No employer has ever set out to make his employees' lives miserable. Well, maybe that's not true, but any company worth its weight understands the importance of a happy team.
There's a reason companies like Google established a culture of fitness with gyms and healthy foods provided for employees:
The math is simple. Healthy employees means happy employees, and that means a better company.
The Perks of a Healthy Workforce
The realization that healthy employees are better at handling tasks, staying focused, and saving you money is spreading across the business world. While companies continue to find other ways to improve the quality of their employees, it's understood that some small changes to their well-being can lead to drastic improvements in their performance.
1. Less Sick Days
At the core, being healthier means fewer health problems. No surprise, right?
Well, that translates to a significant cut in sick days. A study by Brigham Young University found that absenteeism is reduced by 27% in employees who maintain a good diet and exercise regularly.
Along with that is a motivation to go to work. SAS (Statistical Analysis Systems) offers its employees unlimited sick days. On average, only 2 are used per person. Their programs, like recreation centers, swimming pools, and on-site health care, also contribute to a turnover rate that's 80% lower than the rest of the industry.
2. Improved Productivity
Everyone loves it when their team is getting more done and the higher energy levels attributed from being healthier can pay dividends at the desk.
That study by BYU also found that employees who eat healthier are 25% more likely to have increased performance throughout their day. A different study by the World Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health reports employees with healthy habits are 3.1 times more productive than their unhealthy peers.
While there are a lot of factors that contribute to productivity in the workplace, healthy employees set the bar high.
3. Less Spent on Health Insurance
One of the best perks from healthy employees is the growth of their nutrition and fitness knowledge base.
Healthier people generally gain more information as they explore the lifestyle. Armed with facts about their eating habits and workouts, employees can make smart decisions that help them maintain their health.
This directly contributes to fewer doctor visits. It's plain and simple. All of the normal issues that unhealthy people suffer become nonexistent when a clean diet and routine exercise are added to the mix.
When these employees have their evaluations for health insurance rates, they're going to cost you significantly less than some of their unhealthy colleagues. Just having a wellness program can drop your premiums, but having employees that actually use it is even better.
4. More Cooperation
As employees get healthier, morale goes up, and that creates a culture of cooperation among your team.
This may be most obvious when your company is using tools like standing desks. Their ability to allow employees a freedom of movement is unmatched. Paired with all the health benefits of using the desks, you'll find your staff is more pleasant when working together.
Healthy employees are more confident and are less likely to feel threatened about their ranking at the office. Instead, their energy results in a higher efficiency among teams, creating a better product for your customers.
5. Fewer Workplace Accidents
Getting people to focus on the task at hand can be a tremendous benefit to your business and it all comes down to breaking employees from "presenteeism".
This is the syndrome where employees are at work but not invested. It's estimated that presenteeism results in 8 times less productivity. The good news is healthier employees are actually present at work.
There's a huge boost in energy that comes with being healthier. It's no secret that exercise releases endorphins through your body, but those happy hormones also improve cognitive function, making employees more alert.
This results in a lower risk for injury completing common tasks around the workplace.
6. Improved Corporate Image
As your employees start feeling healthier, you're going to notice they also look the part. Both of these lead to some great benefits.
Have you noticed advertisers mostly use images of the fit, young go-getters in their ads? They're appealing to an inner desire in everyone. We may not all want to look like the person in the ad, but rarely do people want to look unhealthy.
When your employees lose weight and feel healthier, they create a persona for your business. As people enter your offices or see images online, they become transfixed on the vibe that being healthy creates.
This also translates to better customer engagement. While customers may like the appearance of your business, they're going to love the energy your employees convey. It's contagious and soon you'll have customers who are as excited about your company as you are.
Embracing the Benefits
There are tons of benefits you can get by having healthy employees. These are just a sprinkling.
The only way to see for yourself is to find ways to create a culture that's healthier and happier. You can do this by adding a gym, organizing outings, or just upgrading to standing desks. The ball's in your court.