Successful businesses know that having happy workplaces produces many benefits – higher productivity, less absenteeism and better customer service, as a few examples. But one benefit you may not realize is that having a stress free environment produces healthier employees.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review by Emma Seppala and Kim Cameron, Proof That Positive Work Culture Are More Productive (Dec 2015), “…health care expenditures at high-pressure companies are nearly 50% greater than at other organizations. The American Psychological Association estimates that more than $500 billion is siphoned off from the U.S. economy because of workplace stress, and 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job. Sixty to eighty percent of workplace accidents are attributed to stress, and it’s estimated that more than 80% of doctor visits are due to stress. Workplace stress has been linked to health problems ranging from metabolic syndrome to cardiovascular disease and mortality.”
Stressful work environments are not typically happy work environments. The article goes on to say, “In a large-scale study of over 3,000 employees conducted by Anna Nyberg at the Karolinska Institute, results showed a strong link between leadership behavior and heart disease in employees. Stress-producing bosses are literally bad for the heart.”
So, what’s a company to do? There are a lot of things you can do and a great place to start is looking at your people practices. Companies who “Put People First” find themselves consistently at the top of their industries financially. They also received the benefit of employees’ loyalty and many times find themselves recognized in the top places to work category.
Putting People First means you have to care about people. There are 4 areas that successful companies concentrate on:
• Hiring and Onboarding: Making the right hire and keep that new hire excited beyond the first day, week or month.
• Reward and Recognition: Knowing what employees want and creating programs to reward employees accordingly.
• Leadership Training: Leaders are selected and trained in the service attitude and measured by the morale of their teams.
• Creating Ownership: Making people feel like owners of the business by communicating well. Ensuring that employees understand and live the company’s mission, vision and values.
Paying attention to these critical areas and putting practices and principles in place, you will be creating an environment where stress does not prevail consistently. Your employees will be happier and healthier and your bottom line will reflect it.
A great example of a company utilizing these practices every day is Hotze Health & Wellness Center. That’s why they are featured in my new book “How to Create a Happy Workplace”. They “Put People First” when selecting new employees and ingrain the values and mission of the organization through their weekly huddles.
Hotze Health & Wellness Center’s “Happy Employees” have voted HH&W into Top Employer status year after year. Happy Workplaces = Healthy Employees = Happy Customers.