When employees fall ill, it’s not only their health that suffers. Businesses feel it too. In South Africa, absenteeism costs organisations billions each year in lost productivity. To lessen the impact, it’s time to get back to health basics.
All employee leave comes at a cost to the company. But while annual leave is a vital tool to ensure your staff members are happy and well rested, sick leave isn’t a joy to anyone. Not only are you covering wages or a salary without getting that employee’s productivity in return, but you may have to double up and pay for a temporary replacement, or you risk falling behind on deliverables.
Here are four tried-and-tested ways to keep immune systems fighting fit.
Eating a balanced diet – one that consists of vegetables, fruit, lean protein, low-fat dairy and plenty of fibre – helps you to:
Have you considered the kind of food your staff has access to during the day? Stock employee vending machines and canteens with healthier options to help your employees avoid unhealthy eating habits.
Regardless of where you find yourself on your fitness journey, you can always reap the benefits of exercise. Increasing your activity levels means you’ll be giving the good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) a boost too! Burning all of that energy ironically means you’ll have more energy, and you’ll also sleep better. Imagine feeling generally well rested and energised – there’s a reason fitness lovers are so chirpy. Beyond those glorious physical benefits, exercise also has a positive effect on our mood.
Every extra bit of movement helps, so whether you’re able to organise a bulk discount for a running club for employees or start a little on-site exercise programme of your own, you’re winning. You could even set up your own social soccer or netball league! Put a suggestion box in an employee space and ask for feedback about what kind of exercise would best motivate everyone to move more. That way, everyone feels included and your programme is more likely to be a success.
Stress management, that is! We can’t control how challenging life is, but it’s up to us how we tackle it. We’re naturally wired to handle a certain amount of stress, but our bodies aren’t designed to stay in fight-or-flight mode for as long as we force them to these days. We need to be discerning about what we accidentally cause our bodies to perceive as a life-threatening risk – hijacking, yes; looming deadline, no. Learning better tools to actively manage our stress can positively impact our health, relationships and careers.
Wellness Wednesdays sound catchy and they’re incredibly functional to boot! Regardless of the day you choose, a weekly or fortnightly session that introduces stress-busting techniques and supports mindfulness through meditation could be just what your teams need to catch a break and recharge.
The old ‘you’ll feel better in the morning’ advice has little to do with sunrise and everything to do with the restorative qualities of a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep has a negative effect on your mood and performance at work, whereas good-quality shuteye can actually boost your immune system! To get your recommended seven to eight hours, try to practise good sleep hygiene, like setting up a bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine after lunchtime and banishing devices from the bedroom.
When last did you remind your employees to avoid working overtime or to use their annual leave? It’s a simple question, but the gesture of care is valuable. Make time to talk to your teams about taking regular breaks, and create a culture where employees feel seen, not only for their ability to be productive, but because they’re people who are valued by your business.
To learn more about how Life Health Solutions can elevate and support your business, email email@example.com or call (+27) 86 123 4123 to speak to one of our business development managers.