by Matt Alderton | April 08, 2019
If you want to have productive employees -- and what manager doesn't? -- you'll need to start by cultivating healthy employees.

So argues author Marcel Schwantes in an article for, in which he sings the praises of a "human" workplace wherein employees succeed based on the quality of their relationships.

"As human beings, we are wired to connect and build relationships … Companies that recognize this will retain the most productive, creative and loyal employees, and invariably seize the competitive edge," Schwantes says. "To that end, I'm convinced that a human workplace cannot happen without employee well-being at work."

Research suggests he's right: A study published in the Harvard Business Review, for example, found that organizations with highly-effective wellness programs have a turnover rate of just 9 percent, compared to 15 percent at organizations with ineffective wellness programs.

But what can you, the boss, do to make your employees healthier? As it turns out, a lot. Consider, for instance, your company's culture around email, suggests Schwantes, who cites as an example the practices of Vynamic, a health-care consulting company who has what it calls a "zzzMail" policy.

"To help with fostering more work-life balance, employees are asked to refrain from sending emails to other employees between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, and all Vynamic holidays. When something urgent comes up, a text or call is preferred over email," explains Schwantes, who says the company's policy is grounded in studies that "clearly show the adverse effects of constantly being connected and not allowing your body to recover from the activities of the day."

It's just one idea. Given the amount of time that employees devote to email, however, it could make a huge difference in their quality of life -- and in their overall productivity.

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