Link between worker health/wellbeing and productivity

Photo by Alex E. Proimos via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

Photo by Alex E. Proimos via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

According to the latest ‘Health, Wellbeing and Productivity’ survey by Towers Watson, only a minority of employers understand the link between worker health and productivity.

The survey revealed that although 69% of respondents claimed that they are planning to develop their health and wellbeing strategies over the next two years, only 11% see productivity as a priority for this development. In addition, 66% of employers see linking health to employee performance as a relatively limited part of their health and wellbeing programme.

This raises the question why organisations are focusing on employee health and wellbeing at all. There has been a surge in interest over recent years in the notion of keeping employees healthy. But perhaps, for many, employee health and wellbeing is viewed as being ‘of the moment’; as something organisations should be seen to be focusing on as part of being a responsible employer?

Focusing on health and wellbeing in the workplace can achieve a number of objectives:

  • The reduction or possible removal of health risks in the workplace.
  • Advice for staff who are suffering from health conditions and a focus on early detection of health issues.
  • Guidance on lifestyle and wellbeing choices, which can motivate staff to keep themselves healthy.

Increasingly, it is being recognised that good health is good for business and that a healthy workforce is a productive one. Good workplace wellness programmes have been shown to offer a number of benefits, including:

  • reduction in rates of sickness absence;
  • reduced medical costs;
  • productivity improvements;
  • happier, healthier and more loyal employees;
  • lower disease prevalence rates.

Staff are an organisation’s key asset and are essential to generating improvements in productivity, profitability, sales, growth and operational performance. Organisations carry out regular maintenance on their tools or machinery in the knowledge that work could not continue if their equipment malfunctions. So, surely an organisation’s human assets warrant the same (if not better) focus? This is where the Health for Work Adviceline comes in. Simply call Freephone 0800 0 77 88 44 to get advice on keeping your employees healthy, or supporting them should illness occur.

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