Low-cost tips for workplace preventive care

May 4, 2018


“Prevention is better than cure” may be an age-old saying, but it is probably more relevant now than ever before. Why wait till your employees fall ill and rake up the costs of absenteeism and lowered productivity when you could just prevent all of that?

Employers understand that it is crucial to provide health benefits for employees, but many overlook the importance of preventive care. Investing in preventive care is cost-effective for your business. Healthy employees take fewer sick days off and are also more engaged with their work, saving employers many valuable dollars. In fact, sick leave could cost Singapore a whooping S$3.3 billion of productivity loss by 2030. Employers must bear the cost of the wages of the sick employee, and possibly that of a temporary stand-in as well. Time is money, and all the wasted time spent searching for a replacement for the job adds on to the financial costs of a sick employee.

Apart from the direct costs incurred, missing employees also affect workplace morale and productivity. No one likes to be bombarded with additional work, especially on a short notice – which is likely the case for sickness absenteeism. Employees’ morale drops when they must pinch hit for the one who called in sick, causing them to be less productive. For small businesses with limited manpower, such an impromptu change of plans could throw things into disarray. When others need not cover for the sick employee, workplace satisfaction increases, and employees can concentrate on their own work.

Source: '2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey'

With Singapore’s ageing population, healthcare costs are projected to rise, making preventive care the more favourable option. Furthermore, it is possible to delay the onset of many chronic conditions that develop with age, and given that the proportion of elderly workers is growing, prevention seems to be the way to go.

Workplace preventive care need not be costly. Here are some low-cost tips you can use to keep your employees in top condition:

Cultivate a wellness culture

It all boils down to a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and regular exercise reduces the risks of falling ill. Establishing a wellness culture in the workplace can promote healthy living among your employees and make them less susceptible to diseases. Besides having a positive impact on employees’ health, a culture of wellness also increases the overall workplace satisfaction.

Check out how you can create a culture of wellness in your company.

Let your employees go on sick leave

This may sound contradictory when sickness absenteeism could cost your company. However, rather than forcing a sick employee to be present at work and risk spreading the disease to others, it makes more sense to let them rest at home. Don’t make your employee feel obliged to work even when they are ill.

Encourage your employees to undergo health check-ups

Generally, diseases are easier to treat in the early stages. Going for regular health screenings increases the chances of early detection of illnesses. Encouraging your employees to go for check-ups could potentially alleviate major health issues and greater costs in the future.

You can’t change your employees’ behaviour overnight, but these tiny measures could go a long way in enhancing the well-being of your employees.

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