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Are health and wellbeing solutions worth investing in? Susan Gee Manager of Occupational Health Yorkshire Water.

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Presentation on theme: "Are health and wellbeing solutions worth investing in? Susan Gee Manager of Occupational Health Yorkshire Water."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are health and wellbeing solutions worth investing in? Susan Gee Manager of Occupational Health Yorkshire Water

2 Wellbeing is important “The wealth of business depends on the health of workers”

3 Are health and wellbeing solutions worth investing in? Yes because: Ethically it is the right thing to do because it demonstrates corporate social responsibility, supports IR Legal requirement - Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 being the minimum standard - protects business reputation Economically research supports that companies who promote and protect the worker health are more successful and enjoy better rates of employer retention - protecting your investment

4 The nature of illness is changing The UK workforce of the future will be older and sicker  CBI estimates that sickness absence costs the UK economy £14 billon per annum  Cancer, CHD, stroke and diabetes is set to increase mainly due to the rise in obesity; lifestyle choice will affect health  MSD’s will increase by ageing alone, research firmly links mental health to MSD’s and obesity  Presenteeism costs 1.5 times more than sickness absence Healthy Workplaces :A Model for Action, WHO (2010) Healthy Work Challenges to 2030, BUPA, (2009) Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health,(2007 )

5 Workplace interventions can be used for ….. Prevention of illness and promotion of health and wellbeing; screening, healthy eating, physical activity Early intervention for those who develop a health condition; fast track to diagnostic and support services Rehabilitation and support to get employees back into working following absence such as CBT Health, Work and Baseline Indicators, Department of Health, 2010

6 What interventions are effective and evaluation Comprehensive programmes combining screening and risk assessment along with education and environmental change Key measures to effectiveness include targeting high risk employees and encouraging compliance to promote lifestyle change Workplace health promotion should take into account external influencing factors – consider exploring public health information for your area Evaluation - survey pre/post implementation, participation rates, examine sickness rates, results from staff survey - give it time

7 PWC case studies Absenteeism - 45 out of 55 reported a reduction in sickness absence as a consequence of wellness interventions Staff turnover - 18 cases mentioned a positive reduction in staff turnover with improved staff retention and/or return to work rates Accidents and injuries - 16 cases reported reductions in accidents and injury rates Insurance - 7 cases cited reduced insurance or civil claims and savings on insurance schemes Satisfaction - 14 cases mentioned an improvement in employee satisfaction 8 cases reported an improvement in external reputation and improvements in productivity performance. PriceWaterHouse Coopers, Building the case for Wellness, 2008

8 What enables the success of wellbeing interventions? Leadership Strong leadership involvement at an early stage is critical to success. Creating a multi-disciplinary team of stakeholders to support planning and implementation efforts - this would include employees, TU’s, managers

9 What enables the success of wellbeing interventions? Communication & Branding Purpose and intention needs to be communicated to the workforce to encourage participation How information is disseminated needs to be appropriate to the employee group

10 What enables the success of wellbeing interventions? Health needs assessment/gap analysis Understand the employee population and what is already available to them Consider staff surveys Consider resources such as budget, time and the use of external partners to assist - sustainability - one off doesn’t work

11 What enables the success of wellbeing interventions? Health Surveillance Is important for detecting ill health effects an early stage so that controls can be put in place Provides data to help employers evaluate health risks Enables employees to raise concerns about how work affects their health Provides an opportunity to reinforce training and education Is identified via risk assessments taking into account any exposure to workplace hazards

12 What action is needed if control mechanisms fail? Investigate control measures and reassess Referral to occupational health Workplace adjustments/redeployment Consider if employee needs further training Consider external activities that may have contributed

13 Retaining a stable workforce Healthy employees demonstrate higher levels of commitment and discretionary effort, a study proved that 20% more employee commitment led to a sales increase of 9% A wealth of research supports that good health is good business, employers who ignore this evidence miss an opportunity to enhance their reputation and profit Research demonstrates that employees expect a ‘good’ employer to be interested in their health- so vital in the war for talent The Work Foundation: The Business Case for Employee Health and Wellbeing CIPD, Creating an Engaged Workforce, (2010)

14 Wellbeing is important “ It is unethical and short sighted business practice to compromise the health of workers for the wealth of enterprises”

15 Thank you


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