UK Employers get serious about employee well being
David Woods, November 23, 2009
Employers are becoming more proactive at dealing with workplace health and well being, according to research from Buck Consultants.
The human resources consulting firm found 50% of UK firms currently have a well being programme and, of this, 97% claim they do this to improve employee productivity and reduce presenteeism. And 30% have measured a major or fairly major impact on the productivity of their staff since implementing a scheme.
The number compares to a 46% global average of firms with a wellbeing strategy and respondents expect this number to increase by 100% over the next three to four years.
These include technology-driven tools such as online healthy lifestyle programmes, personal health records, caregiver support, personal health coaching, healthy vending machine food choices.
Adrian Norris, managing director of the health and productivity practice at Buck Consultants, said: "Improving the health and wellbeing of employees is not only one part of a company's duty of care, it can be a cost effective way to improve their productivity and help retain top talent.
"Historically, companies have incentivised staff financially, but particularly in the wake of the credit crunch, finding a means to motivate your workforce, improve their wellbeing and thus their efficiency by other means can make a big difference to the financial health of the business."
Although 30% of respondents in the UK said they currently had no formal wellbeing policy, they offer wellbeing intitiatives in their business such as discounted gym membership and the ability to earn extra holiday allowance.