4 reasons to have healthy staff

I have been talking to a number of people about employee health recently. Business leaders are keen to understand how they might benefit from taking wellbeing more seriously. There are a number of potential benefits for companies considering adopting a wellness strategy. Here are my top four.

1. Save money
Absenteeism through illness costs British business £14bn a year, with the average British worker taking nine days’ sick leave annually. The cost can be damaging, particularly for small businesses. Plus there’s the disruption and inconvenience of having key staff missing. Forward-looking companies are introducing ways to improve employees’ health and morale, such as eating more healthily, exercising, tackling mental health issues and raising awareness of the effects of alcohol and tobacco.

2. Boost productivity
Studies in the US and UK have shown that regular exercise improves mental functions by encouraging the body to develop new brain cells. Employees who exercise regularly perform better at work, manage their time better and are mentally sharper. Encouraging staff to be more active can pay dividends for the individual and organisation. Initiatives such as encouraging staff to walk around the office, take regular screen breaks and go outside for their lunch break can help reduce tiredness and stress.

3. More effective workforce
A study in the journal Population Health Management found that workers who eat unhealthily are likely to be much less productive in the workplace. Nutrition can make a significant contribution to a happy and motivated workplace, with healthy eating boosting energy, wellbeing and long-term health. Educating staff about healthy eating can make a big difference.

4. Staff feel valued and loyal
According to research by Investors in People, employees who feel their company does not care about their health and wellbeing are significantly more likely to look for a new job. Health and wellness schemes can make a significant contribution to a company’s morale. Making staff feel valued and appreciated can lead to a reduction in absenteeism and staff turnover.

These are four compelling reasons to have healthy staff.  A wellness strategy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It can involve simple changes that, if demonstrated and communicated clearly by business leaders, will permeate through the whole organisation.