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Why companies should take care of their employees’ health

Healthy people are happy people. Your company will start to flourish only after you take care of your employees.

Laptops are useful, but bring with them privacy and security concerns. — Photo: © Tim Sandle.
Laptops are useful, but bring with them privacy and security concerns. — Photo: © Tim Sandle.

The year 2021 marked a shakeup in the job market, what has been called the ‘Great Resignation’. People were (and still are) quitting their jobs. In terms of the drivers for this, Pew Research Center research shows it is due to the low pay, limited career opportunities, and disrespect at the workplace.

Additionally, employees have grown savvier about what benefits they ought to be receiving and wish for a more flexible work environment that would allow them to take care of their families.

Multiple studies have highlighted that companies can retain their employees and outperform within their industries when they put their employees’ health, safety, and well-being at the forefront. We will look through a few reasons why taking care of your employees’ health should be a top priority in this evolving job market.

Reducing costs of employee turnover

Replacing employees can cost US employers a hefty trillion dollars a year. According to Investopedia, some of the key components making up this bill are new salary and benefits packages, training programs, and the cost of actually searching for and finalizing new employees.

Often employees leave organizations where they feel as though their concerns are not heard or relayed through proper channels. After a few years of working in a similar position, it is possible to experience a sense of burnout. That’s especially true within a job that doesn’t cater to the evolving needs such as professional growth, chances for appraisals, and neglected overall health.

In hindsight, it costs less to invest in health benefits than to replace employees.

Companies investing in their workplace culture can retain their employees and reduce their recruitment costs. A first step in doing so would be to understand the deficiencies in the benefits they are already providing for their employees.

Incorporating the evolving needs of health benefits packages, such as mental wellness, can make a substantial difference. According to the World Health Organization, something as simple as focusing on workplace mental health increases productivity and company economic gains.

Healthier employees are happier

The key component of any organization is its PEOPLE. Ausrine Cebatore, VP of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Kilo Health, points out, “Healthy people are happy people. Your company will start to flourish only after you take care of your employees.”

Often within huge companies, employees can get reduced to data points on a payroll. Changing this mindset and viewing employees for all the primary facets of their lives can help contribute to employee productivity.

Increasing awareness of workplace stressors and invisible health concerns, such as anxiety and depression, is one of the first steps. Literature reviews have highlighted that nearly 86 percent of individuals who received treatment for their depression experienced an improvement in their productivity.

Workplace programs catering to physical and mental health showcased the strongest evidence of benefit. This doesn’t mean just building a gym or encouraging eating healthy snacks. Making health and wellness accessible is crucial.

Cebatore highlights that employees might have time restrictions or responsibilities such as taking care of their children or loved ones, which might limit their accessibility to company health benefits.

For this, adapting systems to cater to employees everywhere is crucial. Personal trainers, meditation apps, and regular psychological appointments tailored to individual needs reveal genuine employer concern for the well-being of their employees.

Additionally, adjusting to changes such as becoming a new parent or taking time off to care for a loved one should also be looked into. These changes in family dynamics are frequently neglected. In such scenarios, employees often preferred more flexible schedules instead of taking time off work.

A follow-up article considers what the best firms are doing for their employees. See: “Standing out from the crowd: How the best companies enhance employee health.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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