Prevent ‘Presenteeism’ by Creating a Culture of Worker Wellness

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Prevent Presenteeism with Wellness Culture

Many companies today implement wellness programs to help create a healthy culture at work. To establish an environment that promotes its workforce’s wellbeing on many levels. It’s an important goal for organizations to strive for beyond just healthcare cost containment.

Yes, poor health takes approximately $576 billion annually out of the U.S. economy, according to Integrated Benefits Institute data. With 39 percent of that being attributed to lost productivity due to absenteeism and presenteeism. While absences due to illness are more easily trackable, it’s presenteeism that can have a bigger impact on a company’s bottomline.

Related: Promoting Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Employees

What is Presenteeism?

The term presenteeism is a concept that companies need to effectively manage. It’s the state of showing up for work, but not performing to full capacity.

The reasons might be due to stress, boredom, relationship issues, and also not feeling well. While survey data from a 2016 Global Corporate Challenge found that on average employees only took four sick days a year, they also reported being unproductive on the job an average of 57 days annually. That’s costing employers 11 weeks per worker of “missed” work.

Related: Five Critical Factors a Wellness Program Needs to Address

Prevent Presenteeism; Create a Culture of Wellness

That’s why an organization’s commitment to wellness at work can have a positive impact for employees and employers. Wellness initiatives aimed at boosting a staff’s health and by extension morale and job satisfaction can range in cost, giving employers the ability to budget and implement initiatives as they see fit.

Related: How to Choose a Corporate Wellness Provider

There are several initiatives that businesses can consider as outlined in the top workplace-wellness trends by the Corporate Health & Wellness Association:

  • Lifestyle Management – Provide flu shots, sleep-management programs, cholesterol screenings, and telehealth visits to help make getting and staying healthy easy.
  • Weight-loss Programs – Offer a range of solutions if possible, from gym memberships to yoga classes, and weight loss memberships to healthy snacks in the lunchroom.
  • Redesign Workspaces – Provide adjustable sit-stand desks or treadmill desks, ergonomic chairs and headsets, and Fitbit trackers to encourage movement throughout the day.
  • Smoking-cessation Programs – Ban smoking in the office and offer smoking-cessation classes to help employees kick the habit permanently.
  • Stress Management Programs – Offer guidance and instruction in activities like meditation, personal finance, elder care, and parenting.

Source:  Business West. Move Along. May 2017. PP32-35.

Learn More: Top Wellness Priorities in 2017 [Infographic]

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