7 simple and cost-effective ways to improve employee health

When it comes to building a productive and happy team, nothing beats investing in their health and wellbeing. Here's how to get started.

Healthy employees are more productive and positive, take less sickness absence and have higher levels of concentration and output related to business objectives. Here are seven simple and cost effective steps can employers and managers take to improve employee health, from Salutem Health.

1. Standing meetings

The new mantra of the wellness community is that “Sitting is the new smoking”. As well as switching things up and getting your team to think more spontaneously, standing meetings are often quicker, more dynamic and action-focused and can provide a well-needed break from sitting at a desk. Sedentary lifestyles and work that does not involve regular physical activity can be major factors contributing to type II diabetes and heart disease.

2. Keep hydrated

Make water and herbal teas freely available. Britain may be a nation famous for being powered by tea (and more frequently now, coffee) but nothing beats water for hydration and aiding concentration. It could be good for your waistline too, as most people snacking can find what they believe are hunger signals are actually signs to drink more water.

3. Make regular breaks part of the culture

Strong social bonds are better for mental health and breakout areas can encourage people to talk to new colleagues, improve collaboration across teams and improve problem solving by allowing colleagues to seek opinions and new perspectives to issues in the business.

4. Offer lunchtime health and wellbeing activities

Whether it’s walking, running, cycling or getting a specialist in to give a talk on ways to manage stress, offering opportunities to break up the working day and do something for employee health can be well received and improve performance in the later part of the day.

5. Empower your employees

Make opportunities for health examinations and assessments available on-site and online.

6. Reward participation

As well as better health, what is in it for your employees? It could be vouchers, recognition, league tables – you know your employee and what they will respond to, and rewarding and recognising positive healthy behaviours sends a clear message and encourages engagement.

7. Cover the basics

Make sure all health and safety and workstation assessments are carried out at least annually, and that health, safety and well-being is a standing agenda item in all one-to-one sessions between managers and staff.

Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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