Employers want healthy workers. But many don’t realize the magnitude of the difference that having fighting-fit people on their teams can make. People who look after their bodies could offer double the productivity of those who don’t.
Unfortunately, a lot of firms actually work against employee health. They force their workers to stay overtime and keep them in a constant state of stress by emailing and texting, even when their shift is over.
To make things worse, many get sick when their mental health deteriorates. They start getting physical symptoms in the body which makes it more difficult for them to show up and do their job. That then leads to a cycle of illness and other issues that hurt the company’s overall productivity and leads to falling standards.
What the Science Says
Science, however, suggests that there are things that you can do to make employees healthier and happier. Bosses should consider their workers’ mental and physical health at all times when making decisions. When people are of sound body and mind, it makes a tremendous difference in what they can achieve.
The mining industry takes the health of workers so seriously that it insists that all employees pass a Coal Board Medical. The purpose of this is to make sure that they remain healthy on the job and that they don’t put anyone else in danger.
The main influence on worker productivity, according to Brigham University Research, is the food that they eat. Workers who center their diets around whole grains, legumes, and vegetables tend to perform tasks considerably better than those who eat staples of fried food, refined sugar, and grains. Eating the right food helps the mind concentrate on the task at hand.
The study showed that people who adopted healthy eating habits were around 25 percent more productive than those who ate standard fare. The increase in productivity was equivalent to asking employees to come in one extra day per week and work an extra hour in the evenings. Those who exercised more than three times per week were 15 percent more productive. And those who adopted healthy habits overall were considerably less likely to be absent from work.
Despite the fact that workers only have one body, many will make poor health choices over long time periods. Most don’t understand what, precisely, they should be doing, and will simply go along with old habits.
As an employer, you’ll need to provide a pastoral role. You’ll want to provide leadership on the type of food available, and how it can help people reach their fitness goals.
Get Rid of Junk Food
Make it company policy to remove junk food and vending machines from the premises. If you have a canteen, get it to prepare healthy food fresh every day. Don’t rely on catering companies to provide good food, year-round. They’ll only provide palatable items that people eat on a regular basis. They won’t stock your kitchen with fruits and vegetables unless you specifically ask them to do so.