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Tips for reducing employee illness

Absenteeism is a big and expenses problem for most employers. When your employees are out sick you have to cover their absent, pay for medical care, and deal with reduced productivity. Worse yet, if your employees have infected each other this problem can quickly magnify. Employers are now seeing that it is in their best interest to help keep their employees healthy and on the job. The good news is that there are plenty of cost effective ways to do just that. Even better is the fact that once your employees see that you care about their health they are more likely to take steps to stay healthier and work harder. Here are some tips for reducing employee illness-

• Keep a clean office-One of the major things that can be done in helping employees stay well is often overlooked. Keep in mind that when your employees work closely together, share phones, use each other’s keyboards and mouse, and other shared equipment they are far more likely to get sick if these items are not kept clean. There are two easy remedies for this. First, setting out bottles of hand sanitizer and encouraging your employees to use it on a continual basis can cut down on the spread of germs. Secondly, antibacterial wipes can be used to clean doorknobs, phones, computer equipment, and other shared items that can easily spread germs and make your employees sick, as well. Finally, in these tough times many employers have tried to cut costs by letting their janitorial staff go and having their employees clean the office. This is rarely a good idea. Most employees will only do enough to get by and do not know the proper procedures for sanitizing offices. A professional janitorial staff will use disinfecting cleaners that will help to keep your office cleaner and your employees healthier. Keep in mind that most cleaning services offer a range of services so you can price out the type of cleaning that your business can afford.
• Offer health insurance-Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that they can’t afford to offer health insurance. The reality is that you can’t afford to not offer health insurance. Studies have proven that when businesses offer health insurance their employees will seek out medical treatment when problems are small and easier to treat. This means less in health care costs, less time away from work (with the resulting drop in productivity), and less sick time that you will have to pay. The bottom lines is that businesses that offer health insurance have found that their employees by far are much healthier then those businesses who do not.
• Encourage exercise-There is no getting around the fact that physically fit employees are healthier employees. Employers who encourage their employees to exercise are benefiting everyone. The number one option is to offer an onsite gym. This allows employees to exercise before work, during breaks, or even after work. However, this is not always an option for every business. You can choose from other options. You may want to set up biking or walking paths for your employees. Offer walking groups at lunch that encourage your employees to walk either inside or outside of your building. Paint and light stairways so that your employees feel secure using the stairs instead of the elevator. If none of these options will work for your business you may want to consider offering discounted gym passes for your employees. You can set a minimum required attendance to make sure that the pass is being fully utilized. The bottom line is that changing the company culture to encourage exercise benefits your employees and your business.

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