Happy and Healthy

11 03 2013

Have you heard that phrase? My grandmother used to say it all the time, whenever someone would ask her how she was doing. The only other answer she was fond of giving, especially toward the end of her life, was Fat and Sassy. She wasn’t politically correct, couldn’t care less about it as a matter of fact, and it was one of the many things I loved about her.

At any rate, happy and healthy is not just a personal goal anymore. A study released in January by the Gallup organization, which has long shown the connection between personal happiness and engagement at work, demonstrated the link between health and workplace engagement. Amongst their findings as reported by BusinessNewsDaily: 

  • Engaged workers are less likely to be obese and suffer from chronic diseases
  • Engaged employees were 21 percent more likely than disengaged employees to participate in health and wellness programs at work

This has a number of interesting ramifications. First and foremost, engagement is one of the tried and true ways to generate high levels of productivity. It also contributes to important measures like retention and profitability. Now it also appears to have an effect on employee health, which contributes to things like absenteeism and overall health care costs.  

The discussion around employee health and health care costs are front and center these days, partly because of Health Care Reform legislation enacted in 2009 but mostly because businesses are having a tougher time than ever absorbing the increasing cost of providing health insurance for their employees. 

Does this sound like you? If so, I’d suggest you examine your company’s level of employee engagement. 


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