Why investing in your employees’ health and fitness can pay big dividends
With in-house gyms or subsidised wellness programmes becoming an increasingly common characteristic of companies listed in the Sunday Times’ “Best Companies To Work For” lists, it is encouraging that so many employers are recognising the clear business benefits of helping their staff to remain fit and healthy.
We could consider all sorts of fluffy reasons to make your staff feel that little bit more loved but let’s start with a clear and tangible business benefit of having fit and healthy staff – productivity.
People who exercise regularly to keep fit have more energy. It’s one of those medically proven facts that is so common-sense that it makes you wonder why anyone felt the need to prove it in the first place. More of a “well duh!” moment than a “eureka!” one, surely? People with more energy are able to get more done in less time. They often contribute more and with just the right dose of enthusiasm their energy can be infectious. Think of the people you have worked with over the years. You’ll remember the ones that were always full of energy (the ones who would go running or play football straight after work) but you may also remember the ones who always used to flag in the afternoons without the aid of coffee or cigarettes. You know which ones you’d want on your workforce don’t you?
People who exercise regularly to keep fit are also shown to have more mental agility too. This isn’t just a matter of not falling asleep in meetings; the science behind these findings has shown that those who exercise regularly produce more of the chemicals in the brain that aid memory, logic and the ability to multi-task.
Talking of sleep though, it does feature in this equation. We know from studies of athletes that exercise helps encourage longer periods of deep sleep which can have a very positive effect on our immune systems. This can clearly lead to a reduction in illness and consequently absenteeism (saving you money).
It is also in the interest of companies who provide private healthcare plans to make sure their employees keep physically fit and free from illness.
Smells Like Team Spirit
Teams that sweat together, stick together. Before we start thinking too literally about that statement the benefits of team building exercises are well documented and corporate gyms offer the perfect environment for this kind of activity. Gyms are very sociable places too and can offer colleagues the opportunity to bond as well as compete. You don’t want your corporate gyms to become some kind of crazed battleground with rows of executives all trying to outdo each other whilst screaming “Show me the money!” but as you will probably already know, a bit of friendly competition can also be good for business.
The Fluffy Stuff
Of course things like company perception, employee stress reduction, work-life balance and general job satisfaction are all soft benefits right? Well clearly not. You only need to consider the costs of recruitment to appreciate how important staff retention is to your long-term growth, success and profitability. Healthy, energetic staff who appreciate the perks of being able to use a private company gym are going to be much easier to keep motivated than the listless, sedentary alternative.
Kitting out your own company gym can be a lot more affordable than you would think, making it even easier to reap the rewards to your business. If you would like to energise your workforce in this way please call us on 01782 593 533 for a free no-obligation consultation.