Your employees’ health matters. Sick workers are absent workers, which costs your business time and money. Mental and physical health should be a key priority for your business. Not only does it show that you’re a responsible employer that values its employees, but it can boost job satisfaction and your business’ reputation as a great place to work.

Want to help improve your employees’ wellbeing? Here’s how to make employee health a priority right from the first day they walk through the door.

Carry out any necessary health checks

Some jobs require employees to undergo health checks prior to employment – particularly physical jobs or those that carry insurance risks. It’s important that you carry out necessary health checks like a drug test and any physicals in advance of start date. Some employers also offer health checks as a benefit, so make sure you offer this to any new starters who come through the door.

Improve your onboarding services

The onboarding process is a key part of ensuring employees settle within the company quickly. Many employers fail to nail the onboarding process, which leads to a high turnover risk and low job satisfaction. Some of the things you can do to improve your onboarding process include putting a structure in place and getting regular feedback. The first weeks and months in a new job can be overwhelming for a new starter, so it’s important that you take things slowly and give them plenty of opportunities to ask questions. 

Offer benefits that improve health

More and more employers are leaning towards employee benefits that focus on health. Private health and dental care can be a high cost for some employers, but worth it if you’re in a position to offer it. Other benefits worth considering include discounted or free gym memberships, help towards buying a commuter bike, and even smaller everyday benefits like providing free fruit in breakout areas.

Not only can offering these types of benefits help you attract and retain the best talent, but it encourages your employees to take charge of their health too.

Set clear policies

Putting certain policies in place can help make sure your employees aren’t overworked and that they are aware of the importance of taking care of their mental health. Creating a mentally healthier workplace is important, and implementing policies such as a clear desk policy and making sure everyone is out of the office by a certain time, can create a much more relaxed and positive atmosphere at work.

Some employers provide flexible working as a way to help employees maintain a good work/life balance and ensure that they can manage childcare and other commitments which can sometimes impact work. Flexible working works well in many industries and can help boost employees’ health while also reducing turnover.

Get your employees moving

There are different ways you can encourage healthy habits in the office. From offering up fitness classes in the morning, at lunch and after work, for example, to encouraging employees to leave their desks at lunch, you’ll find there are different ways to get your employees moving. 

Encouraging exercise is one of the ways you can reduce negativity in the workplace and develop a stronger, healthier workforce. While not everyone will be on board, it’s certainly something worth championing to help your employees become healthier.

Remember to check in regularly

Checking in with your employees is a key part of being a responsible manager. As part of improving your communications in the workplace, book in plenty of one-to-ones. Many managers that do this not only find that problems are addressed and tackled quickly, but a better working relationship develops too. Use the opportunity to check on workloads, pressures as well as anything at home that could be having an impact at work. 

While it’s important to organize more formal catch-ups with your employees, better communication overall can help. Simply asking about an employee’s weekend and taking an interest in their personal life can make a big difference in how they feel in the office.

The health of your employees is important, and as a forward-thinking, responsible employer, it should be a priority for you and your business. From putting policies in place that safeguard health, to make sure employees’ mental health needs are taken into consideration, there’s a lot you can do to encourage better health in the workplace. Make health a priority from day one, and see the difference it can make within your business.

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