We constantly hear the adage 'Health is wealth,' but we never have an accurate idea of its value until we lose our health. One cannot even quantify the negative impact of the loss of health on family and work. Today, on World Health Day, we will try and understand the vital role of health in business.
We all know that the most significant asset in any business are its human resources. The company is only as healthy as its workforce.
Every year, thousands of man-hours and revenue are lost solely due to sick leaves and hospitalization of employees. Research shows that employees who are not entirely healthy are less productive than their peers. Many employees retire early due to health reasons. This adds cost to the company of hiring and training new employees to replace them. If there are more sick leaves in an office, work gets added to that of the remaining employees, which can affect their health adversely. Adverse health conditions tarnish a company's brand image in the eyes of consumers and do irreparable damage. Unhealthy workers translate into higher healthcare costs for the company.
So as an organization, it is essential to teach the importance of fitness.
We usually only think of a person's physical health whenever we think of health. In contrast, it has been seen that mental health is equally debilitating or even more detrimental to an individual's health.
Employees who work long hours and have stressful jobs tend to fall sick more often and burn out faster. Also, they are likely to make more costly mistakes which can have profound cost implications. If an employee is dissatisfied with their job, this will reflect in their mood, team spirit, and output. Higher targets, stringent deadlines, and longer work hours all take a toll on one's mental and physical health, and work suffers. Depression, anxiety, and nervous breakdown are long-term illnesses that can cause an individual and the organization to perform poorly.
We might think that people in top positions, such as CXOs and Entrepreneurs, are immune to health hazards. Nothing can be far from the truth.
Entrepreneurs and top management have much higher levels of pressure right from decision-making and generating profits to hostile takeovers and budget management. They often work odd hours, have less family time, have erratic eating habits and timings, lack exercise, etc. This takes a toll on their mental and physical health and makes them more prone to sickness and burnout. They have to keep working harder to keep their motivation as high as when they had started the company or their careers because they think that if they let up, complacency might set in.
● First and foremost is having a good health insurance package to reduce the cost to the company and reduce the financial burden for the employees and their families.
● Health awareness campaigns regularly help employees learn the intricacies of achieving work-life balance.
● Stressing and re-stressing the importance of healthy eating, exercise and taking care of one's mental health can help make it a habit.
● Providing basic amenities such as healthy food in the cafeteria, clean water in coolers, regular cleanliness and servicing of AC filter and water filters, and, if possible, a small gymnasium for exercise.
● Rewarding employees for achieving and maintaining healthy targets.
● Conducting regular destressing seminars and workshops such as yoga or meditation.
● Encouraging people to vent out their problems and concerns with the HR team or counselors.
● Overall creating an environment of openness, camaraderie, and satisfaction.
● Reduce sick leaves and absences. This automatically translates into lower costs for the company.
● Attract newer and better talent. Nowadays, employees are not just looking at the remuneration packages. Added perks such as better healthcare policies, a healthier working environment, shorter work hours, and lesser stress with manageable targets are all the parameters that are considered before choosing a job. A company that can fulfill most of these parameters will attract better and more skilled talent.
● A company that considers its employee's health is automatically viewed with respect by its customers, which helps improve its brand loyalty and customer loyalty.
● Focusing on the health of its employees also results in lesser early retirements, which means there is the retention of experienced talent for a more extended period.
● Inculcating healthy habits means fewer sick people per year, lowering healthcare premiums with higher coverage.
In conclusion, prevention is better than cure. Businesses that regularly implement health programs and awareness campaigns will deliver better results, generate more profits, have lower attrition rates, and generally have a healthier and happier work environment.