It’s a common scenario for an employee to call in sick every once in a while, but one day off can turn into a couple of days and several weeks if his health does not improve—and that can significantly paralyze your productivity before you know it.

Aside from absenteeism, “presenteeism” can cost your company just as much. This is when one is physically healthy and present but actually absent due to other personal or psychological issues—things that are usually difficult to notice.

According to a survey based on Gallup’s well-being measurement, which includes purpose, social, financial, community, and physical, 28% of adults in the U.S. are not thriving in any of these well-being elements and only 7% are thriving in all five. This entails the importance of both physical and mental health in the workplace, not just for the employers in the long run, but most especially for employees.

Maintaining engagement and productivity

In order to combat both absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace, a valid solution would be to implement a wellness program—engaging them to take control of their health and motivating them to stay focused at work.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, more than 90 percent of entrepreneurs express that promoting wellness significantly affects an employee’s productivity and performance. Most business leaders also perceive health as an investment and a core business strategy. One analysis even showed that more than 40 corporate health studies have seen a 25% reduction in sick leaves and absences due to wellness programs.

Getting started

If you are considering getting a workplace health improvement initiative implemented in your own organization, get started by collecting baseline data. This ensures that you get an accurate view of the overall health of your workforce. This is a crucial first step, as this identifies where your efforts should be focused.

For instance, if you’ve observed obesity as a common health problem in your team, then you can make weight management programs a priority in your workplace wellness goal. In cases where drug and substance abuse is a problem, business leaders may channel their attention on drug-related policies, and, say, implement annual saliva drug tests within the organization. Remember to protect all information you collect during this phase, as these are all considered confidential to protect your employees’ privacy.

Choosing a benefits company

A workplace wellness program should involve different people and resources in order to reach success. This includes the help of an employee benefits company. Work directly with a trusted insurance broker that will assist you in identifying which wellness benefits already exist and which options are more cost-saving for your company.

Engaging your employees

A health and wellness policy is more likely to fail if your employees are not completely involved. Before anything else, make sure that your team is aware of your initiatives by publishing clear wellness program guidelines and including them in your employee handbook. This will ensure that new recruits and current employees are aware of their benefit plans and the company’s health and wellness efforts in the workplace.

Granting wellness incentives

Aside from making tools like blood pressure monitors and SpO2 meters available in your clinic, rewarding employees for their effort and participation in your wellness program should be able to create a real shift in your organizational health culture. Behavior changes are difficult to attain immediately, which is why providing wellness incentives throughout the year should be able to motivate employees to become engaged in getting healthy and increase their productivity in the long run.

Workplace health programs require a considerable amount of time to take effect, as with any change in oneself. With consistency and determination, a healthy and productive workforce is completely possible to achieve.