It is one of the responsibilities of the employer to help maintain health for their employees. The employer can take many steps to ensure that their workers are healthy to gain the most benefits from productive employees, but the task requires dedication and some resources to execute properly. The following steps should serve as a reference for what employers should do to help their staff maintain good health.
1) Have an emergency contact list
It is important that employees know who they can reach out to if they need urgent medical attention, and the employer should provide such information beforehand. Many workers feel reluctant to call in sick or take time off, even for minor illnesses, because they are afraid of how it might impact their job. By providing the information beforehand, employees can focus on taking care of their health rather than worrying about what will happen or if they are overreacting to an illness.
2) Provide healthcare benefits
There are so many different types of employer-sponsored insurance programs available that it is hard to know if employees are getting the best coverage for their money. It is helpful if the employer provides some guidance on what insurance plan would benefit their staff most. A spouse or friend of an employee can provide valuable input on what they do and don’t like about their own healthcare plan, giving employers ideas of how to make changes to better suit their employees.
3) Make a plan and help employees stay healthy
For both physical and mental health, it is important that employers provide staff with resources for staying well. It might seem like the responsibility of an individual to take care of themselves, but what if they do not know where to start? A comprehensive list of services such as offering assistance for mental health issues, working with an established wellness center, or organizing exercise classes can be very beneficial. While the employer cannot force their staff to take advantage of what is available, they can at least provide them with the opportunity to do so if they choose.
4) Be understanding if employees need to take time off
Staying home when you are sick might not always be an option for some people, especially those who depend on their wages to support their families. This is why it is important that employers offer flexibility with sick days and leave time so that staff can still pay their bills even if they cannot work. It might be difficult to understand why a worker would choose to go to work sick instead of taking care of themselves, but sometimes other factors need to be considered. Employers should know that there is a difference between being physically and mentally ill and understand that employees need time to recover.
5) Have a company policy in place
By having a formal policy on sick days and leave time for staff to use, employers give their staff a sense of reassurance. Depending on the type of job, people should know ahead of time what will happen if they are unable to work because of an illness or injury. If there is clear-cut information that states that the employee will be fired if they do not show up to work, there is no reason for them to even try to take care of their health in the future. It might seem like an extreme measure, but employers need to make sure that staff understands what consequences are in store if they cannot make it to work when sick to make them focus on their health and wellness.
6) Keep the lines of communication open
When employees feel that they can talk to their employers about what is going on, it creates a sense of transparency and trust. No one wants to work for someone who will judge them harshly if they get sick or need some time off, and having an open environment where everyone can communicate makes it easier for employers to establish a rapport with their staff.
7) Have a dedicated, on-call person
While it might not always be feasible to have an on-duty person at all times, this is a good idea for when employees need coverage when they are out sick or during holidays when no one is around. Employees do not want to have to explain their situation over and over again when trying to find someone to help them. It is frustrating to have to repeat the same information, especially when they are already down due to being sick or hurt.
Employers should take the necessary steps to ensure their employees are healthy, not just when they’re in the office but also when they are out on medical leave or taking time off for surgery. By providing healthcare benefits and a company policy in place to work with sick employees, employers can help their staff maintain their health.