The health & livelihood of your employees is important to the continued success and growth of your business. Whether it’s the zombie apocalypse or just a few walking dead, ensure that you’ve taken the steps to protect your largest asset.
1. Provide Health Care
Now is a better time than any. With new strains of viruses, flu outbreaks, and even possibly zombies, help protect your employees by ensuring they have adequate coverage to see a health care professional when they need to, not just when they have to. With the changes in health reform, eligible small businesses can receive up to a 35% tax credit to help cover the cost of employee insurance. In 2014, that credit will increase to 50%. Get ahead of the competition and let your employees know you’re here for them; it will help with retention and bringing in new talent.
2. Promote Healthy Exercise
Every one knows you can’t outrun a zombie if you’re overweight and never get off the couch. Scientists at the University of Missouri found that sitting can shut off the circulation of a fat-absorbing enzyme called lipase, according to ScienceDaily.com. Promote healthy exercise by having team Wii tennis competitions, going for a company walk, or just moving their coffee pot from room to room so they have to walk around to find it.
Make sure new employees know where all the potential exit doors are so they can be barricaded in case of emergency. Every employee should know where the fire extinguisher is stored, numbers in case of emergency, and where the first aid kit is kept (especially if it contains a zombie antidote). Work related fatalities from fire doubled in 2010 from 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so it’s a good idea to check smoke detectors and keep all employees up to date with emergency training.
4. Maintain Appropriate Equipment
Just like you wouldn’t send an employee to fight a zombie with a spork, make sure they have the appropriate equipment to do their job. Fast computers and the right software will allow your employees to raise their productivity. A Department of Labor study showed that increasing the educational level of employees in an establishment by one year raises productivity by as much as 8.5% in manufacturing plants and almost 13% in non-manufacturing. Provide adequate training for your employees to use all of their equipment whether hardware or software to ensure they get the job done right.
5. Team Meetings
The same DOL study showed that adopting a Total Quality Management system had an insignificant effect on worker productivity, but simply involving employees through regular meetings has a significant positive impact on labor productivity. Meetings help team members feel part of something bigger and can raise the feelings of personal responsibility to overall success. It can also help keep your company from splitting into factions and fighting amongst themselves when the zombies break down the door.
6. Give Praise
According to a 2003 Gallup survey outlined in “How Full is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, 61% of American workers received no praise at work and the biggest reason people leave their jobs is because they feel unappreciated. By praising desired objectives, values, and culture, you’re setting a standard for your employees. This often times helps motivate your employees and maximizes your results.
You can’t expect your secretary to snipe the undead from your executive window without a little target practice. Or, more realistically, engaging in team building activities that get employees out of the office and reward them for performance can lower company attrition and raise employee satisfaction. Yeah, a paycheck should be enough reward for doing their job but, in today’s world, if you don’t do it, someone else will. Google has grassroots employee groups for all interests, like meditation, film, wine tasting and salsa dancing.
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