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Wellness Programs

August 8, 2011

In the workplace employers have the responsibility to keep the physical environment safe for the employees.  There is another responsibility employers need to take in to count to keep their employees healthy.  This would be wellness programs.  These programs can encourage employees to take care of themselves on and off the job.

One main purpose of wellness programs is to focus on preventative health concerns.  Such programs can deal with job burnout, violent behaviors, chemical dependencies, and stress management.     Wellness programs provide employees with flu shots, nutrition education, weight control, stress education¸ stress reduction, and smoking cessation programs.  If employees are notified of these programs it can lead to a more “healthy” workplace.

Many employees face a growing problem of stress on the job.  Stress can be defined as a mental and physical condition that results from a real or perceived threat and the inability to remove it or cope with it.  Employers can know when their employees are stressed through specific performance created issues.  These can include absenteeism, lowered productivity, employee turnover, and more accidents on the job.   More accidents on the job means more issues with OSHA, and more potential liability issues.

Increased stress on the job may be linked to several factors such as; increased demand on the job, drama or lack of drama in their personal lives, the work environment, or the employee’s individual personalities.  In my opinion todays working environment I would guess the number one reason for stress on the job would be the increased demand on employees.  With the economy in decline employers need more productivity with fewer workers.

When there is an increase in stress it can be noticed through either physiologically, psychologically, or behaviorally.  Employers can notice behavioral issues through absenteeism, tardiness, and accidents.  Psychological issues included; nervousness, depression, anxiety, and burnout.  Physiological systems would be high blood pressure, substance abuse, and eating disorders.  If stress on and off the job is not taken seriously it can lead to job burnout.  Please feel free to leave comments.

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