How to Motivate Employees to Get and Stay Healthy

If you run a small business in the United States with at least one employee, you undoubtedly have worker’s compensation insurance for your workers. This type of insurance is great for covering work-related illness and injury, but what do you do when the claims get out of control? One way to reduce worker’s comp claims is to encourage and motivate your employees to get healthy. Here are a few ideas you can contemplate that will benefit employees and your company as a whole by helping to motivate employees to get and stay healthy.

Implement wellness programs – Wellness programs in the workplace can go far. According to a recent study conducted by Highmark, employers who offered wellness programs were able to curtail the growth of their health care costs by 15 percent. Not only do they offer your employees a way to get healthy, but you can also incorporate various rewards and incentives. For example, you can offer a reward to employees who don’t use many sick days. If employees want to reduce the amount of time they take off from work, they will be encouraged to improve their health. You can also give them other awards as part of the new wellness program, such as new office equipment or a new desk chair.

Incorporate treadmill desks – Treadmill desks are an innovative idea that help office personnel get exercise while doing their work. By incorporating treadmill desks in your business office, workers will be able to perform daily tasks while walking at a slow and steady pace. You can have one or two of these special desks in the office, with workers alternating using them throughout the day.

Encourage standing or walking meetings – Another way to encourage activity in the workplace is by having walking or standing meetings. You can either have meetings in a common area without chairs to sit in so everyone must stand during the meeting, or have a walking meeting around your building or at a nearby park.

Eliminate unhealthy vending snack foods – Encourage healthy eating in the workplace to improve employee’s overall health by removing unhealthy snacks from the vending machines and adding healthier snacks, or getting rid of the vending machines altogether. Instead have healthy snacks available like fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of bringing in donuts, choose fresh fruit and yogurt, or whole-grain bagels.

Provide on-site or off-site fitness program access and discounts – The two most common reasons for people not exercising is lack of money for the membership and the inconvenience. To eliminate the latter problem, consider implementing an on-site fitness program. As far as gym memberships, you company can join up with nearby fitness centers or health programs to offer employees a discount. It may also help to have lunch-time yoga classes or walks.

Encourage support systems – Lastly, start support systems in the workplace so that employees can work together at improving their health. This can include walking clubs where employees walk together during their breaks or after the work day, having weight loss competitions similar to Biggest Loser, or providing perks and awards for employees who show the healthiest eating habits or show health changes as determined by blood tests, weight, or BMI (Body Mass Index) measurements.

These methods can help motivate your employees to get and stay healthy, which in turn benefits your company not only by reducing employees missed work missed from illness reducing worker’s compensation claims.