Wellness Programs and Employee Productivity

If you work in human resources, and your company does not have a wellness policy, it might be well worth looking into because of the benefits to efficiency and productivity of employees, not to mention having healthier and happier people.

Especially with the less than healthy economy, stress has definitely become a big issue for employees. And studies have shown that a lot of stress, experienced on a daily basis, can be very bad for health, contributing to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But less than a third of workers say they handle stress well.

Companies need to step up and provide programs for their employees, according to business consultant Sylvia Ann Hewlett. The benefits of a wellness program for employees’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being are enormous. You will notice the benefits in performance and productivity, as well.

Many companies now have gyms in their buildings, wellness websites and free memberships to health clubs. But the problem is that workers often do not take advantage of these benefits. The problem is making sure they get some kind of physical activity on a consistent basis.

One example of a company that is making an active effort to get employees engaged with their health is PepsiCo, according to Hewlett. The company provides employees with an overview of their entire health background that is easy to use. The technology keeps tabs on employees’ insurance claims and other information in a personal online health assessment. Based on this information, the company gives employees wellness information that is tailored to their particular situation and needs. For example, an employee who is pregnant would receive information about prenatal care, or an employee with high blood pressure would receive information on hypertension.

The company also provides employees with health coaches that workers can contact by telephone or in person, Hewlett says. These coaches can help the workers design health programs suited just for them. The program has helped more than 30,000 PepsiCo employees reduce or eliminate a health risk.

Companies also can provide wellness initiatives for their employees through external organizations, who would come in and offer information and other training, such as programs on stress management, smoking cessation or cancer screening. One example of this is the Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education, which comes into the workplace to make presentations about early detection of breast cancer.

If you’re an employer in the Portland, Seattle, Anchorage, Lake Oswego, Tacoma or Chicago area and you need skilled and reliable workers for temporary and direct-hire assignments, call on the Opti Staffing Group. We look forward to hearing from you!

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