There are an estimated 34.2 million Americans with diabetes, which comes out to just over 10% of the U.S. population.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that if you have a larger company, you have some folks with diabetes working with you. Diabetes in the workplace can cost businesses money when it comes to healthcare, as well as cost them in terms of productivity and employee satisfaction. It’s in the best interests of businesses to ensure that they have the necessary benefits in place to help them stay healthy and succeed at work. It’s also a businesses’ responsibility to ensure that its employees are well taken care of.
To ensure that your employees with diabetes have what they need to thrive in your work environment, here are some of the top benefits to provide them with.
Offer Great Diabetes Healthcare Solutions
First and foremost, it’s crucial to offer diabetes healthcare solutions that address the needs of your employees with diabetes. For example, do your employees with diabetes have the correct blood sugar measuring solutions to easily test their blood glucose while at work? Solutions like Rebel can alleviate the difficulties that people with diabetes when it comes to managing their diabetes while working.
The best way to ensure that your employees feel adequately covered with their healthcare and other diabetes management solutions is to understand the complications and stresses of managing a chronic condition. There are great resources out there to help. The ADA is a great place to start.
Help Fight Back Against the “Sitting Disease”
Staying active and eating healthy is an important part of managing diabetes. However, these two tasks (exercise and healthy snacking) can be difficult to do at work if the employer is not accommodating. Encouraging communication and dialogue between employees can help you see opportunities to improve the health of all your employees—not just those with diabetes.
For example, in regards to staying active, you can offer discounted gym memberships to employees so that they can get their exercise while they are not at work. During office hours, encourage walks or have a weekly dedicated hour for a yoga instructor to come in. Having a 10k steps per day challenge is another great way to encourage staying active, as long as you can provide pedometers or another way for employees to track their steps.
For eating healthy, consider buying less junk food in bulk for office snacks and instead opt for healthier alternatives and more fruits. There are some great healthy snack service providers that will bring healthy snacks to your offices, such as SnackNation and Simpalo Snacks.
Ensure Employees Are Given Time to Work on Their Health
Allowing for more flexible hours with your employees—particularly those with diabetes—gives them time to take care of themselves. Whether they need to visit the doctor or aren’t feeling well, being able to take a day off or take some time off work to focus on their health is important. It’s a lot to ask of someone who has diabetes to be at work on time every single day. Life schedules don’t always line up perfectly with work schedules, and that’s okay. Creating an environment that prioritizes health over work will be extremely beneficial as your employees continue to manage their diabetes.
Make Mental Health a Top Priority in the Office
Diabetes affects not only a person’s physical health, but it can also affect their mental health as well. The CDC estimates that people with diabetes are 2 – 3 times more likely to suffer from depression than those without diabetes. While in recent years there has been a shift in recognizing the problems of mental health in this country, there is still a lot of work to do. Your company can be a leader in this area by assisting your employees—even those with diabetes—gain access to mental health services. This Corporate Wellness Magazine article breaks down mental health as part of a corporate wellness program.
It’s crucial that employers offer benefits for all their employees. By doing so, you’re investing in their wellbeing, helping them not just in their professional life, but their personal life as well.