Employers who cut back on proactive investment in their employees, or human capital, during this recession may find it would have been cheaper in the long run to have adopted strategies to improve morale, reduce workplace stress, and decrease absenteeism and presenteeism. Employees experiencing negative stress have two to three times risk of injuries, three times the risk of back pain, two times the risk of substance abuse, two-three times the risk of conflicts and five times the risk of certain cancers.
The good news, according to Banyan Work Health Solutions, is that workplace environment and stress can be managed and strategically planned for simply by creating a workplace culture with a supportive environment, by ensuring health and safety of the physical environment is being met, and ensuring there is a commitment to health and lifestyle practices.
“Each of these three areas must be addressed to create long-term workplace health,” says Robin Mackie, VP employer services at Banyan Work Health Solutions. “Employees can also be proactive in creating the environment they want in ways that can range from the creation of walking clubs to finding outlets to provide input.”
Banyan suggests the following checklist to see if organizations are on the right track:
1. What positive health and lifestyle practices for employees are in place?
-Health topics awareness programs?
-Physical activity/fitness program
-Are you making sure your EAP is being utilized as a resource?
-Have you introduced a health risk appraisal system?
2. Is the workplace culture a supportive environment?
-Regular Employee feedback and recognition
-Communications initiatives to enhance a feeling of teamwork
-Employee opportunities for input on how to become more effective in achieving goals
- An employee empowerment program
-Child care Incentive and Recognition Programs
3. Are there physical and occupational health and safety checks in place?
- Ergonomics program
-Tested your physical environment for health and safety s risks
- Organized health and safety council and employee fairs that build awareness
- Managed return-to-work and disability case management programs
For more information, visit Banyan Work Health Solutions at www.banyanconsultants.com.
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