Eastern Kentucky University recently published a very well-thought piece on the invaluable benefits of data analytics in workplace health. Some of the companies that use big data to improve workplace safety might surprise you.
Shell Corporation is one of the companies that received the most publicity for its use of data analytics. They discovered that predictive analytics can be very useful for identifying the risk factors with workplace safety to minimize injuries. Healthcare companies are also investing in big data solutions for obvious reasons.
The benefits of using big data and predictive analytics for these purposes are clearly evident. A healthy, happy workforce is crucial to the success of any business, large or small. Your employees make up the backbone of the organization, and unhealthy workers costs you more than just productivity. The hidden costs of unhealthy workers can be enormous, and you might not even realize what they are until it’s too late.
Unfortunately, acquiring data analytics on health issues is not enough on its own. Improving health awareness in your organization starts with understanding that people will often resist such information. This is a part of the learning process, and shouldn’t stop you from continuing your campaign. The more aware your workers are, the healthier they’ll be, and the more you can reward them for their efforts. This is where data analytics can be most useful. You can make strong, data-driven cases for new changes.
Let’s look closer at how you can improve health awareness in your business and why it’s so important to have a healthy workforce.
Using Data Analytics to Make the Argument About The Cost Of Poor Health
Imagine having 200 employees, and of those 200, only 35 don’t suffer from a chronic health condition. You can imagine the effect this would have not only on productivity, but also on overall morale. A workforce that is sickly and unmotivated can wreak havoc on the workers that aren’t sick, causing a depressive atmosphere to develop in the business.
This is where data analytics can come in. You need to make sure everyone on your leadership team knows how these changes impact the organization. Acquiring data on health issues can be very helpful.
Here are some of the costs of poor worker health in a business:
Decreased Productivity: productivity decreases dramatically when workers are constantly sick, and sick days are used up quicker. Big data can help you ascertain the relationship between poor health and lower productivity. Some healthcare organizations are investing $10 billion in big data to address the productivity risks of poor health.
Greater Danger: A chronically sick employee may be less aware of his or her surroundings, and therefore in greater danger of experiencing a workplace accident or injury. In 2018 alone, the US spent about $170 billion on workplace injuries.
Healthcare Costs: If you offer healthcare to your employees, your premiums will likely be higher for those that are sick or have pre-existing conditions. Not to mention, the condition could cause an employee to need a lot of time off of work; causing you to search for a temporary replacement and foot the bill for recruiting temporary workers.
Where To Start
Now that you know some of the costs associated with an unhealthy workforce, it’s time to look closer at where to begin with increasing their overall awareness about personal health.
You need to be aware of the benefits of using big data for healthcare. There are several steps you can take to set a good example and offer incentives for employees to improve their health.
Smoke-Free Workplace: The first step you can take is to abolish smoking at your place of business altogether. That means in the parking lot, too! Smoking is a habit that is destructive to the body, unhygienic, and can cause property damage. A smoke-free workplace can help set a good example and even “weed out” potentially poor candidates for open positions.
Tobacco-free options are now widely available, including tobacco-free dip, vape products, and more. These can replace the harmful habit of smoking in the workplace.
Focus On Diet: Diet is a such a huge component of good health. What you eat can dictate the overall health of both body and mind. To improve the dietary options of your employees, remove soda machines and sugary snacks from the break room. You can provide a bowl of fruit as an alternative, and be sure to have a fridge in the break room so your employees can pack lunches.
You can also buy healthier meals when you have a company gathering or meeting. Pizza? Try a salad bar instead.
Allow Physical Activity: Some businesses have a “stand up” period every few hours where employees are encouraged to stand up and move around. This can help get the blood flowing and relieve some tension; as well as keep bodies moving toward better health.
Encourage employees to go outside and walk during break times as well.
Don’t Forget Mental Health: When we talk about overall health, we often forget the second half of total health. Our minds are just as important as our bodies, and we need to take care of them. Be sure to provide your employees with mental health resources and practice an attitude of acceptance and empathy for mental health conditions.
A Brighter Future
Not only does increasing awareness help mold a healthier workforce, it also increases the overall morale of the business. When workers are physically and mentally healthy, they’ll perform better and your business will flourish. There’s nothing better than seeing your employees happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
Be sure to focus on individual health and health as a group. Everyone plays a role in the business, and everyone can also play a role in improving the overall health of the business and the people that work there.
Big Data is Critical for Healthcare
Big data has played an important role in the evolution of modern business. One benefit that is often overlooked is the use of data analytics to improve healthcare. Whether you’re running a small startup or a multinational conglomerate, increasing your business’s health awareness can save you time, money, turnover rates, and improve the productivity and morale of your workforce. Get started today by declaring the business smoke-free and offering incentives for exercise and smoking cessation.