Wellbeing at work – why firms should take care of their people

Posted in by Echelon Health

Do businesses save money by doing the bare minimum for their employees? Some firms might take this approach, but what they gain by paying lower wages and not caring for their employees, they can easily lose due to high turnover rates and lower productivity through reduced motivation.

A survey from Qualtrics revealed that 17% of employers intended to leave their current employer in the next two years. Some important factors in employee engagement included work-life balance, career development opportunities, and stress levels. By helping to address these areas and taking care of employee’s wellbeing at work, companies can in turn help employees to be more productive and engaged.

Occupational Health 2020 - corporate health assessments London - Echelon Health
A Health Assessment is a fantastic way to show your employees you care about their wellbeing at work.

According to the Rewards and Employee Benefits Association, 45.2% of businesses now have an employee wellbeing strategy. In this post we’ll cover why employee wellbeing at work is beneficial for firms and how it is achievable through adopting wellbeing initiatives.

The link between wellbeing at work and engagement

Research has shown that there is a strong link between the wellbeing of employees and their engagement at work. The BMG Research Employee Panel found that levels of engagement increased by 31% among staff who believed that their employer cared about their wellbeing. When employees are not engaged at work, they are less likely to be productive and even more likely to leave and find a job elsewhere. To successfully engage employees, firms need to have a strategy to do so. Wellbeing should be the aim of any strategy to engage employees at all levels.

More than half of respondents to the 2019 CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work survey said that better morale and engagement was a result of their corporation’s efforts to improve their wellbeing over the 12 months prior. When employees receive health and wellbeing benefits, they often feel more satisfied at work and are more productive. Productivity is important to keep an eye on. A study by Deloitte found that businesses in the UK could lose up to £42 billion a year due to a loss of productivity.

Engagement and wellbeing are also connected in another way. Estimates suggest that employees who are not engaged at work take 2.3 times more sick days than those who are, and cost organisations in the UK billions of pounds each year.

What are the benefits of wellbeing at work initiatives?

  • Supporting the health of employees helps to improve engagement levels, productivity, and decrease employee turnover, saving the company a lot of money.
  • Reducing absenteeism due to illness and injury, and thus saving time and money.
  • Company spending rises faster in companies that don’t have a wellbeing strategy compared to those that do, according to The Rewards and Employee Benefits Association.
  • Many components of a wellbeing strategy, such as preventative Health Assessments, are tax-deductible expenses.
  • If employees are less worried about their physical health, their mental health will likely improve and in turn this will boost engagement.
  • Health Assessments detect health problems before they develop into more serious issues. This reduces the risk of unexpected ill health and absences in the future.
  • Fostering a positive and healthy workplace culture.
  • Helping to recruit and retain quality talent.
Wellbeing at work 2020 - Echelon Health
Wellbeing at work initiatives can reduce employee stress and help to foster a positive work culture.

Wellbeing at work initiatives

  • Private insurance and medical cover
  • Free or subsidised gym membership or even a company gym
  • Full medical check up
  • Counselling and other mental health services
  • Financial wellness programmes, which can help to reduce money-related stressors
  • Workplace nutrition counselling to help employees improve their dietary choices
  • Other health and wellness advice, assisting employees with making lifestyle changes

Firms use a variety of initiatives such as those listed above. In recent months more focus has been placed on the issue of poor underlying physical health in our population, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. An increasingly popular initiative is therefore full medical check ups. These offer a complete overview of an individuals’ health and fitness, will flag up any health issues and either provide constructive lifestyle advice or refer the individual to a specialist for further treatment. The principle here is that prevention is better than cure, and that early detection of disease saves lives. This is because, when disease is caught early, it is often far easier to treat.

Full medical check ups are ideal to provide to executives and senior employees. Typically, your employees will be asymptomatic and reasonably healthy. Therefore, the majority of the time these health assessments are beneficial for reducing health anxiety and improving mental wellbeing. However, if something concerning is flagged up during the check up, the client can consider themselves fortunate it has been detected early before it had chance to progress. A full medical check up will reduce the likelihood of unexpected sickness and absence in the future and demonstrate that the business cares about its employees’ wellbeing.

What is involved in a Full Medical Check-Up?

The full medical check-ups offered by Echelon Health are the most comprehensive available in London and indeed probably the world. Involved is a detailed medical history, ECG, blood tests and scanning techniques that, used in conjunction, cover most of the body and will detect up to 92% of disease that leads to premature death; 96% in women.

CT scanner - Executive Health 2020 - Echelon Health
The Aquillon One CT scanner had a spatial resolution of 0.3mm and is an important component of an Echelon Health Assessment.

Corporate yoga classes and gym memberships are great, but a full medical check up offers something far more valuable, an in-depth investigation into employees’ health that they cant experience anywhere else. Whilst the NHS are wonderful, they usually investigate once a patient is symptomatic, at which point the disease has almost always progressed. A full medical check up will detect any abnormality early and nip it in the bud. Our medical imaging machines are state of the art, extremely safe and very powerful. For example, we have access to a 3 Tesla MRI, whereas those the NHS generally operates are 1.5 Tesla.

It is clear there are many benefits to wellbeing at work initiatives; increased engagement and productivity, fewer absences, better workplace culture and, in the long run, saving money.

There are many types of benefits a corporation may offer their employees. If you would like to view Echelon Health’s corporate services, click here.

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Engage employee – UK workers lag behind the world for employee engagement according to new research

REBA – employee wellbeing research 2017

BMG – evidence points to Wellbeing Strategies providing tangible benefits for staff and businesses

CIPD – Health and Wellbeing at work

Monitor Deloitte – Mental health and employers: the case for investment