Encouraging Routine Physical Exams for Prevention and Improved Worker Safety
Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of physical exams and some effective ways to promote them in the workplace.
- By Mia Barnes
- Oct 19, 2023
Physical exams are small but essential components of maintaining a robust workforce. Businesses should strongly encourage routine physicals so their employees can stay healthy, happy and productive. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of physical exams and some effective ways to promote them in the workplace.
The Importance of Physical Exams
Physical exams are crucial because they’re one of the few times people meet with their primary health care providers throughout the year. Patients and physicians must build trust in one another to ensure safe and effective treatment. Face-to-face interaction is the most straightforward and effective way to strengthen the patient/provider relationship.
Heightened awareness is the second reason why businesses should encourage physical exams. Annual check-ups have proven to increase employer and employee awareness of existing or potential health issues, thereby preventing harmful actions within the organization. Physical exams give people the knowledge to make informed decisions about their health.
Providers will typically use physical exams to accomplish the following:
- Review the patient’s family health history
- Ask questions about the patient’s diet and lifestyle
- Record major life updates to evaluate mental health
- Perform a head-to-toe examination
- Establish vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure
- Order routine lab work to test for illnesses
Physical exams can also be great team-building exercises that boost workplace morale. Scheduling exams as company activities rather than individual assignments encourages employees to look after themselves and each other. Over time, physical exams can play a role in fostering a supportive and productive work environment.
5 Strategies to Promote Physical Exams
Although physical exams are critical for workplace health and well-being, costs and time constraints may prevent businesses from regularly scheduling them. Additionally, some workers might not understand or appreciate the necessity of regular visits with their healthcare providers. Here are five effective strategies to promote physical exams, get full buy-in from employees and ensure everyone receives the care they need.
1. Incentivize Routine Check-ups
The simplest way to encourage employees to get their physical exams is by offering old-fashioned incentives. Companies can provide monetary bonuses, additional vacation days, referral bonuses or career development opportunities to workers who complete their annual exams within a certain timeframe.
Unique incentives such as gift cards or discount codes for online shopping can also be highly persuasive. If an employee has a favorite restaurant, get them to schedule a physical exam just by offering to pay for their next meal.
2. Provide Educational Resources
Giving employees access to educational resources will help them become more knowledgeable about their health and take physical exams more seriously. For example, teach them that infectious diseases are the second-leading cause of death in the United States and provide explicit instructions on how to avoid catching them.
It’s also important to help employees find health care provider directories, health insurance information and other materials that will be useful when scheduling their physical exams. The more they learn about the healthcare system, the better.
3. Improve Internal Communication
Companies must also do a better job with internal communication. Use all available channels — email, text, social media, group messaging, video conferencing — to keep people in the loop about their physical exam schedules. Send them frequent reminders and confirm their appointment dates to ensure everyone gets at least one annual check-up.
Or even plan a message for Annual Medical Check-Up Day on August 11 every year to emphasize the importance of routine exams. Use other special occasions such as holidays and anniversaries as well.
4. Be Flexible with PTO
Some employees might request paid time off to complete their physical exams, which shouldn’t be necessary. Businesses should be flexible with their PTO policies to accommodate these workers. Let them go to the doctor’s office on company time and get the care they need. This friendly gesture is another effective incentive for workers to take the exam.
5. Offer Telehealth Options
Companies should offer virtual physical exams for hybrid employees or high-risk individuals who don’t want to get exposed to contagious viruses like COVID-19. Although physical exams are typically more thorough and effective in person, virtual exams are still viable options thanks to the development of video conferencing and virtual reality technology.
Worker Health is Priority One
Worker health should always be the top priority for businesses, regardless of their size or industry. Physical exams are simple ways for employers to monitor the health of their entire workforce and prevent emergencies from occurring on the job. These engagement tips will ensure every employee completes an annual check-up.