Thursday, May 27, 2010

Help Keep Your Employees Healthy

Help Keep Your Employees HealthyEncouraging your employees to stay health has a lot of benefits for you as an employer. Not only will you have to pay lower health-care costs, but you'll see more production and less absenteeism. In 2007, a survey revealed that nearly half of all companies were working on some health-related program to benefit their employees and that for every dollar spent on encouraging employee health, companies saved five dollars.

Sure, big businesses and corporations have the money to roll out fancy health programs for their employees but there are things you can do as a small business owner, as well. There are many things you can do for your employees (and your company) on a smaller budget. Here are a few tips to help get you started.

1. Healthy Snacks - Every office has snacks lying around, many times purchased by the boss, but healthier snacks can make healthier workers. Instead of a big bag of M&Ms, go for a big bag of mixed nuts, which are a great source of protein. Instead of chips, get a vegetable platter. Put a water cooler next to your soda machines or keep your break room fridge stocked with bottles of water. If you have a company cafeteria, make sure the meals served are healthy.

2. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle - Hang posters or fliers that encourage exercise or offer advice on making healthy food choices. Maybe your local gym is offering a membership discount this month - put a flier in each of your employee's paycheck envelopes or stick one in each of their mailboxes. Make health-consciousness the norm around the office. You may even be able to work a deal with a local gym or health food store, to offer a discount for your employees only.

3. Help employees make time for their health - Give fifteen minute stress relief breaks each day. If you have the space and money, bring some gym equipment into your office that employees can use during break times. Help employees find a route to walk or jog around your office. Allow health professionals to come in and give your employees health screenings for issues such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar. Or even hire a masseuse to come in and allow employees to pay for short massages.

4. Offer bonuses and incentives - Lots of offices have contests for those looking to lose weight, maybe throw in a prize for the winner. Offer your own discounts on gym memberships or include a gift certificate to a health food store in with yearly bonuses.

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