Employee Health and Wellbeing Leads the Way to Business Success
Business owners and HR executives should take note that taking proactive measures to improve employee health and well-being pays off in a big way. Poor health in the workplace has its consequences. It impairs employees’ ability to perform and causes absenteeism, all of which places a burden on management’s ability to meet the company’s goals; but there is a solution.
Reading this article will provide an informative insight into the cause and offer a tried and proven solution that’s based on common sense and sound judgment.
Why Being Proactive with Employees Is So Important
In recent years, the health of society overall has been declining and the consequential impact on businesses increasing at an alarming rate. The surprising reality is that it’s completely preventable! According to recent data collected from the Global Burden of Disease study reported by CNN, we now have over 1/3 of the world’s population being overweight. While those numbers are bad, in the USA the percentage is a staggering 70.7% of adults over 20 years old! This is not something to be taken lightly, as being overweight is linked to the most prevalent deadly and debilitating health conditions. And yes, it is increasingly affecting the performance of your business! Most diseases are linked to the food we eat and obesity is now officially America’s #1 health problem, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As a result, we have more cases of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney diseases and other diseases to deal with, all of which have been linked to obesity. This means unnecessarily shorter life spans and poorer quality of life, including degraded work performance for those affected. Not only that, but the problem is getting worse, to the point where it is now considered a serious epidemic with the frequency of obesity doubling in over 70 countries since 1980 and the USA leading the way. At this rate, it’s estimated that half the population will be obese (not just overweight) by the year 2030!
Every Business Is Affected!
With so much “talk” about chronic diseases being on the rise and the obesity epidemic, it’s astonishing that the majority of businesses are still unaware of the extent of the problem, nor are they taking the problem seriously. Top business leaders recognize that “people are a company’s greatest asset.” So, when it comes to employee health, should your company be taking more action?
Aside from the personal trauma poor health brings to individuals, this also means an increasing burden on a business’s productivity, increased health related expenses and long-term overall sustainability.
Individually, being overweight or in compromised health reduces one’s ability to function at an optimal level and thus more people are not reaching their ultimate potential and their physical and mental well-being can be affected to some degree.
According to a George Washington University study, there are many factors affecting productivity including:
- Increased short term disability
- Increased disability pension insurance
- Increased absenteeism
- Increased self-reported limitations on the amount of work that can be performed
The collective impact stealthily reduces your business performance significantly and adds preventable expenses.
Reduced productivity costs businesses huge amounts of capital long term. Not only that, but companies normally need to deal with added life insurance premiums and increased health insurance costs. A recent study published by the American Medical Association shows that it costs US employers collectively $225.8 billion annually to combat the effects of poor health!
Prevention is something many of us ignore and the same holds true for businesses. If your company is not proactively dealing with improving employee health, then it’s at a significant competitive disadvantage, and as a result jeopardizing potential overall success.
The longer you wait to do something about it, the more it will cost your bottom line and future.
What’s the Cause?
With most chronic diseases and obesity so closely linked to all of the above, the cause is obvious. We are eating the wrong foods. Most of what the American population consumes is no longer real food, with over 57% being ultra-processed! Ultra-processed foods offer little or no nutritional value and are linked to the most serious and widespread health conditions.
Ultra-processed foods generally include foods composed of additives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, emulsifiers, all designed to enhance desired qualities of the final product and/or hide undesirable qualities.
The consequence of consuming these types of food is poor health. And these foods are EVERYWHERE including boxed food items, canned goods, processed frozen food items, cereals, sweets, drinks, etc. All are continually being intensely marketed, with the consumer unaware of the dire health impact. It’s fact that diet is now considered to be the biggest contributor to poor health, including the deadliest health conditions worldwide!
What’s the Solution?
Now that you know the root cause – LET’S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! The key to fixing all this is to eliminate unhealthy processed foods. How do you do that? Luckily, the solution is simple… Get back to basics, making homemade meals using natural, whole food ingredients and ensure a plan is in place to make it happen.
Here’s how to easily get your workforce on the right path:
- Employees need to be made aware of the risks of poor diet and why it’s so important.
- They need to start eating healthier. Eating a diet made of whole food ingredients including vegetables, fruits, grains, unprocessed meats, fish, etc., while avoiding processed foods and drinks.
- They need to be given tools and support to help them achieve this. Not just guidelines, or sample ideas. This isn’t working to date and our population is still getting sicker! Helping your employees plan on a day-by-day basis is key while showing them precisely what to eat, without any guesswork.
Now you are aware of the issues. It’s time to act and finally do something about it! As employers, we have the power and responsibility to help our employees. They will thank you, their families will thank you and the success of your business depends on it.