The Business Case for a Culture of Health
The World Health Organization defines the word “health” as follows:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social
well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
So according to this definition, are you healthy? Is your family and the people you care about healthy?
Why or why not? And if not, could anything be done about it?
When we think about health, these five dimensions come to mind:
- quality of life
- reaching your full potential
And of course, these five dimensions are interrelated, either positively or negatively.
For example, poor physical health can negatively impact your mental health. And good emotional well-being will positively affect your quality of life.
Some use the term “holistic health” to consider how health affects the whole person, not just a specific illness or body part. Holistic health emphasizes connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
Good health matters when and where we live, labor, learn, play, and pray. Everyday, every step with every choice. So that includes your home, your workplace where you have employment, your schools, your neighborhood, your community and the communities of your family members.
It also includes your place of worship and our world as a whole, because what happens in a distant part of the world may sooner or later have a profound impact on you.
When considering the relevance of this for you and your business, a basic core question is this:
“Will implementing a change to promote a culture of health help or hurt me and my business?”
Here are some initial important considerations. First, we know that businesses get hurt as a result of poor health. Research shows, that a ill employee can cost you up to 40% more, directly and indirectly, than a healthy one.
You probably experience more absenteeism among your workers, as well as what’s now called presenteeism, where your workers show up while they’re sick and possibly infect other employees, or due the side effects of their illness are just not able to produce their best work.
If the communities from which you draw your workers are less healthy, have less adequate housing and schools, and a less healthy environment, that also affects your bottom line.
If the products and services you sell have an adverse impact on people’s health, that’ll affect your image and your reputation. On the other hand, we have growing evidence from around the nation and the world that business leaders who care about health can turn that into a positive business strategy.
For example, research demonstrates that high sustainability companies significantly outperform their business competitors over the long-term. We also know that the share prices of companies that prioritized health outperform the S&P average on all tests.
Poor health and well-being among your workers, can increase the costs for you and your business. Engaging in smart efforts to improve several dimensions of health, carry significant direct and indirect rewards.