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Unlocking Potential for Productivity


When we talk about the benefits of improving employee health and safety in the workplace, we typically focus on two points: better overall employee health, and lower workers’ compensation costs. But experts in the industry are now looking at the emergence of yet another benefit that employers can see as a result of employee maintenance programs.

Experts in the field are now pointing to evidence that supports a link between on-site employee health solutions and increases in productivity, therefore resulting in increases in profitability as well.

According to the Cal/OSHA (California’s Division of Occupational Safety & Health) website, employers who actively incorporate an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) into their workplace “benefit from reduced workplace injuries and illnesses, increased productivity, lower costs, higher profits, and a more cohesive and dependable workforce.”

The concept here is simple; employees are likely to meet their highest potential level of productivity when they are healthy and free of aches and pains. Because of the continued presence of pain and injuries in the workplace, employers have the opportunity to unlock new levels of productivity by integrating extensive safety initiatives into the workplace.

Another study, this time conducted by Thomas Wright, researcher and professor of management at Kansas State University, found that employees with psychological distresses could equate to approximately $75 per employee per week in lost productivity. And since an employee’s overall health typically has a direct affect on his or her psychological state, employers could seriously benefit from evaluating the health and wellbeing of their employees.

“The benefits of a psychologically well work force are quite consequential to employers, especially so in our highly troubled economic environment,” says Wright. “Simply put, psychologically well employees are better performers. Since higher employee performance is inextricably tied to an organization’s bottom line, employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive advantage.”

Wright’s direction of employers toward a ‘competitive advantage’ should get the attention of many employers nationwide, since such an advantage is becoming harder and harder to come by. But with 2012 comes progressions in OSHA’s I2P2 ruling, which would require employers to have effective Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (I2P2) implemented in the workplace.

According to Wright, another issue to look at with employee satisfaction is the eventual possibility of employees quitting their jobs, resulting in high turnover costs for the employer. According to Wright, employees with lower level of wellbeing and job satisfaction are more likely to quit their jobs, and employee turnover can be extremely costly for an organization if it loses its more productive employees.

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