Protecting Your Employees from the Flu Is Good for Business

Did you know someone can have the flu virus without showing any symptoms? That means employees can pass the virus on to other employees before they even know they’re sick. For U.S. companies, that can have a big impact. Every year, the flu costs businesses:

  • $10.4 billion for hospitalization costs and outpatient visits
  • 200 million days of lost productivity
  • 75 million days of work absence

The flu shot is the most effective way of preventing the flu. Employees remain productive and your business can save on health care costs. However, less than half of Americans get vaccinated against the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, society’s misconceptions about the flu vaccine may be keeping your employees from getting their flu shots.

But this flu season, you can take steps to keep the flu from affecting your business through education and planning. Promote the importance and effectiveness of the flu shot throughout your workplace and encourage your employees to get their flu shot. It’s available at no cost to most Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and all Blue Care Network members.

We put together a toolkit of materials to help you promote the flu shot. It includes everything you need to educate your employees about the importance of getting a flu shot as well as how they can get one. Find them under the Blue Cross Health & Wellness button at bcbsm.com/engage.

Then, during this flu season, use the following to-do list:

  • During open enrollment and new employee orientations, hand out our FAQ that discusses common concerns about the flu shot and answers questions about flu shot benefits.
  • Place posters in high-traffic employee areas such as restrooms, elevators and break rooms, as well as your human resources office.
  • Remind employees about their flu shot benefits in your organization’s newsletters, office memos and other internal communications.
  • Print or electronically share fliers to encourage healthy practices that can prevent the flu from spreading.
  • Encourage your employees to visit bcbsm.com/preventflu for more information.

Other ways you can protect your employees from getting sick is to:

  • Encourage frequent hand washing.
  • Place hand sanitizer throughout your buildings in high-traffic areas to stop the spread of germs on doors, keyboards, printers and phones.
  • Tell your employees to stay home if they’re sick. Keeping employees home when they have the flu is a foolproof way to keep the virus from spreading around the office.

By providing your employees these facts about flu shots, you can keep your workforce healthy — and productive — this flu season.

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