April 28, 2015
April 28, 2015
Many Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) based studies have proven high-stress jobs link to higher health costs and increased turnover. Educating workers on stress-coping mechanisms could help reduce illness, absenteeism, poor performance and resentment. Offering cost-effective wellness programs that yield results will not only save your company money, but will also help improve the health and well-being of your employees. Studies show for every $3 the employer spends on health care, $1 is saved due to a wellness program.
Job-related stress is causing workers to increasingly seek care from health professionals for physical, mental and emotional ailments, according to a study by economists at Montreal’s Concordia University, who found that the number of visits to health care professionals was up to 26 percent higher for workers in high-stress jobs. All figures were restricted to adults aged 18 to 65 years—the bulk of the labor force—and included statistics on the number of health care visits, chronic illnesses, marital status, income level, smoking and drinking habits.
“We believe an increasing number of workers are using medical services to cope with job stress,” said co-author Mesbah Sharaf, a Ph.D. candidate in the Concordia department of economics. In addition, high performers are also seeking alternative employment. With today’s market, employers should be considering not only a wellness program but a retention program as well.
“There is medical evidence that stress can adversely affect an individual’s immune system, thereby increasing the risk of disease,” Sharaf continued. “Numerous studies have linked stress to back pain, colorectal cancer, infectious disease, heart problems, headaches and diabetes. Job stress may also heighten risky behaviors such as smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, and discourage healthy behaviors such as physical activity and proper diet and increase consumption of fatty and sweet foods.”
The economists suggested that easing workplace stress could help employers reduce soaring health budgets and bolster employee morale.
A prime way to incorporate wellness to lower employee stress and health care costs is to incorporate a weekly yoga program. Not only will yoga improve morale but it will attract high performers. Yoga builds strong endocrine and muscoskeletal systems, reduces back pain, eases anxiety and encourages healthy eating. Yoga allows employees to detach from the workforce for a short period of time to refresh their systems. A short shavasana can bring peace and clarity to the mind. This will allow the employee to think more clearly during presentations and meetings and encourage efficiency and accuracy. Not only does yoga cause improved work performance, the health benefits are ongoing. With reduced stress levels, employees will undoubtedly experience less illness and require less doctor visits and prescriptions.
Incorporate a yoga program into your total rewards benefit program today. Reduce employee stress and increase employee performance. Yoga not only adds to lowered health care costs but also increases retention. And in today’s market, retention is in demand. Stand out in your industry. Raise the bar and lay down the (yoga) mat.