Why workplace health is important
We are facing a productivity crisis in Canada. The IMF estimates Canadian business productivity as 17th among OECD countries. Employers are realizing that the status quo is not an option, and more needs to be done to improve health, engagement and productivity in the workplace. Here are some facts:
- Productivity. Lost productivity caused by workers’ depression and anxiety costs the Canadian economy almost $50 billion a year.
- Physical and mental health. Three out five Canadians have a chronic disease by age 20; 1 out of 5 Canadians have a mental health issue and only one third ask for help.
- Employee engagement. The average millennial will stay in their current role for only 2.5 years, and some researchers report more than 80% of the workforce is disengaged.
The first steps in addressing this issue are for employers to measure the health, engagement and productivity of their workforce, and identify what they need to do to improve. The Employee Recommended Workplace Award will provide you with key insights on areas of strength and areas were more work is needed to improve.
Employers know that by proactively supporting the health of their employees they’re able to reduce absenteeism, increase engagement and improve productivity. The focus has shifted to a broader view of workforce health, including the physical, mental, work and life components of health. This is sometimes referred to as Total Health.
Organizations are starting to see that focusing on workforce health helps the bottom line. Plans today now aim to:
- Reduce workplace stressors;
- Help employees improve their coping skills and resilience;
- Help staff improve their physical and mental well-being;
- Help individuals build their own health awareness to make healthier choices;
- Help staff choose options that will improve their health;
- Help staff be more physically active;
- Give employees access to tools to manage personal, relationship, financial and other challenges.
Being recognized as having a healthy workplace that enables employees to thrive is also a great attraction for new talent. Research also shows the upcoming generations increasingly expect a workplace that treats them well as a person and as an employee.