Every employer wants to make sure that the people they have on their team are performing at the optimum capability. When the employees get unwell, it is your responsibility to pay for their medical and pharmacy costs, which is probably why you keep tabs on exactly how much the health of each employee is costing you. The mistake that most employers make is that they use absenteeism as the only indicator of low employee productivity, while there is an array of other parameters that determine the correlation between employee health and their productivity.
Presenteeism and Lost Productivity
There are times when an employee will report to work, and they seem fine because they are physically present and seem to be handling their work well. However, in the real sense, they are not well, and they keep repeating tasks, losing their concentration and working more slowly than they usually would. This is known as presenteeism.
The Harvard Business Review says “Presenteeism, as defined by researchers, isn’t about malingering (pretending to be ill to avoid work duties) or goofing off on the job (surfing the Internet, say, when you should be preparing that report). The term—which has gained currency despite some academics’ uneasiness with its somewhat catchy feel—refers to productivity loss resulting from real health problems.”
Studies conducted on health-related lost productivity showed that for every dollar an employer spends on employer health costs, they absorb at least $2.30 HRLP costs in lost working time. Measures such as getting temps to replace an ailing employee until they completely recover can help you avoid such losses.
Overall Health and Holistic Wellness
The best way to promote a culture of health in the workplace is leading by example. Let the desire to stay fit and healthy trickle down from the CEO down to all the employees. Have seminars and brochures which discuss the importance of staying fit and healthy distributed to all your employees.
But physical health isn’t the only thing to consider. Healer’s Library reminds that, “When it comes to medicinal terms, holism refers to treating the whole person and, instead of solely considering the physical symptoms of a disease or illness, practitioners also take into account the mental, emotional, and social factors that might also be contributing to the patient’s ailments.” If you notice employees are feeling unmotivated or unhappy, this could be a symptom of poor mental or emotional health. Consider the way that your employees could release stress, such as doing yoga or team building sessions.
Employer Cost of Lifestyle Diseases
Almost all workplaces have that one employee who cannot run from point A to point B because of their weight. It is estimated that employers lose more than 70 billion annually in lowered productivity as a result of hiring obese workers. The study also showed that presenteeism accounted for 56 percent of the total cost of obesity for women and 68 percent for men. To counter this problem, employers are encouraged to structure their workplaces in a way which discourages sedentary lifestyle. Investing in a gym or a backyard where people can play games, a salad bar instead of a fast food cafeteria and such small changes could boost your productivity.
Having a productive workforce is a strategic decision that you as a company owner have to make and implement. When you have the right policies in place, your bottom line will stop taking a hit from this recurrent problem.
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