Engaging in workplace health promotion is essential to lead a successful company, particularly since employees are at the heart of every organisation. In fact, promoting workplace health and well-being helps businesses increase productivity rates, job satisfaction and commitment while decreasing absenteeism and staff turnover.

The simple steps outlined in this article will help you gain all these great benefits by supporting the development of a healthier workforce effectively.

1.      Carry out desk checks

Undertaking routine desk checks is key to ensuring your employees are working comfortably and therefore productively. These informal checks will help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders from bad posture, which can lead to absence from work.

To carry out these checks, ensure the following:

–   Office chairs are adjusted to support your employees’ lower backs, have their hips sit higher than their knees, their forearms rested comfortably on their desk, and their feet firmly on the floor.

–   Keyboards are placed in a way that allows your employees’ wrists to rest comfortably on the desk while not typing.

–   Computer screens should be at the correct height, with the top of the screen in line with your employees’ eyes.

2.      Encourage healthy eating

Healthy eating is not only important to support your staff’s health, it is also a key element pertaining to productivity. In fact, research has found that unhealthy eating is linked with a 66% increased risk of loss of productivity.

If you have in-house catering such as a cafeteria, you can easily swap unhealthy choices for healthier ones. Also think about swapping sugary drinks for juices, and provide healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts.

If you do not offer any catering, provide a fridge for employees to bring in healthy lunches from home. Also consider investing in a blender, a juicer and a sandwich press to encourage healthy choices and allow your workforce to prepare healthy lunches on-site.

In terms of employee benefits, you can offer discounts and gift cards to health food stores and healthier restaurant options rather than fast food. You can also invite a dietician to speak to your team at a corporate event.

3.      Tackle mental health

Poor mental health costs UK employers £45 billion each year, which makes it a crucial element to focus on when it comes to workplace health. In fact, research by Deloitte showed that every £1 spent on mental health interventions results in £5 back in reduced absence and staff turnover.

Encourage positive communications and deter bullying, offer discounted rates for counselling sessions, run employee polls to gain feedback on your company morale, run mediation courses and invite mental health speakers.

Employees can find mental health difficult and uncomfortable to talk about. Therefore, it is highly recommended to train your managers to understand mental health so they can spot the early signs of poor mental health and implement strategies accordingly to tackle any arising issues.

4.      Promote exercise

Promoting exercise is a great way to encourage better health, in addition to giving your employees the opportunity to socialise with each other.

Create an employee sports team, organise group exercise classes, enter employees in fun runs and charity sports events, install bike racks in your car parks, implement walking meetings, install showers for employees who run or ride to work. Alternatively, you can add exercise related options on your employee benefit scheme such as discounted gym memberships and cycle-to-work schemes.

5.      Focus on prevention

General prevention is much cheaper and simpler than treating problems once they have occurred. Additionally, healthy employees are not only happy employees, they also perform better and have low levels of absenteeism.

Making preventative care accessible for employees is therefore crucial, and can be achieved in a number of ways such as subsidising aids for smoking cessation, arranging on-site flu vaccinations and organising talks about various aspects of physical, medical and mental health.

Undoubtedly, one of the most efficient way of investing in your employees’ health is to offer health checks to establish any hidden health issues and assess where progress can be made to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Find out more about how health checks can help your company by downloading our free guide here.