Employee Health – Happier Employees Equals More Profit

October 25th 2019
By: Carrie Whitfield, ASA Project Manager

Sifting through the junk mail. Eventually I make it to the cover of a health and safety magazine. I read over the highlights. One topic was mental health, as if that is even a topic where many of us have worked. One mental health topic covered veterinarian suicide rates. Vets are 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than the rest of the population according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2018. Another topic spoke about the importance of emotional support from coworkers when returning to work after major life events. Particularly stressful events are often followed by suicides and suicide attempts as shown by many survivor and autopsy studies (Heikkinen et al., 1997; Paykel, Prusoff, & Myers, 1975).

Many of the articles weren’t your classic OSHA subjects. They didn’t talk about rules and regulations, or the newest safety gear. These articles focused on people.  People and how they can support each other, their mental health issues, what stressors people have and what stress relief tricks work best for them.

We can create policies, procedures, personal protective equipment, regulations and more but until we have an ingrained culture, a culture of caring and of doing the right thing, making the right decision because it is the safe thing to do, the smart thing to do, none of those tools we’ve put in place will stop our workforces from getting hurt. If we want people making the right decisions, we had best make sure their hearts and minds are right before those decisions are made.

Companies are recognizing the benefits of supporting positive physical and mental health and taking actions to ensure they have a happy healthy workforce.

Many of these companies have seen a decrease in employee morale issues and employee fatigue along with an increased incident reporting rate due to an open reporting culture being heavily supported by management and coworkers.

Money and talent talk. These companies, although they are investing time, money and resources, aren’t seeing a decline in productivity or profit and they are learning a happy workplace can be a big incentive for talent.

A Princeton study found that once a person makes roughly $75,000 a year, income no longer has an impact on their happiness. I mostly agree, but don’t tell my boss.

On average, companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20% and are 12% more productive. No surprise to many of us that have worked on the North Slope of Alaska, free food is also a top perk. These days companies like Google and Facebook are adding it to their list of employee perks. 

Many employers speak about how important maintaining a healthy work life balance is. How many truly give you the benefits, flexible schedule or appropriate workload to accomplish the goal? Thankfully that number is on the rise. How does your company support your happiness?

Reference articles: Time Magazine – Sept 6, 2010 By Belinda Luscombe:

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