You may already know that November is National Diabetes Month. But did you know that addressing diabetes could be good for your business?
Diabetes can be extremely costly — costing $327 billion in 2017 alone, according to the CDC — and employers can play an important role in reducing this figure for everyone’s benefit. In fact, helping employees prevent or manage Type 2 diabetes not only results in a healthier, more productive workforce, but it also can lower health care costs for them and for your business. While each individual manages his or her own illness, smart employers know there’s a strong business incentive for maintaining a healthy workforce.
So how do you keep your employees healthy, maintain productivity, control medical costs, and, ultimately, reduce risk for Type 2 diabetes and its complications?
First, give them the tools they need to succeed. By offering onsite wellness and screening services, like glucose screenings, employees can easily monitor and maintain healthy glucose levels — or follow up with a professional if there is cause for concern — all without leaving the workplace.
Next, consider making adjustments around the workplace to help people with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Common examples include allowing employees with diabetes to take more frequent breaks — giving them time to stop, monitor and manage glucose levels, especially while working on their feet — or stocking healthier options in vending machines and in the cafeteria. Be aware of these and other concerns employees with diabetes may have in the workplace, and make accommodations when necessary.
Additionally, to help employees who are at risk of developing diabetes, consider offering enrollment in a National DPP (diabetes prevention program). Taking these preventative measures benefits individuals while also helping to reduce employer health care costs over time.
Small adjustments make a difference — and showing employees that you care about their well-being can lead to reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and concentration, higher energy levels and fewer on-the-job injuries.
Mercy Occupational Medicine can support your workforce with wellness and health programs tailored to your company’s health goals. To start a conversation about health in your workplace, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-254-7576. Let’s find a solution together.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention