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Good workplace health makes good business sense

July 3, 2012 - Tags: Employers

Istock 000006000320xsmall cropIf you and your employees enjoy good health, the benefits to your business can be many. A healthy workforce may lead to a more positive corporate culture and higher productivity. In your position as a leader, you can serve as a role model to your employees and offer support as they make healthy decisions.

Factors such as fitness, nutrition, not smoking and work-life balance play a role in the good health that can lead to a positive and productive workplace. This can result in various benefits to your business, such as:

  • Fewer sick days for you and your employees
  • Lower employee turnover and more job satisfaction
  • Improved job performance and higher productivity
  • Lower accident rates
  • A better corporate image for your business

Because so much of our time is spent at work, it is the ideal place to encourage good health habits. As an employer, you are in the position to stimulate change. To launch a healthy lifestyle initiative, you could implement a health audit to discover the issues that affect your employees. What do they need and want? Better air quality? Ergonomic, well-lit workstations? Once their needs are established, it is up to you to decide how to address them.

In addition to adopting positive values and showing respect for healthy choices, what other resources can you offer your employees?

  • A benefit plan might encourage employees to go for check-ups and dental care.
  • Shower facilities or a subsidized gym membership could lead to higher levels of fitness.
  • Is the lunch break long enough for employees to go for a walk?
  • Is there a need for a smoking cessation program?
  • Nutrition workshops could combine fun with learning opportunities.

Use an informal brainstorming session to collect suggestions while team-building. You might even want to tie in fundraising activities to some of your ideas.

It is just as important to pay attention to these issues if you operate a sole proprietorship. If you don't keep up your own health, both you and your business can suffer.

Start by getting some ideas from our section on Workplace health and safety. Health Canada also offers a wide variety of resources.

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