So just how healthy is your workforce? Do you see a constant stream of sickness and absence from your work colleagues or do employees love coming to work, exude energy and vitality and give 100%. Which is it?
We are seeing more and more evidence that what we eat, drink, our activity levels and even environmental factors can all lead to drops in levels of performance and this is not just within the workplace. So how can we as employers and employees bring about change and develop the workforce that is not just productive but healthier and more nutritionally efficient on a personal level?
Some interesting statistics about "Sickness and Absence In the Labour Market" taken from The office of National Statistics. In 2016 people aged over 16 in employment it is estimated that 137.3 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK. This is equivalent to 4.3 days per worker. There has been some decline since 1993 but figures are increasing and have done so since 2013. Stress is taking its toll on our Management and staff
1. Coughs & Colds and minor issues 34 million Days
2. Back, Neck, upper limb problems 30.8 million days
3. Mental Health Issues - Stress, Depression, Anxiety & Other Serious Conditions = 15.8 million Days lost
As an employer this can have a big impact on a business with shortage of staff at critical times, which in turn may led to lower productivity and profitability and higher wages. Crazy when you think about it. Higher demands are then placed on the very people who never let us down, the people who always turn up for work and give 100% of their commitment. This can then become unsustainable as they can feel undervalued and start to show the first signs of fatigue and burn out but they wont let you down until they cannot keep on going. Then guess what they go off sick and the business is now left without the people that are relied upon on to keep the business running smoothly.
It is a vicious cycle but there is a way to do something about it and that can start right now. You can help your workforce to help themselves. As an employee you can also start to bring about changes.
Just take a look at the people around you. I can put money on it that you know the individuals that will take every Monday off, the people that take regular days off
for very minor issues.
The people that always moan about what they do but still expect to be paid even when they are unproductive when they are present. This is the harsh reality of running a business and I talk from experience. We all have a responsibility for turning up for work with the right attitude and full tank of enthusiasm because we want to be there don't you think? Or whats the point? money, something to do, can't do anything else what is the real reason behind the lack of motivation and energy within your departments and is it something that you think about or not?
The workplace offers unique opportunities for interventions and wellness initiative that go beyond traditional approaches. Many workers however never get to experience the positive effects of well being intervention unless they work for the multinational companies that can afford such interventions.
The health of your workforce is vital to its success.
What you eat and drink daily we know can have a detrimental affect on your health, mood and energy levels but do your staff know what the alternatives are that they can have or is it just easier to keep on buying the processed hams and cheeses, sausage rolls, packets of crisps, chocolate and cakes, fizzy drinks, burgers, fast foods that are readily available, easy to consume, quick to pick up and offer a fast fix?
The reality is that it takes time to change these things but it is possible with a little encouragement and help.
Why wait for things to change? Why not start the changes yourself now? Simple Changes can turn around the day for someone who works for you or who you work with.
Would you like a workforce that wants to come to work everyday because they love what they do and feel valued?
Do you want a workforce that are productive during their working day?
Do you want a workforce that feel well and energetic and care about your business as much as you do?
Think about what you can do differently. What will make a difference to the health and well
being in your business.
These are some very basic changes that you can do now. I do understand that it costs to do these things but what I am asking is that you begin to help your workforce in any way that you can.
Fizzy, calorie laden and caffeinated drinks have a short term effect get rid of them
Educate your staff - Train your staff about health and well-being as you would about Health & Safety.
Speak to a local Gym and negotiate reduced memberships.
Offer active incentives for the workforce that encourage interaction and fun.
Find out if any of your staff have family that are dealing with illness and get a team together to raise money for a charity for that represents that persons issue. Cancer, Psoriasis, depression, dementia....... the list is endless.
Nominate a social secretary to get events up and running and attended
Bring in a fitness and health professional who can run a workshop that will help your staff to prepare healthier lunchboxes or meals.
I am by no means saying that it is possible for a small business to do all of these but if I can get just one business to think bigger then things can change and before long your workforce will benefit and who knows become more energetic, engaging fitter and healthier and want to come to work.
Get out from behind your desk and lead by example, the time is now to make changes for your business.
I am passionate about helping people to make small changes that could lead to significant health benefits and would like to offer 5 local Business owners within my local area Brighton and Hove and London, 1 hour of my time to talk to their workforce about healthier habits.
If you are an individual and want to talk to me about your own personal journey to a healthier lifestyle then I am also happy to discuss this with you.
Tell me in the comments one thing that your business does that is amazing for you as an employee and encourages good health.
We spend a large majority of our life at work but is it really supporting us in a positive way or draining our physical, nutritional and mental well being?