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How HR can Improve Employee Wellness

6th Jul 2018
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Employees are the greatest asset of every organization. Their wellbeing is of utmost relevance when it comes to ensuring increased productivity and operational efficiency. The office has a mix of multigenerational employees which have varied health issues and requirements. Though anyone can look after their health themselves, in the office environment the HR needs to ensure that adequate health-related policy interventions and workplace wellness programs are initiated to lower employee absenteeism and attrition. Besides, there are other major benefits which accrue with the introduction of programs like yoga classes, nutrition classes, gym sessions, and many other recreational activities. For instance, these programs help reduce workplace injuries and reduce absence due to sickness.

During the work hour employees deal with immense pressure and tight deadlines which hampers the quality of their life and is affecting the body in many ways. Therefore, to ensure that the employee is fit and fine adequate measure on part of the HR needs to be taken. Some of these measures include the following.

Flexible working hours

Being an employee, most of our time is spent sitting in one position, this effect the pelvic area and muscles a lot. The first and foremost initiative that a human resource professional can take is to introduce flexible working hours after discussing with the top management. This will allow the employee’s some time off their regular longer sitting hours which can otherwise be devoted to recreational activity or wellness programs. Also, HR needs to focus that extra working hour culture is abandoned within the office to let the employee have an adequate time off for other things.

Weight Loss Initiative and On-Site Vaccinations

Another major initiative that can be taken by an HR professional is to introduce wellness programs like weight loss activities and other on-site screening and vaccinations. This will not only improve the employer’s health but will enhance the image of the company. Such initiative gives out a clear message that the organization is very much concerned with the employees. Also, as obesity is one of the common issues being faced by employee these days, weight loss activities like aerobics and yoga training can be introduced.

Workplace Insurance Policy

Ensuring the well-being and health of the employees is essential for an organization to reduce cost in the long run. Though employees themselves can buy health insurance policies and protect themselves from chronic diseases. Proponents of workplace wellness programs are of the view that such policies if offered by the employers will help in getting discounts and premiums, membership of fitness centers and much other cashback offers. Therefore, such insurance premiums must be introduced by the HR at the workplace. Some of the highly preferred corporate wellness programs include diabetic management and smoke control programs.

Educating and Training

Another vital measure that an HR can take is to introduce education and training sessions about monitoring the health of peers and colleagues. This is a major trend that is being followed by many organizations.  Further training about instant medical first aid is also needed to be given. This can be imparted by hiring health lecturers and trainers. Moreover, HR needs to make the employees aware of the many benefits in terms of financial benefits that personal health and programs have on employees.

Encouraging employees

Not just introducing the wellness measures, the HR has to encourage them and prod the employees to use the programs. As the cost of healthcare services has increased over time, taking the wellness programs will prove beneficial in terms of reduced cost and premiums. Moreover, companies can save money through wellness programs as in this way absenteeism will significantly reduce leading to improved productivity and reduced costs.

Introducing Incentives for Greater Uptake

Though the above wellness initiatives if taken by the HR will promote the health of the employees, there is a need to ensure higher uptake of workplace wellness programs. This can be done by introducing incentives for taking up the program. These incentives can be in the form of gym memberships, health vouchers, check up plans among many other monetary and non-monetary benefits. An on-site doctor can be hired not on a permanent basis but in a way, if required he can come and visit and do a regular screening of the employees. Further, the introduction of wellness programs might be included on the strategic agenda as this will increase improved employee health and good business.

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