Companies are constantly searching for new and better ways in which to increase the productivity of their workforce, and thereby, enhance their bottom line. They try new tactics and strategies, all of which are designed to help employees reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to the company.
However, sometimes the best solutions are the ones that are so readily apparent that they go unnoticed. One such solution involves the health and lifestyle choices of the employees in question.
Factors for success . . . or failure
There are many factors that can impact employees’ productivity levels. They include diet, sleep (or lack thereof), stress, morale, and exercise (or lack thereof). A recent survey conducted by ComPsych, the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs, sheds some interesting light on these factors and how they can negatively—or positively—affect employees.
ComPsych surveyed more than 1,000 employees across the United States during the timeframe of January 1 through February 15, 2008. The survey involved companies of all sizes and those operating in a variety of different industries. Overall, the survey was quite extensive and unearthed a wealth of data. However, in the interest of brevity, we’ll address a few of the more important findings, as they relate to the factors listed above.
- Diet—Of employees with balanced diets, 73% reported having high levels of productivity and 50% reported having high levels of energy.
- Stress—Approximately 70% of employees with poor diets had high levels of stress. In addition, 76% of employees participating in no physical activity reported a high level of stress.
- Exercise—Over 65% of physically active employees reported high productivity levels, and 67% reported high energy levels, as well.
- Morale—Of course, as you might imagine, the three factors listed above can have a profound impact on morale. About 55% of very active employees reported having high morale, and 51% of workers with ideal weight reported the same.
The power of promotion
So . . . what does all of this mean? You might be thinking to yourself, “I already knew this. It doesn’t help me any!” Or perhaps you’re thinking that you can’t force employees to be healthy, so this information constitutes a moot point at best.
But that would be underestimating the power of promotion. There is plenty that a company can do to build and cultivate a corporate culture that promotes a healthy lifestyle. While it’s true that you can’t force an employee to make healthy choices, you can make it easier for them to make those choices. That’s why it’s imperative for company officials to analyze their culture and ask some tough questions:
- Does our culture promote health and well being?
- Do we make it easy for employees to make healthy choices during the workday . . . or difficult?
- How much more productive could we be through promotion and other health-related programs and initiatives?
The evidence is indisputable. Healthy employees are productive employees, but it even goes beyond that. They’re happy employees, as well, and that combination is almost impossible to beat—especially by your competition.
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