Every day more and more workers become less and less productive because of health issues related to being overweight and obese. This is horrifying news at a time when employee productivity is the key to survival in an increasingly competitive business environment. It is now beyond doubt that unhealthy lifestyles are a major contributor to low productivity. This is troubling news for any entrepreneur. To help overcome this kind of stressful, profit-losing trends, here are tips on how to set up effective workplace safety and health programs.
- Start by establishing a culture of wellness at the work place by giving incentives, encouraging workers to take part in healthy lifestyle related activities, providing them with tips on healthy nutrition choices, and giving them support and encouragement to stick to a wellness program.
- Employers should not be bystanders but you should be an integral part of any activity designed to improve the welfare of workers by taking an active role to demonstrate to them that their safety and wellness is a priority.
- People embrace health programs differently so it is important to include as many elements of a health/fitness/exercise program as possible.
- Management should continuously assess and evaluate the effectiveness of their chosen approach so that efforts can be directed towards improvement.
- Workers are never comfortable when things are pushed down their throat even if it is for their own good. Support your chosen program by openly communicating with the workers regularly, and encouraging them to come up with solutions for improving their general health and safety standards. Some of the things they can do include suggesting solutions, helping to identify hazards, and promptly reporting incidences of injury or illnesses.
- Regular workplace inspection with a view to finding and fixing hazards will greatly improve safety standards and help to protect workers. You have to thoroughly investigate any incidents and health and safety information reviewed consistently.
- Employers need to train workers exposed to hazards by informing them of their exposure so that they can recognize the hazards. This will enable them take steps to protect themselves, and to rapidly initiate emergency procedures when they are at risk.
- You need to integrate your safety, health and wellness activities under an overarching program in order for your employees to reap maximum benefit. Implementing the programs independently will result in less effectiveness. Integration, on the other hand will ensure a safer, healthier and more productive workplace.
- Set up a program that works at many levels in a way that makes it possible for individual employees to achieve their personal goals. For instance, a weight loss program can be bolstered by providing training and other material resources to support their efforts and increase personal success.
- The program you set up need not be expensive. Keep it simple but full of fun.
The most productive and successful programs nearly all have one thing in common – the CEO is never a spectator but an onboard participant who leads by example. But do not load it over them; let the employees participate in designing programs that can work best for them. The bottom line is to have healthier and productive employees, less sick leave, increased morale and positive attitudes.