The importance of healthy employees

Improving the health of employees through employer-based wellness programs has many benefits to the employee and the organization’s bottom line. This article will share four common benefits of having healthy employees that are frequently shared by the Wellness Council of America or WELCOA.

First, healthy employees typically will have fewer sick days. Whether a result of having fewer health conditions or improving one’s immune system, it is a fact that sick days are reduced. A study by Brigham Young University found absenteeism is reduced by 27% in healthy employees.

Next, employers will spend less on healthcare expenses. Employers that develop programs and employees that commit to improving their health learn how to make better decisions that impact their health. The result is fewer doctor visits and a decrease in costly chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease. In the end, both the employer and employee will see their health care costs decrease.

The third benefit is that employers should see an increase in productivity as employee health improves. Employees will have more energy and thus be more productive. This often is a result of better eating habits, less stress and better sleep.

Lastly, an employer will see fewer workplace accidents. Like productivity, employers that are healthier are more attentive and present at work. This means their focus improves resulting in fewer accidents.

As you can see, improving the health of employees pays dividends for both the employer and the employee through fewer sick days, decreased healthcare expenses, increased productivity and fewer workplace accidents. At HFM, we have an employer-based wellness program and have been designated as a well-workplace by WELCOA having earned a Gold award for two consecutive three-year periods. We encourage employers and employees to get active in improving your health.

In May during Global Health & Fitness Month, HFM is hosting Move Manitowoc—a month-long community step challenge to improve employee health and raise money for a good cause. Manitowoc County organizations are invited to compete with other teams to see who achieves the highest average daily steps.

Thank you to the following Move Manitowoc challengers who will be joining HFM for the step challenge: Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries, Northern Labs, Lakeshore Community Healthcare, A.C.E. Construction, Skana Aluminum, Investors Community Bank, Kaysun Corporation, Stecker Machine Company, and Welbilt.

If your organization would like to participate, register a team at hfmhealth.org/MoveManitowoc. Each team donates $250 to enter the challenge. All proceeds from the challenge will be donated to the winning team’s local non-profit of choice.

About the author.

Brett Norell is president and chief executive officer at Holy Family Memorial. Reach him at bnorell@hfmhealth.org.