Your employees are absolutely crucial to the success of your business. These are your ‘men on the ground’ the people who perform the daily tasks to keep everything running, and profit accumulating. So it’s important to look after them, and employee health should be something of a top priority to you. Here are a few things to bear in mind.
Avoid rotating day/night shifts
Shift work allows your business to operate for twenty four hours a day, boosting productivity and profits. But while it’s good for your bank balance, research shown time and time again that it’s not good for employees, and so if you do want to operate using shifts then there’s a few things to bear in mind. It’s better for your employees to work constant shifts- whether that’s the day shift or the night shift (instead of rotating them). Night shift workers get it especially bad when it comes to ill health effects. due to poor eating and sleeping, but constantly working nights at least enables them to maintain a consistent schedule. You can also pay them more to make the job more desirable too. Our bodies all work on ‘circadian rhythms’ which are cycles of around twenty four hours. We tend to feel energised or drowsy at roughly the same time each day, but if you work varying shifts your circadian rhythm can be disrupted. This can lead to low mood and depression, lack of energy and sleeplessness. Do what you can to minimise disruption to these circadian rhythms by providing your workers with set hours and avoid rotating shifts if at all possible.
Be aware of workplace dangers
The workplace can be incredibly dangerous, and there might be additional risks depending on what you do. If you work in construction, manufacturing or warehousing for example you could have employees working at heights, with chemicals, with high heats or vehicles. Providing the right training is essential, this could be anything from confined space training to operating specific pieces of machinery. All workers should be thoroughly health and safety briefed and know how to perform their job to the highest standard. Not only do you want to ensure that your employees are kept safe and healthy, but you of course want to prevent any claims being made against you for things like accidents, injuries and workplace illnesses.
Much of the work we do these days involves being sat at desk in front of a computer. When it comes to your office staff, or other sedentary positions, it’s worth trying to improve activity. It could be encouraging staff to take a walk in the local park on lunch breaks, or even putting a foosball table in the staff room to encourage them to get up, stand and move a little when they’re having a break. You could introduce standing desks, or even invest in under desk exercise equipment. Another option would be to offer a free gym membership as an employee perk.