Dave Thomas

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Will Your Employees Pass a Physical?

Dave Thomas

April 07, 2016

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When you go about hiring new employees for your small business, how much focus do you place on making sure you are getting the healthiest workers possible?

In today’s expensive world of running a small business, it is imperative that you try and find not only the brightest, but the healthiest employees possible.

Keep in mind that hiring those who tend to be sick and/or get injured rather frequently, ultimately leads to more expenses for your company.

So, are you making sure you hire those individuals that do their best to take care of themselves, or are you discounting health issues at the time of hiring?


Educate You and Your Staff on Better Health

While many Americans are leading longer lives, many others have seen their lives cut short or seriously impacted from a medical standpoint due to health issues.

As a small business owner, one of your responsibilities is doing your best to bring in those individuals who are talented, offer compatible personalities, and take responsibility when it comes to their healthcare needs.

Keeping that at the forefront, your small business can do its part to not only hire the brightest and the healthiest, but do your best to keep them healthy while under your employ.

Ways to go about this include:

  • Selection process – While there are laws on the books (and rightfully so) to keep you from discriminating against individuals with certain medical issues (both during the hiring process and if they work for you), that does not mean you are bound to hire individuals that are excessively overweight, smoke heavily etc. Without being blunt, asking individuals during the interview process about things like hobbies etc. is perfectly fine. You might be surprised how much you can learn about an individual by doing so. If someone says they essentially have no hobbies and sit around most of the day when not working, that can be your first red flag that they may not be in the best physical shape possible;

  • Educating your entire team – Even though you hope to never have to use it in the workplace, knowing procedures like the Heimlich Maneuver and CPR can be invaluable in the office. Getting certified in the latter through something such as Safe Now CPR and others out there could mean the difference between life and death in the workplace if an employee is stricken. It is a good idea at least once a year to have a staff meeting, seeing which employees are not certified for CPR. You can offer them free certification through your work, something that benefits all parties involved;

  • Eating and exercising correctly – No, it is not your job as a small business employer to tell workers how to eat, when to exercise etc. That being said, it is perfectly fine for you to encourage them to practice sound eating and exercise habits. You can do the former by offering healthy snacks in the workplace. Instead of junking up the vending machine or machines with unhealthy snacks, opt instead for fruits, vegetables, walnuts etc. You can also offer as rewards for good work things like coupons to healthy restaurants around town. Sure, many employees (perhaps yourself too) will at times opt for the burger and fries or other fast-food choices. Just try and make that the exception and not the rule. When it comes to exercising, employers can benefit in a number of ways by encouraging their workers to go out and exercise several times a week. One way to do this is offer free or discounted gym memberships for employees. Some employees may be hesitant to going to the gym by themselves and/or if they have to pay for it. You can nix both these turn-offs by putting together group gym sessions (rewards always help) and paying for them (or providing discounts). Whatever you choose, make exercising for your staff a fun thing and something that does not seem like more work.


A healthy workplace benefits small businesses and companies of all sizes.

Make sure you are doing all you can as their employer to keep your team healthy and happy.


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