Wellbeing trend looks healthy

This article is brought to you by our sponsor HSA simplyhealth Group.

Wellbeing may be the word on everyone’s lips. Perhaps you prefer to refer to it as ‘wellness’ or a ‘holistic approach to healthcare’, either way the term can be difficult to define.

In many languages there is not even a direct translation, yet here in the UK the phenomenon seems to be taking over the nation, and our workforce appears to be in the grips of wellbeing fever. So what does workplace wellbeing really mean, and how can companies introduce effective strategies aimed at promoting it?

Traditionally, wellbeing has been synonymous with health, and indeed, especially preventative health is an essential element. In today’s modern working climate, issues such as stress, sickness absence, an ageing workforce and duty-of-care responsibilities are key concerns for all employers. So it is hardly surprising we are embracing the healthy elements of wellbeing, especially as it appears that the onus is on the employer to help keep the workforce healthy.

Indeed, results from HSA’s latest Annual market survey have found that 40% of companies believe that the health of the UK workforce is set to deteriorate. And, with 82% of firms citing that the NHS is not operating in a way to adequately help them manage sickness absence and 80% of companies predicting that the government will continue to increase duty-of-care responsibilities going forward, it is apparent that health is going to be a key factor in the workplace both now and in the future.

Yet, although health appears to be key, wellbeing also takes into account a number of other factors such as work-life balance, stress, spiritual and emotional elements. Essentially, we are talking about happiness and health, both of which can be difficult to influence and evaluate. In order to do so, it is important that any efforts are visible, communicated well, and also valued by staff. If staff are unaware that benefits are available, nor understand how they can take advantage of them, they are essentially worthless, and will not have the desired effects.

On top of this, benefits need to be varied in order that they influence the entire workforce irrelevant of the individual and working environment. For example, everyday health benefits that staff will regularly use and value can help with physical wellbeing, and an employee assistance programme is aimed at helping with emotional wellness.

At Simplyhealth Group, for example, (of which HSA is a part) we adopt a holistic approach towards the wellbeing of our staff, taking equally into account their mind, body and soul. We believe that by truly integrating wellbeing practices into corporate strategy, we can help to produce a happy and healthy workforce. This is brought about by healthy-eating initiatives and a full wellbeing programme including company-funded healthcare benefits for all staff. We also recognise that what happens to our employees away from work can directly influence and impact within them work. Therefore, it makes commercial sense to help facilitate our employees to balance the challenge of work and home. On top of this, our people are encouraged to be individuals, and to bring a healthy dose of personality into the mix.

And, like at Simplyhealth Group, wellbeing needs to be part of a long-term strategy, not a flash in the pan response to the latest workplace trend.

The views and opinions in this article are those of our sponsor,HSA†simplyhealth Group, and do not necessarily reflect those of www.employeebenefits.co.uk.

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