Diabetes in the workplace is becoming increasingly important as more adults are diagnosed with the disease. The National Diabetes Statistics Report, a regular publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that approximately 23.1 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2015. It also states in the report that diabetes can have a psychological impact on the workplace.
Effects of Diabetes in the Workplace:
The financial impact includes the cost of replacing workers and the administrative costs of managing absenteeism. Other costs and indirect impacts of absenteeism include the provision of poor quality goods and services due to fatigue or lack of human resources, reduced productivity, too much time to find a replacement and a lack of motivation.
As an employer, it is a fundamental step to help diabetics control their diabetes, as it gives the message that your company supports and cares for its employees.
What You Can Do to Help Employees With Diabetes:
1. Introduction of diabetes self-management programs-
Work closely with your insurer and make sure that people with diabetes who participate in self-management diabetes programs receive incentives to manage their condition.
2. Encourage the selection of healthy foods and lifestyle-
Introduce a diabetes-based nutrition program with cooking classes and workshops to read food labels. This helps employees with diabetes learn about the right nutrition plan to fight the disease. In addition, introduce a wellness program specifically designed to encourage diabetics to exercise regularly, such as walking and jogging.
3. Allow blood glucose testing and insulin delivery-
You may want to provide a specific area in the workplace where diabetics can control their blood sugar levels and administer insulin. In addition, consider providing storage for insulin care to employees.
4. Inform your staff about diabetes awareness-
Inform diabetic employees about the risks of diabetes and how to treat them using a health program that includes relevant resources that employees can download. Consider sending out weekly e-mails containing information on diabetes and prevention and have fun by giving employees the opportunity to participate in a questionnaire and win a prize.
It is important for an employer to provide ongoing support to its employees with diabetes in the workplace, for example with blood sugar control and healthy foods. By informing them about diabetes management and describing the benefits of their health plan, the employer can help them deal with their problem. In the long run, the extra effort and time provided to these employees will improve the quality of life and reduce the cost of medical care.
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