Why invest in an Employee health program

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At Ciall health we understand that a healthier workforce is paramount to the success of a company. Studies have shown many benefits including reduced absenteeism, more engaged and greater staff morale. Plus, a healthy workforce is more likely to attract and retain key staff.

Why engage in an employee healthy eating program?

  1. Workplace nutrition importance
  • For fulltime employees approx. 60% of their total daily intake in a working day could be consumed at work. Therefore, workplace nutrition has the potential to significantly impact their health.
  1. Education
  • Educating employees on a regular eating pattern and a healthy diet for employees, can improve overall wellness, drive productivity, and reduce sickness related absenteeism.
  1. Absence and Productivity
  • In the UK, up to 10% of absence and productivity loss are potentially due to lifestyle behaviours and obesity.
  • The costs of absenteeism and productivity loss are likely to be offset by the costs of implementing healthy programs. In an organisation employing 1000 people, this could translate to a loss of more than £126,000 a year in lost productivity1

4. Employee Health

  • A healthy diet and adequate physical exercise can have a positive impact on an employee’s health. Evidence suggests that there is a bi-directional association between depression and obesity2. A modest weight loss of 5% can help an employee attain health and emotional benefits3.
  • Obese employees take an average of four extra days sick per year, this can translate to a significant cost for an organisation4.
  • Long (>8 hours per day), regular overtime or irregular hours were found in one office-based study to increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes5.

In 2016, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight and 13% were obese. The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016. Obesity is preventable. A high BMI is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers – WHO 2020.

Investing in your employees brings benefits, making health and wellbeing part of your company’s overall package is common sense. By supporting a healthy approach for employees at work you are investing in your company’s future.

What are the benefits to Employers?

Employees spend the majority of their time in the workplace and linking the wellness goals with work life balance is a mission vital to driving overall business outcomes. (The majority of us will spend over a third of our adult life at work!)

Employers are now recognising that creating a healthy workplace has lots of benefits economically for a business.

According to WHO: The workplace directly influences the physical, mental, economic and social well-being of workers and, in turn, the health of their families, communities and society

  1. Reduces costs

Having healthy employees has clear financial benefits. An employee health programme or a wellness programme helps employees to adopt behaviours that improve their health creating a happier healthier workforce.

Organisations with focussed health programmes experience reduced absenteeism for several reasons.

  • Employees with good physical health have lower levels of absenteeism
  • Employees who can manage their stress have lower levels of absenteeism
  • Employees who are not overweight or obese have less chance of falling sick hence, leading to a lower level of absenteeism

Studies show businesses lose 11 million workdays due to it each year, costing the Irish economy €1.5 billion6. The effects of absenteeism in the workplace include: Direct financial consequences on profitability.

  1. Increases productivity

There are lots of reasons for inactivity. But one of the main reasons is poor health, this could be down to poor lifestyle choices, low morale and not feeling valued as an employee.

Healthy employees can physically perform better because they have more energy. They are also more efficient and more focused.

Employee health programmes can help employees improve their lifestyle choices and educate them about nutrition and what you put in your body can help with energy levels and motivation.

  1. Better staff retention

When an organisation invests in a wellness programme for employees, it shows that they care about their most valuable asset, their workforce.

74% of employees stated that knowing their employer is committed to wellbeing would make them more motivated at work7.

A study in the UK by Westfield Health said that businesses that invested in corporate wellbeing programmes are 4 times more likely to retain employees than those who don’t8.

  1. Prevents burn out among employees

An effective corporate wellbeing programme can help to educate employees around stress management and give them practical tools to help manage stress levels. It will enable them to find coping mechanisms that enhance their lives, rather than turning to alcohol or other stimulants as a support.

  1. Brings team together and boosts morale

Teams that engage in wellness initiatives together outside and inside work have a shared purpose which builds camaraderie and builds team spirit.

  1. Improves employee’s nutritional intake

Corporate wellbeing programme will educate your staff on the importance of nutrition to your health.

For fulltime employees 60% of their daily intake can be consumed at work, workplace nutrition has the potential to significantly impact their health

References:

  1. Long Term Conditions Compendium of Information: Third Edition, Department of Health 2012
  2. Gatineau M, Dent M (2011) Obesity and Mental Health. Oxford: National Obesity Observatory.
  3. Workplace policy and management practices to improve the health and wellbeing of employees, NICE 2015 
  4. Blackburn G (1995) Effect of degree of weight loss in health benefits. Obesity Research 3: 211S-216S.
  5. Nakanishi N, Nishina K, Yoshida H et al (2001) Hours of work and the risk of developing impaired glucose or type 2 diabetes mellitus in Japanese male office workers. Occup Environ Med; 58(9):569-74.
  6. Absenteeism in the workplace 
  7. Why invest in employee wellbeing 
  8. Most Important Reasons to offer employee wellbeing at work 
  9. Occupational health : Workplace health promotion