For a thriving business, companies need thriving employees. Essential to creating an environment where employees thrive, is focusing on employee wellness. Research has shown that when employees are feeling both mentally and physically cared for by their employers, businesses experience growth, stability, and sustainability.
However, for many organizations, “employee wellness” is relegated to a human resources issue rather than viewed as an initiative that should be addressed in all areas of the company. Beyond just wellness benefits, the CDC recommends incorporating wellness into all aspects of the workplace including safety, education, training and leadership, and corporate events for maximum employee engagement.
One way businesses have begun incorporating wellness into their safety initiatives is by introducing musculoskeletal injury prevention and risk reduction programming. Research has shown, that companies who focus on MSD risk reduction in the workplace not only improve the physical well-being of their employees but also improve the mental and emotional wellness of the workers.
Improving Employees' Physical Wellness
It’s no secret that when companies invest in reducing the risk of an employee suffering a musculoskeletal injury, they are physically improving the wellness of their employees. Risk reduction means a decrease in pain and discomfort employees suffer from common MSD injuries including muscle strains and sprains, trigger finger, and carpal tunnel.
An added benefit to incorporating an MSD injury prevention program is the workers’ compensation claim savings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30% of all workers’ compensation claims are a result of musculoskeletal injuries. When companies proactively reduce the risk of these costly and frequent MSD injuries, they see a major benefit to their bottom line.
Improving Employees' Mental Wellness
According to the National Safety Council, in 2020, the median days away from work for employees who had suffered an MSD was 14 days. When employees are out of work due to injury, it is common for them to feel extreme stress from the situation. There is often fear of the financial ramifications of being out due to injury, not to mention the fear associated with the physical rehabilitation of their injury. This stress and fear take a toll on the emotional wellness of employees.
For some employees, the fear of being out of work results in them deciding to “push through” the injury. According to the CDC, about 15% of adults reported experiencing pain most days for the past six months. When employees work through the pain and discomfort, it is harder for them to focus and they are more likely to miss deadlines, resulting again in stress.
When the risk of employees suffering musculoskeletal injuries decreases, so does the likelihood of the employee suffering from the emotional strife associated with the injury.
Improving Employees' Emotional Wellness
The University of New Hampshire defines emotional wellness as being in a state of contentment and feeling good about yourself. Since the pandemic, workers are focusing more and more on their emotional wellness when it comes to the workplace and expect their employers to do the same. In a recent Gallup Poll, only 24% of employees believe their bosses have their best interest at heart. Additionally, the same poll indicated that 66% of those employees who left their job within the last year did so after not feeling cared about by their employer.
Implementing an MSD prevention program demonstrates to workers that their employer does in fact care about their wellness. Gallup’s research shows that employees who feel cared for are 71% less likely to report burnout, three times more likely to be engaged, and five times more likely to advocate for their company as a good place to work.
The benefits of employees feeling cared for also extend to a company’s bottom line. Companies whose team members feel their well-being is cared for achieve higher profitability, higher customer engagement, and have fewer safety incidents.
When it comes to MSD prevention and improving worker wellness, no magic button can be pushed, but with the expertise of injury prevention professionals, both employers and employees can reap the benefits. To learn more about Briotix Health’s comprehensive MSD risk reduction and injury prevention program, contact us and speak with one of our highly-skilled experts.