Five Solid Corporate Health Management Tips August 26th, 2010, by Ken Buckley

49 hours is the average hour unhealthy employees are productive each month. A study conducted by Medibank Private showed that unhealthy employees are productive less than 50 hours a month, while healthy people on the other hand are efficient for up to 150 hours a month. No wonder why managing staff’s health and wellness is on the radar of most employers.

14th to 21st June is International Men’s Health Week, and many organisations take advantage of it to encourage their male staff to be proactive with their health. Men’s and Women’s Health Weeks (9-15th May) also offer a chance for most organisations to promote awareness of male and female specific health issues, while acknowledging the contribution both healthy women and men make in the workplace.

By taking preventive actions and making the right choices to improve their lifestyle, and their physical, mental and emotional health, your employees can reduce by half the danger of major health risks such as depression, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. One of your roles and responsibilities as a corporate health manager is to encourage your staff to safeguard their lifestyle and wellbeing through health check campaigns.

Corporate health check campaigns should ideally be run once a year to be aligned with your staff annual health checks with their GPs, and should include the below elements:

1. Organise On-Site Corporate Health Checks
Most organisations find that having a doctor on site for annual health checks improves their staff’s productivity. Not only employees don’t have to leave the office to attend their GP’s appointments, but it also encourages early intervention of any developing health issues.

2. Encourage Physical Activity
By investing in workplace physical activity initiatives such as yoga, Pilates, or dance classes, team fitness challenges, or walking program; you can have direct impact on your employees’ health, which will in return have a positive influence on the corporate health management by reducing absenteeism, presenteeism and sick leave, and by increasing productivity.
To learn more about exercise in the workplace, read our article on how to increase physical activity at work.

3. Promote Healthy Eating
Eating well is important for your staff’s mental and physical health. By preventing poor nutrition, you will also save money as it is a hidden cost for most organisations. A study conducted by the United Nations concluded that poor diet in the workplace cost up to 20 per cent in lost productivity.

Corporate health managemement is about promoting healthy eating in your organisation by offering onsite cooking demonstration, by starting up a salad or soup club, inviting a dietician to review your canteen menu, and by offering healthy options at the vending machines.

4. Focus on Mental and Emotional Health
In Australia alone 6,000,000 work days are lost to depression each year, and poor mental health costs the country approximately $13 billion annually. You can help reduce or lower these costs by offering corporate mental health educational programs, EAP or health and wellness coaching programs.

5. Deliver Smoking Cessation Program
Smoking cessation programs are one of the most affordable ways of improving your employees’ health and increase productivity. By helping smokers to give up their unhealthy habit, you assist them improve their lifestyle, and more importantly you help them reduce their health risks linked with tobacco abuse.

For more information, read our article: How To Implement a Smoking Cessation Program in the Workplace.

For more information on Health Check Campaign, Physical or Nutrition Programs, Mental Health, or Smoking Cessation Program, contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888 ) and be sure to quote: “post436” for eligibility of Healthworks latest online offers and Corporate Health initiatives.

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