Health mistakes are never taken lightly in today’s work environment. Imagine a business as a human body — Employees are the organization’s blood and the HR department its central nervous system (CNS) which manages all bodily functions. Any error by the CNS can have dire effects on the rest of the body. That’s the importance of the HR department in an organization. Any mistake a company’s HRM makes can jeopardize the wellness of the entire system. Moreover, if it’s a health mistake, the consequences double.

Apart from the numerous roles the HR department plays, such as hiring and managing resources, another critical role is ensuring the health and safety of its employees. Health mistakes HR leaders make can cause their employees to lose trust.

Here are seven common health-related mistakes HR leaders make and how to avoid them:

1. Absence of Comprehensive Health and Safety Programs

Many businesses lack comprehensive health and safety programs such as a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), health and wellness training programs and compliance with health policies that have been recommended by the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Canada Labour Code.

The lack of such programs increases the risk of health problems arising in the workplace. Moreover, employees feel insecure in an environment where no safety precautions are taken.  HR leaders within organizations employing more than 20 workers should implement adequate health and safety programs so the employees can manage well in cases of medical problems, ultimately boosting employee confidence and productivity.

2. Denying employees their health-related rights

It is the responsibility of the HRM of a system to provide their employees with the following three health and safety rights, according to the changes made in the OHSA by the Ham Commission Report:

  • The right to know about the presence of any equipment, people, or processes at the workplace which may be hazardous to their health.
  • The right to participate as members of the JHSC.
  • The right to refuse to work in a place or environment which is unsafe for their health.

To increase workers’ efficiency and trust in the system, HR leaders must ensure the safety and health rights of employees and ensure employees are informed of their rights.

3. Ignoring the importance of providing convenient healthcare options

Businesses can boost their employees’ efficiency by providing them with fast, efficient access to healthcare services.  According to Canadian Virtual Health care reports, a visit to the doctor takes about two hours in traditional healthcare while virtual healthcare reduces it to an average of 15 minutes saving more than 50% of the time missed at work. It increases revenue by more than $2,000 per year per employee.

However, only 9% of employers in Canada are providing virtual healthcare as part of their employee benefits. The rest are missing out on the advantages. Ensuring the availability of efficient virtual healthcare services such as Wello for employees can encourage increased productivity, so, they don’t need to worry about their access to anywhere-anytime primary care and proactive wellness advice to help them with all of their medical concerns.

4. Underestimating the influence of family on health

When employees worry about the health and wellness of their family members, they become distracted and not present at work. HR leaders overlook this significant factor that can affect an employee’s productivity. Reports show that large employers in Canada lose more than $2.7 billion dollars yearly due to family-related health issues of employees.

To avoid this, the HRM can provide workers with convenient options such as wellness programs like virtual healthcare that also cover their dependents. Thus, employees have less to worry about their families, thereby focusing their attention entirely on work.

5. Overlooking loses due to employee absenteeism

Employee absenteeism is something that can cause huge losses for a business. Moreover, it also reduces the efficiency and productivity of a business. HR leaders often ignore these loses. According to an estimate, Canadian employees take 2-6 days off per year due to visits to a physician. Absenteeism costs employers more than $16 billion annually.

HR leaders can help reduce such losses by adding virtual healthcare services in employee benefits. When employees have access to healthcare while sitting in their offices they don’t need to take a day off to go to the doctor. Thus, absenteeism losses are reduced.

6. Neglecting health-related transportation costs

Access to convenient virtual healthcare reduces transportation costs for employees by more than $100 monthly. With rising prices of oil and gas, it becomes difficult for employees to manage these transportation costs of visiting the doctor’s office in-person within an average salary. HR leaders neglect this very important issue that employees face.

HR leaders can help employees lower their health costs by providing them with convenient health and wellness services like Wello. Our virtual healthcare service offers healthcare through virtual technologies such a mobile phone or computer saving employees unnecessary travels to the doctor’s office.

7. Inability to realize the importance of health benefits

Surveys reveal that more than 79% of Canadian employees prefer those employers who provide them with more benefits rather than more salary. Employees remain attached to an organization for the benefits they receive from it. Also, health benefits are an essential key to increasing employee retention. Unfortunately, HR leaders are yet to fully leverage this retention strategy.

An employee retention strategy that includes access to virtual healthcare services has proven to be an essential part of employees’ health benefits that keep employees and employers happy with a huge ROI.

HR leader’s health mistakes can be hazardous to an organization’s productivity and efficiency. Taking action to overcome these mistakes can boost revenue generation and take your business to the next level.

Want to learn more about Wello and how we help HR leaders sustain healthy teams?