As most adults spend a substantial proportion of their daily lives in the workplace, then employers can play a vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce, and in turn improve the health and wealth of their own organisation.
Having a healthy and productive workforce should be a key ambition for every organisation, particularly in today’s competitive business environment.
What is the cost of doing nothing?
Having an unhealthy and unhappy workforce costs businesses:
- In the UK, 140 million working days are lost every year to sickness absence – costing UK businesses an estimated £29 billion.
- Presenteeism (attending work while sick) has been called the biggest threat to UK workplace productivity, costing employers an estimated £15.1billion per year (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2016).
- Musculoskeletal problems (including back pain, neck pain and upper limb problems) is a leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, second only to minor illnesses (Office for National Statistics, 2016).
- Mental health is also a major cause of sickness absence in the UK, with more than 17 million absence days attributed to stress, anxiety and depression in 2015 (Office for National Statistics).
- Mental health issues also account for a significant percentage of presenteeism.
- High staff turnover can lead to huge recruitment and training costs.
How much could you save by investing in the health and wellbeing of your employees?
Here are two resources for you to work out how much your business could save by investing in the health and wellbeing of your staff.
- Take a look at the British Heart Foundation’s Cost Saving Calculator to see how much your business could save.
- Use the Department for Health and Pension’s Workplace Wellbeing Tool to:
- calculate the annual cost of employee ill health, absence from work and staff turnover
- create business cases for workplace health and wellbeing initiatives
- estimate the return on investment of setting up a health and wellbeing programme
Finding it hard to decide where to prioritise investment in your staff’s health and wellbeing?
The new Workplace Health Needs Assessment Tool can help!
This health needs assessment, produced by Public Health England, has been designed for employers of all types and sizes. It is a simple and useful way to gather anonymous information about the health of your workforce, via a staff survey. It also provides a baseline of data to track and evaluate your progress on health and wellbeing against.
What are the benefits of a healthy workforce?
There is a wide range of evidence that shows how workplace health initiatives can deliver benefits for both employers and staff.
Benefits for employers
- Increased productivity
- Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work while sick)
- Greater staff retention and engaged employees
- Reduced costs to train new staff
- A more positive corporate image
- Lower rates of early retirement due to ill health
- Fewer workplace accidents and injuries
Benefits for employees
- Improved physical and mental health and wellbeing
- Increased motivation
- Less sickness and quicker recovery
- Less stress and back pain
- Improved staff morale
- Greater work satisfaction
Health of UK employees
Please see below an infographic with information on the health of UK employees:
To find out more about how to support your employees to improve their physical activity levels, take a look at the focus on physical activity in the workplace page.
Take a look at the focus on dementia in the workplace page to find out how your organisation can make a commitment to become more dementia-friendly.
See the mental health and wellbeing in the workplace page for resources to support you to improve the mental health and wellbeing of your employees.
To find out more about how to support your employees to improve their musculoskeletal health, take a look at the focus on musculoskeletal health in the workplace page.
Get in touch
Let us know the great things that your business is doing in relation to workplace health by emailing WorkplaceHealth@staffordshire.gov.uk