employees are worried about their well-being — including their mental, financial, social, and physical health.

Keeping the health of employees top of mind is one way to give your business a competitive edge. Read on to learn more about why and how your organization can help improve employee health in and outside the workplace.

The Importance of Prioritizing Employee Health 

Employee health — physical, mental, financial, etc. —  is directly tied to productivity. Think of it this way, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention healthy employees are:

  • Less likely to call in sick or take time off due to illness
  • More likely to show up for work every day (so companies don’t need to worry about filling temp positions)
  • Less likely to miss work due to caring for ill family members since employee health frequently carries over into better health behavior at home
  • More present in the workplace since they are less distracted by financial, mental, or health stressors

Prioritizing workplace health has positive effects on productivity and in turn profits. Businesses can reap the benefits of a more productive workforce while also saving money thanks to reduced absenteeism and turnover.

5 Ways to Encourage Employee Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we perceive employee health. Increased stress levels and uncertainty understandably took a toll on how employees were performing the job. Many organizations began expanding their health services and offering more flexible work hours and benefits.

But encouraging employee health means more than simply offering benefits and expecting them to be used. Here are a handful of principles that can truly empower healthy employees in and out of the office.

1. Make it Personalized

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to employee health. For many, the baseline for employee health is physical and mental wellness. However, the 2022 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey found that 56% of employees are stressed about their finances. Financial health, such as financial literacy programs, is also something organizations should consider.

Allowing for a personalized wellness program is one of the best ways to engage employees with their wellness. They’ll be able to choose benefits that offer them the most value or utilize a holistic approach to wellness.

2. Foster a Sense of Community

Building a sense of community in the workplace is linked to improved employee health and job satisfaction. According to the Harvard Business Review, when people had a sense of community at work, they were 58% more likely to thrive at work, 55% more engaged, and 66% more likely to stay with their organization.

Fostering better relationships at work is also beneficial for employees’ mental health. Choose wellness initiatives that can be personalized but also allows employees to connect and celebrate their successes.

3. Promote Preventative Care

While there are many wellness initiatives to choose from, one of the best ways to encourage employee health is to promote preventative care. This includes things like annual physicals, vaccinations, and screenings that can benefit your employees’ health in the long term.

Many potential employees want to make sure preventative care like physical exams is covered as part of their health insurance. However, organizations can also offer health benefits as part of this initiative. Helping employees create healthy eating and exercise habits can also be part of preventative care because it leads to a healthier lifestyle overall.

4. Recognize Achievements

It’s no secret that employees feel appreciated when their accomplishments are recognized. And while health and wellness are personal for many people, there are still ways to celebrate their health wins.

For instance, did an employee just reach their step goal for the week? Did they recently complete their first 5k? Maybe they volunteered for their favorite charity over the weekend? No matter the case, these are all wins that can be celebrated with the team.

5. Make Wellness Engaging

Above all, when you want to encourage employee health you have to make wellness engaging. It’s never enough to offer benefits and expects them to be used or for your team to suddenly change their habits.

That's why we created Empower by Charity Miles. You'll have happier, healthier, prouder employees when you empower them to turn every step into money for charity. Our Employee Empowerment Program is for companies invested in building a culture that values employee wellness, empathy, and giving back.

Start encouraging employee health at your organization today with Empower.

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