Increase Performance with an Engaged, Healthy Workforce

Mark Steward

As you begin a new year in your organization, you must commit resources to answer the latest challenges and bring success to the bottom line. One of the main concerns in many companies is employee well-being and health. Indeed, to meet all of the challenges you face this year, you will need to ensure that your workforce is engaged and healthy.

For many people, the resolution of daily exercise is made each year only to dwindle and flame out over the coming days, weeks or, in a few fortunate cases, months. Some folks actually do make it a lifelong way of life, and I applaud those who do. However, the vast majority of people typically fall back into their old routines without making any real changes to improve their health and well-being.

Within an organizational setting, ergonomics and stretching can be key elements in achieving success in this area. I would be interested in knowing how many people have formal before-work and during-work stretching regimens in place to engage their workforce and potentially provide a method to improve the health and well-being of their employees. Of course, you can place programs, documents, checks and measurement systems in the environment, but without an engaged and healthy workforce, you are still lacking the essential element for any change program’s success.

I would also be interested in the cultural changes that have taken place as organizations instituted these types of programs as part of the standard work process of each day. In previous environments, I have seen where the day begins with music playing across the organization and people rising to their feet in their workgroups, moving to a series of well-designed stretches. Once completed, the group comes together for the five-minute pre-production review and then goes to the line to start the day. Have you been involved in a program like this? If you have made the transition to this sort of cultural change, how was it accepted? Do you still have it in place?

I firmly believe that people come to work each day looking for something to awaken their senses and bring joy to their time. This may be just the thing to improve recordable case-rate injuries from sprains and strains suffered at work. It definitely is a plan to consider for the new year.

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