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Improving employee productivity

graphpresentation16486405.jpgWith obesity on the rise, health care costs continue to increase. Currently, health care costs are rising at a rate of 6.9 percent annually. The average cost of health care in the United States is $7,900 per person. Employers are being forced to pay up for their employees unhealthy lifestyle choices. If your employees are overweight, they are twice as likely to use all of their sick leave benefits plus they will take an extra 4 days off work, causing you to have lost productivity.

How can you improve employee productivity? Here are some tips to help:

  • Implement a wellness program. Wellness programs encourage everyone to get in shape and stay healthy. Even your healthy employees need to participate in the program as a commitment to continue improving their health. Wellness programs may sound expensive to implement at first, but they have a 200% return rate.

  • Encourage employees to use vacation leave. While it may sound odd to encourage employees to get away from the office, studies have found that it actually improves employee productivity. USA Today reported that 51% of workers are more productive after they return from a vacation. When people are away on vacation, they force themselves to de-stress and just relax. Travelers report that they get 20 more minutes of deep sleep while they are on vacation, helping them to become rejuvenated. Annual vacations can cut a persons risk for a heart attack by 50 percent. 3 out of 4 employees report that the anticipation of a vacation helps to reduce stress and it helps to improve their job performance.

  • Reduce the amount of sugary treats and beverages in the office. Sugar provides a temporary high, which may cause the employee to be productive for 10 minutes before they experience a crash and are back to being unproductive. Replace the unhealthy foods with granola bars, protein bars, nuts, and other foods that are high in protein. Consuming more protein will increase your energy throughout the day and it will help you to be more productive over the entire day, not just for 10 minutes.

  • Encourage employees to take power naps. If you can close your eyes and rest for 15 minutes in the middle of the day, you will become more productive. Researchers have found that employees that are allowed to nap at work are happier with their jobs and they are less likely to take sick leave.

  • Make sick employees go home. When employees are sick, they are decreasing the productivity in the office and they are spreading their disease to other employees, causing a drop in employee morale. If you have employees that are sick, send them home for a day or two while they get better. It is better to pay them to stay home while you have other employees cover their job duties for a couple days. Sick employees come to work drowsy and they are 3 times as likely to have a workplace accident or input wrong information.

  • Hold regular employee evaluations. Talk to your employees about their job performance and suggest some ways they can improve their job performance. Ask them about personal things that may be interfering with their job performance. Perhaps they are struggling with the loss of a family member, divorce, or another emotional problem. Look for ways to improve their mental health in addition to their physical health.

  • Promote exercise in the office. The American Heart Association recommends that every American should get at least 30 minutes of healthy exercise on a daily basis. When you exercise, endorphins are released, causing you to have an increase in focus, concentration, and memory. This can help you become more productive.

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