Promoting Personal Care Can Increase Productivity and Profitability

Employee eating healthy salad at desk

In our fast-paced world, many people are becoming over-worked, over-weight and fatigued – all of which increases the likelihood of injuries. To maintain the safety and security of their workforce, many employers are promoting wellness of the whole person: mind, body, and soul.

We all know we should eat a healthy diet, exercise, drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep to feel at our best. Many employers now offer employee assistance programs so employees have access to counseling. They encourage employees to pay special attention to their emotions and even encourage prayer or meditation for 15 minutes a day or more.

Employee wellness programs can be developed with a health insurance carrier, or can be implemented internally. It can focus on weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise programs, and more. Surveying employees can help identify the programs and services that would be of most benefit. Determine employees’ lifestyles by seeing how many employees take smoke breaks throughout the day, and if the vending machines are full of junk food that needs to be refilled often. These observations can help to determine the programs that would be most interesting and beneficial for employees.

There are many ways to engage with employees to promote wellness. Coordinate an initial health fair to determine baseline BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Offer employees free flu shots and smoking cessation programs. Having a weekly wellness event helps to maintain interest and encourage success. Offer a free fruit day or organize a group walk. Most people will appreciate the opportunity to enhance their health on company time! Consider sponsoring employees for marathons or fitness classes outside of work. Offering healthy incentives for achieving goals (rewarding with pedometers or stress balls) will help to maintain employee interest and participation as well.

If employees are relatively healthy, then they are more likely to have better morale and productivity and less likely to be injured on the job. And if an injury does occur with a healthy individual, then they should have a faster recovery time to return to work. Employers have the ability to enrich the personal care of the employees through wellness.

If your job is caring for others, here’s an extra reminder. Many caregivers work selflessly to care for others, yet may not be taking the time and energy to care for their own health. Caregivers are found in large and small facilities from hospitals to home care in private residences. Regardless of the setting, caregivers face serious safety hazards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 Nursing and residential care facilities had an overall recordable incident rate of 12.0, and hospitals were at 8.1. With the national average rate (all industries) of 3.3 it’s easy to see how hazardous the caregiver job is.

According to the American Nurses Association, there is a national nursing shortage. Nurses often need to work overtime in stressful conditions, often resulting in job dissatisfaction, fatigue, and injury. Working longer hours can affect sleep quality, interfere with exercise, and inhibit healthy meal planning and preparations. All of these things can make someone irritable and impatient, therefore increasing their risk of making mistakes on the job.

Even when the proper procedures are followed, injury risk amongst caregivers can be even higher when the caregivers themselves are not healthy. Workplace stress can exacerbate illnesses like diabetes and heart conditions. If a caregiver listens to their body, maintains healthy eating habits, and keeps up with an exercise program, it increases their abilities to continue to care for their clients day after day. So no matter what you do, make personal care a priority.