IAN FERGUSON: Positive steps to a healthy workplace


Ian Ferguson

A focus on employee health and wellness has become critical for many companies. Designing and managing employee wellness programmes, and developing strategies for helping workers achieve their health goals, is an important step in improving the health and productivity of employees.

Research tells us that companies who pay attention to employee health, assist their employees by:

  • Lowering their health care costs

  • Reducing absenteeism

  • Achieving higher employee productivity

  • Reducing industrial accidents and incidents

  • Reducing injuries

  • Improving employee morale and loyalty

Here, then, is the seven-step plan for moving towards a healthy and well workplace:

  1. Ensure that your employees get an annual physical

“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. That is the age-old adage medical professionals use to encourage persons to seek medical care. Having medical insurance is wonderful,. but using it before an emergency situation is an even more effective use of the plan.

  1. Ensure that stress levels are managed in the workplace

All doctors agree that stress levels contribute to any number of sicknesses and diseases that plague workers. Forty hours of prolonged stress each week could send anyone to an early grave. Work every day to ensure that stress levels are managed in your department.

  1. Ensure that you have medical coverage for your employees

A basic benefit in even small companies is medical insurance coverage. Please ensure that everyone associated with your company is enrolled and taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by the plan.

  1. Ensure that there is family coverage included

Whenever a family member is ill, the employee is ill. If the employee has to care for a sick child and pay the bills associated with surgery or constant doctor’s visits, this pressure places an undue burden on the them that will ultimately adversely impact their performance.

  1. Ensure that you have a functioning EAP programme

It is vital that every employer is aware of each employee’s mental health care. Having access to psychologists and therapists is the edge that progressive, and ultimately successful, companies have.

  1. Ensure that there are remote work options for employees caring for sick children or parents

Family care impacts an employee in tremendous ways. The company can certainly lighten the load by giving the employee leeway to care for aging parents, and disabled or ailing children.

  1. Ensure that a fitness plan is implemented

Preventative measures including diet plans, strategically-planned water breaks and fitness regimens all go a long way in cultivating a workforce that is healthy and fit.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment