If your business doesn’t use health screening as a regular part of the employee screening process, you may be wondering what the benefits of such a program are. On the surface, employee screening may simply seem like an easy way to zero in on only those candidates who are drug-free. And while that is a definite benefit of health screening, there are many more. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employee health is directly related to rates of absenteeism, morale, and productivity.
Here are three reasons why your business should consider implementing employee health screening during the hiring process:
1. Absenteeism affects the bottom line
In any industry, the employees of a company are the most important asset. Without them, very little would be possible. Because of this, high rates of absenteeism can have a major impact on the company’s bottom line. Bruce Japsen, writing for Forbes Magazine, reported on one study which showed that businesses in the U.S. lose an average of $227 billion a year due to employee illnesses. That represents 39 percent of all economic losses due to poor health. While not all health problems are associated with drug use, you’ll want to avoid candidates with ongoing substance abuse issues. Screening for substance abuse-related health conditions could help your business avoid these problems.
2. Healthy employees are happier
There’s no doubt that when you’re sick, your mood declines significantly. And when you’re emotionally and physically spent, it becomes much harder to do a good job at work. It’s much easier to get distracted and, at times, downright impossible to focus on the task at hand. But you don’t have to be sick to feel these negative effects of poor health. Your general health can also have an impact on your disposition. When substance abuse is added to the mix, things can take a downward turn quickly. Researchers at Yale University reported that mental and physical health are very much intertwined. When someone feels unhealthy, it becomes much easier for their mood to take a downward swing. On the other hand, healthy people tend to be happier, and thus, more productive.
3. Reduce employee turnover
Employee turnover is very costly to businesses. It can cost between six and nine months of an employee’s salary to find a replacement, according to ZaneBenefits. That’s money that could be better spent on growing the business. In addition to the real monetary cost of turnover, the entire process also takes up valuable time which managers could spend on important administrative tasks. Health screening can lower turnover rates by weeding out candidates with habits that are known to lead to problems down the line, such as alcohol abuse and drug use. By eliminating these applicants from the candidate pool, employers can focus their hiring efforts on employees better suited to the position. This shortens the process and makes it less likely to need to start everything over again in a few months.
Health and drug screening are often overlooked, but they can have a significant impact on the company’s bottom line. It’s a step that shouldn’t be ignored.