Ergo Budget Reality Check (How To Do More With Less!)

Businessman with scissors

Most of us have gotten used to the current reality of trimming our personal budgets and dealing with the economic upshot of self imposed austerity. On a personal level we can all appreciate (even if we are not happy about it!) that we must adjust our wants & desires to match fiscal reality or run the risk of being in the red and feeling a little blue!

But how do organizations, and more specifically, those responsible for the health and well being of their members, deal with a similar reality of “belt tightening” and getting the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to ergonomic and wellness initiatives?

At PBE we hear it regularly and it sounds like this: “ We’ve been told to do more with less” or “the budget is being cut, so what can we do to be more proactive?”

Let’s start with “doing more with less.” When I was managing in food service many years ago, I remember my district manager telling me that we “need to increase revenue and cut down on labor”. I knew that was code for “you need to work harder and put in more hours!” So is it possible to do more with less? How can you allocate your resources more effectively during these challenging economic times? So, how are you going to take care of your people?

Stretching the dollar

Here are some steps to help target your resources during a tight budget:

1)     Query your staff and determine which folks are feeling true discomfort and which folks are determined to get that new mouse they always wanted! Establishing the priority of fending off potential injuries with ergonomic training and evaluations trumps equipment desires at this juncture!

2)     Implement a recycling program!  Before procuring new equipment, make sure to see what you already have under your roof that someone either has abandoned or is not using.

3)     Provide ergonomic content and education in various forms. Different people learn in different ways. Don’t assume that everyone will raise their hand and ask for help. Some will respond to ergo guidelines on your intranet page, while others will flourish in a classroom environment. The goal here is to get the information to the end users and encourage them to help themselves!

With regard to being proactive, try the following simple steps:

1)     Institute fun types of wellness initiatives like a walking program or company weight loss program and offer gifts and other incentives to help motivate your staff! Remember, studies show that for every one dollar invested in wellness you get a three dollar return on investment!

2)     Support both individual and group stretch programs to help prepare for and combat the rigors of repetitive work. A healthy and conditioned body is less susceptible to fatigue and injury than an out-of-shape one!

We would love to hear from you and what steps you have taken to keep your staffs happy and healthy during these demanding times.

Andrew B.,

PBE Co-Founder

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