Although many employers are aware of the benefits to be gained from supporting the development of a healthier workforce, a new report from the UK reveals that there is a significant gap when it comes to implementing the policies which can drive those improvements.
The report also revealed some alarming statistics about today’s modern workforce. It showed that:
- Fewer than two-fifths of organisation monitor the cost of employee absence
- 61% of employers are more reactive than proactive in their approach to well-being
- 38% of employees are under pressure at work at least once a week
- 43% of employees agree that long hours is the norm
From these statistics, it becomes clear that organisations need to take better care of their employees and recognise the influence work can have on the employees physical and mental health, as well as their ability to perform well at work.
What is a healthy workplace?
The World Health Organisation defines a healthy workplace as one where employees and managers collaborate to protect the safety, health, and well-being of all employees in the workplace.
How to develop a wellbeing program?
A recent Forbes magazine article by Holly Lebowitz described five key characteristics of a fantastic wellbeing program:
- Programs offer a wide variety of resources aimed at improving employee health and wellbeing. This might include yoga classes and stress management seminars
- A health-conscious work environment that offers a wide variety of healthy meal options.
- Wellness starts at the top. This means that leadership teams need to integrate wellbeing into the company’s structure
- Linkages between a company’s wellness program and other employee assistance programs are key to making it easer for employees to get support when they are in a difficult emotional or physical situation.
- Health screenings and education are offered to all employers.
One of the most important factors to remember is that a wellbeing program must be accessible and relevant to an organisations workforce. In addition, wellbeing programs are most effective when they are monitored and constantly improved to match employee needs.