Is your workplace a healthy one?

Successful companies have become very good at measuring every aspect of their operations from how many sales their sales team makes to how many boxes leave the warehouse and even how many pencils are left in the stationary cupboard.

Most companies though don’t measure the health of staff which is surprising because of the direct impact that staff health has on the company’s bottom line.

We’ve come to the conclusion that many companies don’t always know how to measure the health of their staff so we’ve decided to dedicate this post to helping companies come to grips with the health and wellbeing of their workplace.

Measuring staff health can be as simple or as complex as you would like it to be. There are a few useful tools you can use namely:
• HR metrics
• Staff survey
• Staff health checks
• Self-report health risk assessments

Let’s take a look at each one in more detail:

HR Metrics
Chances are that your company is already capturing all the data you need to measure the health and wellbeing of your workplace. Most companies track absenteeism and workplace injuries closely, while a few capture data such as productivity and domestic leave (rather than just generic sick leave alone)

These HR metrics can be very useful and you should use the data to identify trends over the year such as when absenteeism peaks – is it only on certain shifts or particular months? You can do the same exercise with workplace injuries and look for trends. These will give you some clues as to where you should focus your attention.

Using this information you can plot a graph over the entire year showing the peaks and troughs in absenteeism. If you always have a peak in June then why are you not running a healthy initiative over this period? The money you’ll save in lost productivity will more than cover the cost of the program.

You can also use this information as a benchmark to compare to previous and future years. How about using this data to set some goals like a 10% reduction in sick leave over next years winter months? What financial impact does that have on your company’s bottom line?
Staff Survey

The easiest way to find out how happy and healthy staff are is simply to ask them. Create a simple survey that goes out to staff asking them what healthy initiatives they may be interested in. The results might just give you an insight into the health issues of staff.

For example: if you get an overwhelming response for stress seminars, it would be safe to assume that stress is an issue at your workplace.

Staff Health Checks

Staff health checks remain the gold standard of health profiling tools for companies. They provide objective feedback on the health issues of staff. They rely on accurate biometric measures taken by a qualified health professional. Measures usually include:
• BMI
• Cholesterol
• Blood glucose
• Blood pressure
• Waist circumference

Health checks are usually run at your workplace and provide both the employee and the employer with very useful health information and reporting.

Tip: It is very important that staff health checks remain confidential although the provider should present the company with an aggregated business report showing the key health issues identified.

Tip: seek an employee health check program for easy, cost effective staff health checks.

Self-Report Health Risk Assessments

Self-report health assessments or HRA’s are a very cost effective and practical way of measuring the health of your workplace. HRA’s are a short (usually less than 15 minutes) health questionnaire that ask staff a series scientifically designed questions about their personal health and wellbeing.

Employees are immediately provided with a personal health report and employers with an aggregated business report identifying any key health issues.

What now?
Regardless of which method/s (yes you can use more than one) you choose, you should now have a wealth of information that you can use to focus on any high-risk areas identified.

Needless to say, if you focus on these high-risk areas you are well on your way to increasing your Return on Investment plus have much healthier and happier staff.

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