By Hannah Langston

Employee Engagement – Focus on Health & Wellbeing

Over the years there have been many studies relating to employee engagement and it shouldn’t be new news when we say that engaged employees are more productive. There are a number of factors that contribute towards employee engagement and one of those is health and wellbeing.

Creating and promoting a culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace is however, a common challenge faced by many businesses. Why? Reasons include increased management time, costs and sometimes a lack of tangible commercial outcomes. All of which sound quite logical but are they assumptions rather than reality. Does it really take a lot of work and involve a lot of money to encourage employees to be mindful of their health? Does it really take a lot of time to make sure you look after your employees’ wellbeing? In an ever-changing labour market is it still a ‘nice to have’ or is it in fact a necessity.

It is therefore advisable to consider how you might benefit from placing more focus on employee wellbeing for a change and whether these benefits can truly impact commercial performance? Reduced employee turnover, reduced costs of absenteeism due to ill health, higher levels of creativity and better levels of productivity, not to mention an overall feel good factor, a stronger culture and improved retention of employees giving employers good reason to make the effort as a result.

This year we want to help our clients and other SMEs place increased focus on employee wellbeing and show that it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to do so. Throughout 2019 we will be supporting and providing helpful guidance on 9 well recognised Health & Wellbeing events.

First one up is National Heart Month 1st – 28th February 2019.
Did you know that according to Public Health England figures, 7,400 people in the UK die each month from heart disease or stroke. A quarter of these occur in people under the age of 75 and many are preventable. With the heart being at the core of our bodies it’s not rocket science that we should look after it as best we can!

We have gathered together our thoughts on simple but effective ideas for fundraising activities, sources where employees can obtain more knowledge and ideas of how to raise awareness within the workplace.

• Support The British Heart Foundation – Participate in the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Ramp up the Red’ campaign. All employees should wear as much red as they can on 7th February and make a donation for doing so. We suggest a £2 donation and the Company may even want to incentivise by matching the contributions made

• On-Site Health Assessments – Consider engaging a provider to conduct on site health assessments. These assessments give employees valuable information relating to their health along with areas to focus on and how they can make changes to improve their health. Stratton HR can link you to suitable providers – get in touch if you’re interested

• Encourage employees to take free online heart screening tests using the following recognised websites:
 www.testmyheart.org.uk
– www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/tests
– www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/check-your-heart-age-tool/

• Sign up to the British Heart Foundation ‘Heart Matters’ magazine and distribute copies in your break out areas / canteen 

• Encourage employees to take a break from screen time and get moving (with 5 chair-based exercises) without even leaving their desk!
– https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/activity/chair-based-exercises/5-more-chair-based-exercises

• Educate employees on healthy snack choices with information from the following link below. If you want to go one step further then why not consider offering free fruit for employees during the month of February
– https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/weight/100-calorie-snacks

Here is the link to an interesting article on Linked in regarding exercise during the workday https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/exercise-during-workday-can-be-key-4616588/

What should I do next?
If you’re interested in focusing on the Health & Wellbeing of your employees this year, then get in touch to find out how Stratton HR can create and help execute a plan for doing so. Or just follow us on Linked in and keep up to date with ideas and suggestions of how to improve your employee experience and make a positive impact on productivity within your business

Where can you find more information?
British Heart Foundation – www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/tests
NHS – What’s your heart age? www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/check-your-heart-age-tool/