Health of the employee needs to be the biggest consideration of a company.
We live in competitive times and often in a bid to chase deals, finish projects we accumulate a lot of stress. This stress then often manifests itself in the form of heart attacks, obesity, increased blood pressure and many other ailments.
In my opinion, companies pay only a lip service to health of the employees. A healthy employee is an asset while an unhealthy one can become a liability. I have seen a lot of people work under huge pressure which only increased their stress and health trouble.
http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/documents/research/the%20business%20case%20for%20employee%20health%20and%20wellbeing%20feb%202010.pdf outlines that billions (yes with a B) of pounds are lost because of unhealthy workforce.
An unhealthy worker may develop extreme problems right at the critical juncture and thus put the whole project in jeopardy. In places that are machinery intensive, a worker may cause or suffer an accident that is both dangerous to the unit or himself. An unhealthy worker may not be able to take up additional work because of sickness.
There are plenty of ways in which companies can reduce such stress (from my own experience)
Allow employees to choose their own plan
A few employees would be happier to work if they are allowed to set their own work plan schedules. Opposed to “common wisdom”, not everyone likes to fit in a 9 to 5 job. Allow such flexibility wherever possible.
More planning, lesser execution
A business that plans better has lesser trouble in execution. Good planning and incorporating learning from previous projects will make projects better planned, executed and with lesser problems. Lesser problems mean lower stress level of people working for the project.
Not expecting superhuman results
Your business results are a function of health of your business employees. Expecting unrealistic results often lead to higher stress level and propensity to fall ill.
Focussed work and less distraction
Putting a capable employee in all kind of work because he or she performs well, is almost like making him or her incapable of doing anything. It is a well-known fact that human minds works best when un–distracted. It is unproductive to fit too many activities in one person’s schedule and puts him under a lot of stress
More connected => lesser time to cool off
A person is connected all throughout the day with his office. Cell phones, VPN, internet keep the employee on the hook all the time. It is important to allow employee to disconnect and give his mind and body some rest.
Force employees to take vacations
I read somewhere that employees do complete vacations because of various reasons (such as missing out on important decision, passed over for promotion and others). In my opinion, employees should be encouraged to plan and take as many vacations as possible. While he is on vacation companies need to avoid doing things which may force people to abandon vacation plans.
Teach them to delegate
Delegation is not an easy thing but if done well can work wonders for your workforce. Trainings on how to delegate work can be of immense help here.
A healthy workforce is must for higher productivity and better customer relationship.