With each passing day, more and more HR executives are realizing that they need a more complete approach to corporate health and wellness. While it’s important to make sure employees eat well and exercise often, it’s equally vital to focus on sleep, which has become the “third pillar” of employee wellness.
Employees who are well rested are refreshed, energetic and ready to tackle their work each day with renewed enthusiasm. Those who are sleep-deficient present difficulties – they’re sluggish, they’re cranky and they often bring bad habits that can spread to the rest of the workforce. It’s therefore clear that companies should have a vested interest in employee sleep health.
So what should organizations do? For one thing, it’s time to stop hitting the snooze button. The same way we all hit “snooze” on our alarm clocks every morning because we’re procrastinating about waking up, corporate HR offices tend to be equally hesitant about taking action where sleep health is concerned. At Pakistan, our stance is clear – no more. In “Stop Hitting “Snooze” on Sleep Deficiency” we present the case for stepping up and doing something about sleep health now.
For some guidance on what, specifically, HR offices can do about the sleep health of their employees, read on and discover four worthwhile strategies.
Educating the workforce
First and foremost, employees need to be more aware of the importance of good sleep health. It’s an issue that many people neglect on a daily basis – everyone knows that eating right is important, but who ever thinks about sleep? It’s incumbent upon organizational leaders to educate the workforce, providing useful materials for teaching and learning.
Providing worthwhile programs
HR can make a real, tangible difference by implementing programs that will help employees with sleep health. For example, you can modify the layout of the office and provide “nap rooms” where people can catch up on sleep. Alternatively, you can coach employees on how to manage workload and work-life balance, which should help them sleep better once they leave the office.
Offering services through an EAP
Of course, the best way to help employees overcome their issues with sleep health is to coach them directly through the use of an employee assistance program. EAPs can give people all the resources they need – whether it’s online tools for self-help, referrals to coaches or counselors, or even support and treatment for substance abuse, should that be necessary.
Revisiting the shift schedule
Is your place of business dependent upon an hourly schedule, with part-time workers picking up shifts here and there? If so, you’ll need to think carefully about your scheduling strategies. If people’s hours are being yanked back and forth all the time, it can be difficult for them to maintain a steady sleep schedule. Paying closer attention to this issue might be worthwhile.