Healthy workforce initiatives provide businesses with benefits such as increased staff productivity through to reduction of workplace absences related to poor health

It is now widely known amongst many businesses that having a healthy workforce increases productivity, efficiency, morale and has an overall positive impact on an organisation’s culture. Healthy employees are more likely to remain loyal and are less likely to need time off.

The recent government Thriving At Work report stated that the cost of employers failing to address the issue of mental health at work is costing the UK between £33bn and £42bn a year. In response to such trends, there is now a greater focus on businesses to design corporate wellness programmes to build more productive work cultures which support employee wellness initiatives.

Such initiatives are helping to reduce work-related stress and encouraging employees to take a more proactive part in their health and well being.

Research published by EHS Today highlighted how integrating worker wellness into a company’s core values is becoming just as essential as workplace safety.

Employers are increasingly having to offer attractive benefit packages in order to attract and retain their top talent. A Glassdoor survey found that 4 in 5 workers want benefits more than a pay rise. It is no coincidence that companies are now offering employee incentives and benefits like free meals, gyms, cinemas and even haircuts in the office to improve workplace wellness.

By promoting good health in the workplace and creating a positive environment for workers, employers can reduce employee turnover and recruitment costs. There are some simple practical steps employers can take to have an effective, healthy and more productive workforce:

1. Flexibility: Having flexible working patterns can ensure the workforce are more productive and are less likely to feel stressed and tired. Statistics have shown that people who work from home on occasion are more positive, and are more likely to not take time off.

2. Promoting healthy activities: Encourage healthy habits and behaviours. For example, providing the workforce with information about healthy and nutritionally balanced food can help prevent illness. Steps like providing a fridge for staff to bring in healthy lunches, introducing weekly fruit deliveries and promoting activity with lunchtime yoga sessions and company bike schemes.

3. Health checks: Promoting routine medical care is a good way to keep a workforce healthy. Educating employees on the importance of routine visits to their primary care provider and not just when they are sick. Employers can help staff to act to prevent the spread of germs by having a flu clinic at the workplace.

4. Staff incentives: Wellness incentives encourage employees to take better care of their health, increase motivation, productivity and morale. Examples of staff benefits are: healthcare plans, discount gym memberships, dental insurance and vision insurance.

5. Review your management style: An absent manager can negatively impact employee wellbeing, leading to feelings of disengagement. Being present encourages engagement amongst employees and getting involved in your teams working lives will result in happier employees. Younger employees like to feel part of a team and that their ideas and opinions are being listened to by senior people.

By encouraging and promoting a healthy & happy workforce, you can improve:

  • Productivity
  • Staff morale
  • Employee engagement
  • Business performance
  • This will then enable employers to reduce:
  • Sick pay costs
  • Accidents and work-related ill health
  • Overworked employees

By adopting steps such as the above, you can create a healthy workforce that is motivated, happy and committed to doing their best.

About Cohort Software

For 37 years, Cohort Software has continually innovated to become the market leading provider of occupational health software solutions. On average, customers achieve a 50% efficiency saving using the Cohort system to streamline their departmental occupational health processes through powerful workflow automation, which enables users to focus on more value-added business tasks in their daily schedules.

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