10 Ways To Ensure Happy, Healthy Employees
Healthy Employees Make for Healthy Companies
Today's successful business leaders know the unlimited rewards they can expect when they invest in their greatest hidden asset—their employees. It's no secret... offer the right resources to your employees, and your business will prosper. If you invest in your staff, your employees will inevitably contribute more, perform better, and excel in customer relations. Committed employees directly affect the performance of every business competing in today's marketplace.
Experts say businesses that encourage employees to have fun at work are more productive than businesses that frown on any sort of levity. Employees who are bored with their work environments are inevitably less creative, less inclined to achieve excellence in customer service and less likely to feel loyal to their company.
While fun should not be placed above achieving goals and maintaining working habits, encouraging an exciting and enjoyable working environment—especially during such stressful times—is a highly cost-effective way to reduce employee turnover and enhance productivity.
How can companies encourage employees to have fun while they work? Here are some simple and proven ways:
1. Have a corporate wellness program.
It starts with a culture of wellness. Top down, if the vibe is on an environment of wellness, it will exist. Companies interested in starting a worksite wellness program should first consider forming a "wellness team." Such groups typically spend 1-2 hours per month working to improve the health and well-being of their worksite with simple activities and organizational changes.
2. Keep things interesting.
When every day feels like the same old grind, employees begin to get bored and unenthusiastic. Why not set up a special catered luncheon once a month so employees can mingle for an hour or so? It doesn't have to be expensive. A sandwich tray from a sub shop is fine.
3. Get away.
Once every several months company employees should meet outside the workplace for lunch, dinner or even breakfast. Interaction outside the office is vital to team building. During these meetings the company doesn't have to pay for everyone's meal, although from time to time dessert and coffee should be "on the house."
4. Play time.
If your company is large enough, form sports teams to compete in local leagues. Volleyball, softball, basketball and bowling are all popular choices.
5. Reward success.
Even though times are rough, celebrate the success. Call attention to people or departments doing well. When important sales are made or projects completed, gather everyone together for cake and ice cream or any other celebratory tradition your company would like to establish.
6. Talk , Talk, Talk.
Encourage an environment in which managers and staff have an open and ongoing dialogue. A lively interchange between employees is key to creating an enjoyable, satisfying and productive place to work. When managers listen to and act upon employee suggestions, everyone feels that his or her input is important. This creates a feeling of teamwork, helping employees feel what they're doing is important to the company's overall success.
Keeping Companies Well During Flu Season
With the current shortages and restrictions on flu shots, your employees probably aren't as well protected this winter, and a flu epidemic can be seriously distressing for any employer. The last thing you need is for all your employees to be home sick during the holiday season! But even without a flu shot, you can still provide your employees with some knowledge and tools to help prevent illness this winter. The truth is, some of the best advice is the guidance Mom gave you when you were a kid. So, here's an update to the old stand-bys:
7. Wash your hands?
The importance of hand washing cannot be overstated. Hands collect germs by coming into contact with common items such as doorknobs, phones and keyboards. Clearly everyone should wash his or her hands before eating, but hand washing is important all day long. One of the easiest ways to catch a cold or flu is by touching your eyes, nose and mouth after coming into contact with germs. But you needn't send your employees off to the bathroom sink every fifteen minutes. Instead, encourage them to keep their hands clean by providing hand sanitizer in your workplace. Hand sanitizers are alcohol-based so they do not require rinsing and they dry quickly.
8. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
You could call this one common sense or, at the every least, basic manners, but it's smart to remind workers that these good manners also have a practical application. The last things you want are clouds of contagion circulating through the heating vents. To encourage your employees to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs through sneezing and coughing, provide tissue in the office and keep it near every workstation.
9. Send them home if they're sick?
Every small-business owner wants to optimize productivity. But when your workers are out sick, it can be a real drain on the company. Keep the big picture in mind. If you encourage Doug to stay home and cozy up in front of the television with some chicken soup and a blanket, you'll have a better chance of keeping Jordan, Karen and Connie healthy and on the job. You could try telecommuting or sending your sick employees home with work, but chances are your sick employee would recover faster by staying in bed and drinking plenty of fluids.
10. And one more tip?
Consider providing flu prevention kits to your employees. A simple kit might include hand wipes or sanitizers, Vitamin C tablets, zinc lozenges and tissues. And you can make sure your employees stay well hydrated by providing bottled water in the office too. By spending a few dollars and emphasizing some basic health advice this flu season, you'll not only show you care, but you can protect one of your most valuable resources — your employees' good health — and save your business some money too.