Page 1

SPECIAL REPORT

Managing Workplace Health and Wellbeing The Key to Productivity; A Healthy Workforce at Every Stage and Every Age Embedding Health and Wellbeing at Work – Creating an Engaged and Productive Workforce Why Health and Wellbeing Should be Key Performance Indicators New Products for a New Age How Businesses Can Turn Wellbeing into a Key Business Strategy Creating a Healthier Lifestyle

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Be Westfield Well. We’re passionate about health and wellbeing - supporting people to move more, eat well, think clearly and sleep better. Our commitment to helping the nation make healthy choices to improve their quality of life is grounded in insight, evaluation and scientific fact. We know what really works.

Find out how to get your corporate health and wellbeing strategy off the ground: westfieldhealth.com/staffwellbeing


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

SPECIAL REPORT

Managing Workplace Health and Wellbeing The Key to Productivity; A Healthy Workforce at Every Stage and Every Age

Contents

Embedding Health and Wellbeing at Work – Creating an Engaged and Productive Workforce Why Health and Wellbeing Should be Key Performance Indicators New Products for a New Age

Foreword 2

How Businesses Can Turn Wellbeing into a Key Business Strategy Creating a Healthier Lifestyle

Tom Cropper, Editor

The Key to Productivity; A Healthy Workforce 3 at Every Stage and Every Age Westfield Health

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor Tom Cropper Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2018. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Longer Lives – But Not Necessarily Healthier The Effects of Tiredness Maintaining a Long and Healthy Life Solutions Lifestyle Changes

Embedding Health and Wellbeing at Work – Creating an Engaged and Productive Workforce

6

Westfield Health

Getting Serious About Health and Wellbeing Impacting the Bottom Line Taking the First Steps Making it Work Long Term

Why Health and Wellbeing Should be Key Performance Indicators

9

Tom Cropper, Editor

Are Organisations Doing Enough to Improve Wellbeing? Bottom Line Impact Improved Wellbeing Return on Investment

New Products for a New Age

11

Jo Roth, Staff Writer

Smarter Healthcare Benefits for All Hospital Insurance

How Businesses Can Turn Wellbeing into a Key Business Strategy 13 James Butler, Staff Writer

Be Open and Understanding Use Technology Be Careful Be Genuine

Creating a Healthier Lifestyle 15 Tom Cropper, Editor

Innovations in the Workplace Everyday Health

References 17

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Foreword

T

HE WORKPLACE has always been crucial

these provide direct help with everyday issues which

to the health of a nation. What’s changing

truly have an impact on people’s daily lives.

is a gradual realisation among employers of just

James Butler, then looks at the ways in which

how important a happy and healthy workforce

companies can use new thinking and new

can be. Not only is it something they should do

technologies to improve the health and wellbeing of

ethically, but it’s also becoming key to the success

their employees. Concepts such as the use of data

of their businesses.

analytics have a lot of potential, but there are risks

Our opening article comes from Westfield Health, who has been at the forefront of workplace health

surrounding the security of this data and how it affects relations with staff.

since 1919. They talk about the importance of health

Finally, we look to the future. Health and wellbeing

and wellbeing in the workplace and how businesses

is being taken much more seriously. From advanced

should incorporate this as a key part of their

training facilities in office buildings to the latest

operational strategies.

research, organisations are doing a great deal to

We then look at why health and wellbeing is so

focus on everyday physical and mental health.

vital for the workplace. It’s only recently that studies

Moving further into the future, technology could have

have revealed its true impact. An unhealthy work

an increasingly important role to play in helping people

environment can have a major impact on a person’s

to take control of their own health and improve early

future health and wellbeing. Equally, common

diagnosis.

complaints and ailments can lead to increased

All in all, though, it’s a question of attitude. How

absenteeism, which has a significant impact on a

seriously do employers take these issues? Those who

company’s business performance. We examine

plug health and wellbeing in as a major part of their

why health and wellbeing should be seen as so

business will reap the dividends in higher productivity,

crucial to businesses of all kinds.

retention rate of employees, and low absenteeism.

Jo Roth then looks at the growing popularity of products such as health cash plans and hospital insurance. While conventional medical insurance has an emphasis on rare and more serious conditions,

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

2 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

The Key to Productivity; A Healthy Workforce at Every Stage and Every Age Westfield Health

F

UTUROLOGIST ROHIT Talwar made headlines in 2015 when he shared his projection showing that many of today’s 10 and 11-year-olds will live to be 120, and that many of them may still be working at 100. While this may sound alarming at first, life expectancy is steadily increasing and, with the population in the UK getting older, longer lives will mean longer working lives. This is one of the most prominent issues facing businesses and, while some might dismiss it as a matter for the far-off future, reports from the Government’s Chief Medical Officer show that as soon as 2020, one third of British workers will be over 50. But while life expectancy continues to increase at a steady rate, healthy life expectancy is struggling to keep pace.

Longer Lives – But Not Necessarily Healthier The Chief Medical Officer’s report also analysed the health of 50-65-year-olds today. 42% are living with a health condition or disability, while a third are obese and two thirds have not done 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise – that’s equivalent to a brisk walk – in the last month. “These are key issues facing people today while there are more years in our lives, we’re not

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

necessarily going to be spending these years in full health”, confirms Fiona Lowe, Director of HR at health and wellbeing provider; Westfield Health. “Things can get worse when companies don’t recognise the impact that work can have on a person’s health and wellbeing.” A recent survey of UK workers found a typical employee gets just five hours of solid sleep a night and starts checking work emails at 7.50am. Furthermore, nearly three quarters (74%) of those surveyed believe their busy lives are having an impact on their health and wellbeing whilst others believe it leads to difficulties sleeping and being more susceptible to illness. To compound this, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently found an estimated 1.3 million people who worked in 2015/16 were suffering from an illness they believed was either caused, or made worse, by work. “In increasingly competitive environments, businesses are asking employees to do more with fewer resources,” says Fiona. “Stress and exhaustion are two of the most common causes of long term workplace absence, and a culture of long working hours – can often be attributed to this.” “The pace of life can become a real problem for our health, and this will become ever more challenging with an ageing workforce.”

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

with the population in the UK getting older, longer lives will mean longer working lives

The Effects of Tiredness A study by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found one in five people feel unusually tired throughout the day and 75% of us wake up tired each day. Westfield Health’s Director of Wellbeing; Richard Holmes, who has spent over 25 years coaching people to live well, work well and achieve more, categorises these peoples as “tired all the time” or T.A.T.T. “Energy dictates not only how much we’re able to do, but how well we do it – when your energy is low, your work suffers,” says Holmes. “We need to learn to pace ourselves to avoid fatigue and burnout.” “The changing demographic presents new challenges for businesses and we need to completely rethink how we work. We need to create cultures where health and wellbeing are prioritised as highly as everything else we do in our working day. It makes sense – ethically, morally and economically.”

Maintaining a Long and Healthy Life But can lifestyle changes really make an impact? “All the research suggests yes, and has done for many years” says Richard. “For example, in 2010, an eight-year study by the Atlanta Centre for Disease Control & Prevention highlighted 4 golden rules for maintaining a long and healthy life: maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, exercise regularly through each week, and eat a healthy diet.” The study of 23,513 adults aged 35 to 65 years of age, found that those people who followed the four golden rules were: 1. 93% less likely to develop diabetes 2. 81% less likely to have a heart attack 3. 51% less likely to have a stroke 4. 36% less likely to develop cancer 4 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM

“Most of us need to take a look at our life balance, our working hours and how we build ‘recovery breaks’ into our working day,” says Richard. “We need to take responsibility for our own health, but it is also in the interest of businesses to invest in employees – coaching people to both live and work well.”

Solutions Wellbeing programmes that promote good physical health, good mental health and good lifestyle choices are increasingly emerging as a business solution. Lifestyle coaching and behaviour change programmes such as the Business Athlete Programme offered by Westfield Health, are being increasingly adopted. This four-week programme takes learnings from how elite sports people manage their performance and energy, and focuses on three key areas – nutrition, exercise, and rest and recovery. After an initial workshop, employees are given seven daily rituals to follow. A health coaching team supports staff throughout the process – keeping communication channels open and helping them to stay focused on the programme. Richard commented: “One of our clients; a major brand in the legal industry, has already seen the benefits, with 80% of staff reporting higher energy levels, 60% feeling more resilient to pressures and problems, and 80% feeling more engaged at work. “Importantly, 60% felt more productive, showing that healthy, energised workers are often the most industrious workers. These types of results offer employers the opportunity to see a tangible return on investment in terms of behaviour change.” “However, while focusing on an ageing workforce it’s crucial we don’t forget younger members of staff,” warns Richard.


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

Lifestyle Changes The Chief Medical Officer’s report found 45% of ‘disease burden’ is attributable to people’s past lifestyle choices. While 50 – 65-year-olds can change their lifestyle to dramatically improve their current health, 20 – 40-year-olds can make better lifestyle choices now to prevent problems in later life. “It’s important that employers don’t fixate on those aged 50+ and forget younger staff,” says Richard. “Health and wellbeing programmes need to include measures that reflect the make up of businesses where four or five generations could

be working together at one time. While reactive measures might be needed to support older workers, preventative measures might be more suitable for younger employees – how they lead their lives now will be a major influence on their health and wellbeing later in life.” While businesses need to face up to new and pressing age-related challenges, harnessing the value of workers at all ages is key. Businesses need to put health at the heart of their business strategy, optimising and directing energy to drive performance. As the saying goes, age is just a number, but healthy choices and habits are important throughout every stage of life.

While reactive measures might be needed to support older workers, preventative measures might be more suitable for younger employees References: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/07/children-today-could-work-until-they-are-100-predicts-futurologist

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/chief-medical-officer-annual-reports https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4762042/average-brit-just-five-hours-sleep-work-emails-at-7-50am/ http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1516.pdf?pdf=hssh1516 Royal College of Psychiatrists research – taken from Richard Holmes presentation – contact Westfield Health for more information Atlanta Centre for Disease Control & Prevention – taken from Richard Holmes presentation – contact Westfield Health for more information

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Embedding Health and Wellbeing at Work – Creating an Engaged and Productive Workforce Westfield Health

With the average worker getting just five hours’ sleep a night, four in ten admitted to feeling tired or low in energy – an impact that is likely to be reflected in staff morale, motivation and productivity levels

W

ORK/LIFE BALANCE, sickness absence related to mental or physical health, productivity – the issues affecting companies large and small across the UK are rarely out of the headlines. Not surprisingly, proactive companies looking to enhance staff motivation and morale as well as boost recruitment and retention are adding a holistic health and wellbeing strategy to the top of their To Do list, as a result. Against a backdrop of the wider market and current challenges facing employers however, it’s not hard to see why many CEOs may be unsure which way to turn when it comes to creating an efficient strategy for their business or choosing the right health and wellbeing provider to work with.

Getting Serious About Health and Wellbeing In April last year Professor Dame Carol Black called for health and wellbeing to be ‘embedded’ into the workplace. The expert adviser to NHS England and Public Health England said: “Bowls of fruit and cycle schemes are very nice, but they are plastering over the cracks. “Employers need to be prepared to address the difficult stuff.” Asked about their approaches to wellbeing in the workplace in a survey earlier this year, 88% of HR and Reward professionals stated staff wellbeing was ‘important or very important’ to the overall success of their business – but only half of those respondents actually had a formal corporate wellbeing strategy in place. The study also found that employers are now less concerned about absences due to musculoskeletal disorders than those as a result of mental health issues. Twice as many (37%) felt that mental health absences were becoming a bigger business issue, with more than a fifth (22%) feeling the impact of musculoskeletal issues reducing. 6 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM

More recently still, the governmentcommissioned ‘Thriving at Work’ report which urged employers to commit to a number of core standards around mental health. Paul Farmer, co-author of the ‘Thriving at Work’ report and Chief Executive of mental health charity Mind said: “In many instances, employers simply don’t understand the crucial role they can play, or know where to go for advice and support.” The review makes 40 recommendations for how to support employees to remain at work, including creating a mental health at work plan, and providing good working conditions. ‘Thriving at Work’ also recommends ensuring employees have a healthy work/life balance and wants to see employers building awareness by making information and support accessible, as well as promoting effective people management, with line managers holding regular conversations about health and wellbeing with their staff. According to a poll of 2,000 working adults across the UK between the ages of 20-40, the typical worker squeezes in a lunchbreak lasting just 25 minutes, clocks up around twoand-a-half hours of unpaid overtime per week and doesn’t finally ‘switch off’ from their job until around 5.55pm. With the average worker getting just five hours’ sleep a night, four in ten admitted to feeling tired or low in energy – an impact that is likely to be reflected in staff morale, motivation and productivity levels. And with a recent report finding Britain’s productivity is 16% behind the other G7 nations,


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

and another estimating the cost of low productivity due to sleep-deprived workers at £40bn a year, UK businesses need to address the issue of what part a healthy, happy workforce could play in helping to close this gap.

Impacting the Bottom Line The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for workplace health include the physical work environment as well as mental wellbeing at work, with Professor Dame Carol Black stating: “We need a modern approach to occupational health.” But, probably, while many companies are all too aware of this, Finance Directors and other board level directors may perhaps be reluctant to begin modernising their approach to occupation health due to cost fears. Indeed, more than half (57%) of respondents in the survey of HR professionals said that justifying a return on investment was the biggest barrier to building a wellbeing strategy. However, it is worth bearing in mind another finding by the authors of ‘Thriving at Work’ - the startling figure that poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99bn each year, of which about £42bn is borne by employers themselves.

Taking the First Steps Westfield Health’s Director of HR – Fiona Lowe, said: “With poor staff health and wellbeing costing the UK economy billions every year, the importance of having a robust health and wellbeing strategy can’t be underestimated. “The benefits of having a comprehensive health and wellbeing strategy are significant and tangible, and include reduced absenteeism, greater productivity, and improved staff morale and retention.”

A counselling helpline, for example, is often a key part of an Employee Assistance Programme - designed to help employees with issues such as stress, anxiety and depression. Another element of a strategy could be an onsite gym or discounted membership benefits, or fast access to private surgery with hospital treatment insurance, helping employees back to health and work quickly. Considering corporate goals can help with formulating the right health and wellbeing strategy, before moving on to developing a business case that outlines the purpose of the strategy, the resources required to deliver it and the improved performance expected. Fiona Lowe explained: “Clearly identifying and setting out the need for and purpose of the strategy to stakeholders will help in going about securing financial support and buy-in from decision makers. “With so many different suppliers on the market there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right partner. “Take a structured approach to the selection process to make it a lot more straightforward with a checklist of areas to consider such as the range of services offered, ease of implementation, value for money, shared corporate values and the levels of customer service.

Making it Work Long Term

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

“To gain traction with staff at all levels, organisations should strive to keep a health and wellbeing strategy at the heart of their culture. Creating a healthy environment for staff in everything an organisation does (from facilities and training to development opportunities and more) – will help to engage and focus teams.” Said Fiona. WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

With poor staff health and wellbeing costing the UK economy billions every year, the importance of having a robust health and wellbeing strategy can’t be underestimated

“Once implemented, a great health and wellbeing strategy also needs to be effectively communicated if it’s to succeed. So, don’t underestimate the importance and impact of regular reviews and the power of internal communications.” Respondents in the survey of HR professionals said staff surveys (50%), staff updates (47%) and a reduction in sickness absence (38%) were the most popular ways of measuring the success of wellbeing benefits. 70% of respondents also acknowledged the importance of a return on investment when selecting a new wellbeing benefit. “Continually measuring performance will help businesses and stakeholders understand the impact the new strategy is having – for example whether

that relates to financial impact or the overall wellbeing of the workforce, and most likely both.” The HR professionals surveyed added that the two biggest advantages of offering wellbeing benefits were a more engaged workforce (81%) and a more productive one (47%). “And with the numbers adding up like that, it’s important that UK businesses realise that an effective health and wellbeing strategy can help not just mitigate against risks but actually boost their bottom line, too.” “It is becoming increasingly clear that employers cannot – literally – afford to overlook the importance of implementing, embedding and evaluating an effective and engaging health and wellbeing strategy.”

References: https://www.reward-guide.co.uk/professor-dame-carol-black-lets-all-aim-for-a-healthier-target/1410.article https://www.reward-guide.co.uk/wellbeing-in-the-workplace-its-working-for-everyones-benefit/1923.article https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thriving-at-work-a-review-of-mental-health-and-employers http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41740666 https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4762042/average-brit-just-five-hours-sleep-work-emails-at-7-50am/ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/apr/05/weak-productivity-leaves-uk-trailing-other-g7-nations http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38151180

8 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Why Health and Wellbeing Should be Key Performance Indicators Tom Cropper, Editor Studies suggest that employers understand the importance of wellbeing, but how often does that translate into reality?

P

EOPLE IN full time work spend most of their waking lives in the working environment. Unsurprisingly, then, that environment will have a huge impact on their health and general wellbeing – for better or worse. Just how much of an impact is only now being truly understood. Poor working conditions can lead to increased absenteeism, mental health issues, long term conditions and even premature death. It’s an issue which should be a moral imperative for all responsible employers but it’s also one which can have a significant impact on business performance. So, are employers doing enough?

Are Organisations Doing Enough to Improve Wellbeing? First, the good news. Surveys suggest that HR professionals recognise the importance of wellbeing to the future of their organisations. A report from Kronos, for example, found that 87% of HR professionals say wellbeing is a high priority1. Employees expect their workplaces to take an active role. A study from Westfield Health found that 80% of employees believed that responsibility for their health and wellbeing should be shared between the company and the employee. While employees accept that they have a responsibility to look after their own welfare in the workplace, their employers have a responsibility not to create an environment that has a negative impact2. In an environment in which employees are becoming more mobile, a poor workplace environment can harm a company’s ability to attract and retain the best staff, and that can be costly.

Bottom Line Impact Poor health and wellbeing can cost companies dearly. A report from the health and safety consultants, Arinite, found that Companies paid

out an average of £115,440 in fines for failure to comply with health and safety guidelines. Crucially, it estimates the cost of penalties outstripped the cost of compliance by £75,0003. Replacing staff when they leave can cost up to 150% of their salary according to a study from the Corporate Leadership Council, once recruitment, hiring and training costs are considered4. In addition, there is the harder to quantify impact of lower business performance through the loss of talent and the interruption of business processes as new staff get up to speed. Productivity among existing staff can also take a hit as they struggle to cover absences, and start looking to make a move elsewhere. A company of a reasonable size which experiences high turnover, therefore, will be seeing a significant impact on their bottom line performance. Worse still, because they may not understand the impact of health and wellbeing, they might not know the reason for this impact. Taken across the economy, the costs can become startling. The Gallup organisation estimates that across America there are 22 million disengaged staff. The cost to the economy totals $350bn5. A poll in the UK found that only 17% of staff in the UK are fully engaged. Removing the number of people who are actively disengaged could release up to £70bn each year nationwide6. Solving this situation, argues the report, could be a way of reversing the major productivity problem within the UK workforce. Despite improving technology, workers in the West are working longer hours than they used to and are not producing more. Reports in the summer of 2017 found that worker productivity had dropped once again to levels prior to the 2008 financial crisis7.

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

Improved Wellbeing Assessing the impact of low wellbeing and morale, though, only tells half the story. Gallup’s WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Despite improving technology, workers in the West are working longer hours than they used to and are not producing more

polls measure the impact of staff who are disengaged. However, companies which can switch staff into the actively engaged bracket will realise even more benefits. Research from the University of Warwick suggests happy staff are 12% more productive on average8. In a TedEx Talk, Sean Achor, author of ‘The Happiness Advantage’, explained why he believes happy people perform better. While we’ve all heard the idea that success can bring happiness, he believes the reverse is true. “Research is clear that every time you have a success, your brain changes what success means. So, for you and for your team, if happiness is on the opposite side of success, you’ll never get there,” he explains. “But if you increase your levels of happiness in the midst of a challenge – in the midst of searching for investment, in the midst of a down economy – what we find is that all of your success rates rise dramatically – every business outcome improves9.”

Return on Investment The Warwick University researchers state that companies which had invested in employee support and wellbeing had seen results. Google, for example, saw employee satisfaction rise by

10 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM

37%10. Google, and other major companies, have embraced the concept of employee wellbeing and, as a result, have earned a reputation for being one of the best places to work in the world, which, in turn, helps to attract the best talent. The evidence, then, is compelling. A happy and engaged workforce is more likely to help a company to be successful. In a competitive business environment, every advantage helps, and the evidence suggests that the financial rewards are much higher than many companies might have expected. Whether it’s tangible gains such as avoiding health and safety fines, reducing absenteeism and staff turnover; or less definable ones such as improvements in revenue and production, companies which invest in happy staff have a much greater chance of success. This is, then, something companies should be doing for a number of reasons. The simplest reason is that this is the right thing to do. But it is also the best route to success for their businesses. It’s an issue which should not just be the concern of HR, health and safety or employee benefit professionals, but something which goes up to the top. The question is – what contributes to a happy workplace and what changes can be most successful?


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

New Products for a New Age Jo Roth, Staff Writer How products such as health cash plans and hospital insurance can see tremendous returns in staff morale.

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

P

RIVATE HEALTH insurance remains one of the most popular employee benefits for staff, but is it delivering all the value it can? For most people it sits in the background – only there to help in emergencies and unexpected situations. What they really value is something which can help with their everyday healthcare needs. Better still, this is something which can benefit employers as well. Not only can it be less expensive than traditional medical insurance, but it can also be more effective at driving up staff morale.

Smarter Healthcare As a business, take a moment to consider the most common source of drain on productivity. High absenteeism or low productivity can all be linked back to the physical and mental health of your workforce. Studies suggest that workers in the UK routinely go without medical help either because they are worried about missing time off work, or they fear the cost of treatment. Addressing this issue can, and should, be seen as a major priority for employers. One way to do this is with a health cash plan. This is an easy way to save money by claiming back every day health costs, like dental, glasses or physio. It’s an affordable way to cover the everyday health needs of an employee, while private medical insurance can be there to help when things are more serious. That’s a major benefit because, as figures suggest, it’s the relatively minor issues which present the most serious financial worry for companies. These are the most common cause of time off work and, while this means only a few days here or there, it can have a cumulative impact. A survey from Epoq Legal found that 80% of employees favoured traditional benefits such as health and pensions over so-called softer benefits such as gym membership11. Research from a content marketing agency Fractl confirms that healthcare benefits are the most popular, but also pointed out that they are the most expensive12. This is why many are turning towards Health Cash Plans as a more affordable and targeted way of offering health coverage.

Benefits for All So, what is it that both sides value so highly? For employees struggling to budget for daily life, cash plans provide a security if something happens. Medical bills – especially for dental appointments – can blow a big hole in monthly income. Even the simple cost of a prescription can be a worry. In 2017 the cost of an NHS prescription rose by 2.4% – higher than the rise in average wages13. The ability to have access to private medical care for every day matters avoids the wait and inconvenience of going through the NHS. However, cash plans don’t just rely on private services – NHS providers can be used as part of a cash plan too. Because this is a financial product designed for day-to-day usage, workers are more likely to see the benefits and understand the benefits in their daily lives. Conventional private medical insurance, on the other hand, is there to help if the unexpected occurs. Ease of access is also a great bonus. Many come with apps, so users can take a picture of their receipt and have their costs reimbursed relatively quickly. The rise of digital payments makes it much easier for companies to process payments swiftly. So, rather than waiting until the end of the month, an employee can have their costs covered straight away. From an employer’s point of view, the popularity of health cash plans means that they are increasingly being seen as a crucial component of any attractive employee benefits package. They also help encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle and to take prompt action to deal with medical issues earlier. Although the cost of a prescription or routine medical appointments may not seem excessive, they can put people off going to the doctor. A study by the BMI found that nearly half of people working in London and Manchester had put off going to the doctor in the past twelve months. A significant proportion of people would continue putting off visiting the doctor even when symptoms moved beyond discomfort and progressed to severe pain and even difficulty walking. The study also found

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

From an employer’s point of view, the popularity of health cash plans means that they are increasingly being seen as a crucial component of any attractive employee benefits package

12 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM

that men were much more likely to skip a visit to the doctor than women14.

Hospital Insurance Another approach gaining in popularity are hospital insurance plans. These provide a more affordable alternative to medical insurance, while also assisting staff if and when they have to visit a hospital. LEBC Group, for example, were looking for a product which could slot between their health cash plans and medical insurance. They went to Westfield Health for Hospital Treatment Insurance. This provides cover for employees with prompt, private medical treatment for a whole range of conditions (excluding heart and cancer). “Hospital treatment insurance has enabled us to offer a product that focuses on the health and wellbeing of employees without the financial burden that other healthcare

products can carry,” says Stellar Trussler, a Consultant at LEBC Group. “By using hospital treatment insurance, we have been able to assist our clients to broaden their healthcare offering and, in turn, our own prospective client base15.” It’s an example of how fresh thinking about financial solutions can improve the offering to staff and help businesses reduce the number of days they lose to sickness every year. As well as being affordable, they switch attention towards day to day medical issues and improve ongoing health. In turn, that leads to a healthier and more productive workforce. Attitudes towards workplace health are evolving fast and, as they do, they are increasing demand for innovative financial products which address the needs of both employees and employers. They are more flexible, personalised and affordable – and, best of all, they lead to tangible improvements in workplace health.


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

How Businesses Can Turn Wellbeing into a Key Business Strategy James Butler, Staff Writer Businesses are becoming more aware of health and wellbeing in the office, but putting that awareness into practice is another matter.

A

WISE person once said: ‘there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.’ True, that might have come from the Matrix, but it’s also relevant for business. Although businesses routinely tell surveys that they see the health and wellbeing of their employees as a major concern, that doesn’t always translate into affirmative action. All too often employers say the right things but fail to follow through on them. Sometimes it’s an issue of understanding; at others it’s simply a case of not knowing how to implement an effective system. So, what should employers do to deliver meaningful improvements in their employees’ health?

Be Open and Understanding The first is to ensure employees feel comfortable discussing issues with their managers. All too often staff keep problems to themselves, especially if they relate to mental health. A 2014 poll for the charity Mind found that 95% of people who had been off work for stress had felt unable to give their bosses a real reason16. For all the strides made in raising awareness about mental health, it remains much less understood than physical issues. Despite some recent movement from the Government, support for mental health services still lags behind physical health. A 2016 report found that only 55% of mental health departments surveyed had enjoyed a rise in budgets since 201217. While it’s easy to see physical symptoms, mental health is different. Because people appear fit and healthy on the outside, it’s easy to assume nothing is wrong. The belief persists that people who are signed off due to stress are either overreacting or even lazy. Research from AXA PPP suggests most employers do not believe stress warrants time off18. If that attitude persists it leads to employees burying issues, not confronting them and not seeking support. The impact on the wellbeing

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

of staff and their performance can be extreme, so it is in the interests of businesses to ensure staff feel comfortable coming forward and talking about their problems. The OECD estimates the cost of mental health issues as £70bn a year to the UK economy19.

Use Technology For many employers, technology holds the key. Crossrail, for example, use a confidential online form which managers check to spot indicators of stress. Staff also take part in mental health first aid courses20. It’s an example of how businesses are collecting more and more information about their employees and using this to monitor their conditions. One way they are doing this is to continue the penetration of consumer technology into the workplace. Businesses have already taken advantage of tablets and smartphones to improve connectivity. HR departments are now taking that further and moving into wearables. A report from PwC suggests wearable technologies have a wealth of opportunities in the workplace21. These could be used to monitor the movements of employees, encourage a healthier lifestyle or spot signs of health problems. One thing technology will do is increase the amount of data businesses can capture about their workers. As well as health forms, they can look at everything from performance records to absenteeism and sick days to monitor the wellbeing of employees. This can be fed into advanced analytics software. As this software becomes more sophisticated it can offer managers a much greater range of services. AI technology, for example, could draw on medical expertise not available within the company to issue warnings if it spots too many high-risk indicators. It can identify issues that a worker might be experiencing long before the employer does. These analytics can also improve metrics to assess the effectiveness of wellbeing strategies.

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Employers might have looked at details such as reduced sick days or healthcare costs, but they can also look at wider parameters such as general levels of staff morale

Until now this has been challenging. Too many of the outputs are difficult to quantify. Employers might have looked at details such as reduced sick days or healthcare costs, but they can also look at wider parameters such as general levels of staff morale. All this can be fed into the software to produce clear and definable results. As these results come in, it becomes easier for managers to see solid returns on investments. Assuming those returns are positive it is likely to further fuel interest in employee wellbeing. Technology also plays a role in enhancing staff engagement. Many workplaces are already using online portals to help employees self-select their own package of benefits. This might vary depending on the individual – perhaps it could be travel insurance, special deals or support to new parents. Every individual will have their own needs – providing choice in this way helps to ensure they receive full value.

Be Careful Such a use of technology will inevitably lead to businesses collecting even more information about their employees, which, in turn, can create problems. There is, of course, nothing entirely new about businesses working to improve health and wellbeing, but it has always been a little controversial. Just how much information should a company gather about their workers? When does it become intrusive? Where should the line be drawn? In the digital age there is all sorts of information a company can gather about an employee. Some have even been known to use social media posts against employees. Take the example of a woman who was fired from her job after posting a picture on social media of her making an obscene gesture to President Trump’s motorcade. Does that company have the right to use an employee’s social media posts against them? How much information should a business collect? Could questions about a person’s mental health be viewed as an invasion of privacy or leave them liable to discrimination? Even if it does not breach any official guidelines, companies should consider how it impacts the relationship with their staff. Put yourself in their position – if a company you work for is gathering information and asking personal questions, does that affect the level of trust you feel towards them?

14 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM

When it comes to data, there is the issue which plagues businesses of all kinds in the digital era – cyber security. Data is big business and the more information a business holds about its employees the more vulnerable it is. Next year, new European data protection regulations come into force which could dramatically increase the penalties companies face for mislaying data. In an age of evolving digital threats, businesses must stay on top of their processes to ensure any data they manage is secure.

Be Genuine For all the new technology, products and thinking, perhaps the best piece of advice businesses can take is to think about what they are doing. Research shows that employee wellbeing improves when they believe their employers are genuinely interested in their welfare. A business should ask itself honestly how it views its employees – are they a health risk to be managed or are they truly valued? If that’s the case, health and wellbeing should be seen as a key part of business strategy regardless of how it feeds into business performance. There are no hard and fast rules to developing an effective health and wellbeing strategy. Every company will be different, but therein lies the key to success. Flexibility is key and finding new solutions which engage staff, and help to manage everyday health questions will be crucial in realising those aims.


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Creating a Healthier Lifestyle Tom Cropper, Editor Modern work lifestyles are a major health concern which can lead to long term disease and even early death. The question is: what can be done about it?

Shhhh!

We’re increasing productivity.

C

LINGING TO the edge of Old Street’s Silicone roundabout, the White Collar Factory is building on its reputation as one of the most forward thinking office buildings in London. At the top of the structure you can now find a 150 metre running track as part of a new sporting facility open to employees. A two-lane cushioned running track featuring rubber crumb lay loops around the sixteenth floor of this building. It’s all part of the drive to help improve employee health and wellbeing22.

Innovations in the Workplace This is the first project of its kind in London, but more are following. Google plans a running track for its headquarters as part of the plans for its new landscraper headquarters in Kings Cross23. It’s a signpost about how attitudes among employers are changing. Health and wellbeing are becoming major business priorities. Working in an office is, by its nature, sedentary and inactive, which is a problem for human beings because that is not our natural state. Office work creates health problems. Sitting too much during the day creates aches and pains and has even been linked to an early death. Slouching in a chair can lead to spinal and skeletal issues and can create long-term health problems in later life. It’s an unfortunate fact, but the way in which we work, is inimical to the way in which we are supposed to live as mammals. Awareness of the issues is growing, which is why part of the Olympic Legacy project was the creation of the multimillion pound Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre. Developed by Sheffield Hallam University, it will form the research hub for the National Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, which puts clinical services and exercise facilities into the same area to help people with a medical need. Speaking about the launch of the centre, Professor Haake, Director of the Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The first world population is facing an epidemic; one that is seemingly contagious. It’s not a communicable disease, or an illness per se,

but it is having a disastrous impact on people. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the largest causes of preventable death due to the major health risks that result from inactivity24.” The project benefits from a £14 million investment from the Government, but it hopes to realise benefits to the economy of more than £115 million by 2021, through improved understanding about health issues, early diagnosis and preventative measures. The centre is scheduled to open in 2018 and one of its key areas of activity will be workplace health. As part of that, Westfield Health, a not for profit organisation committed to improving workplace health, became a major partner. For Westfield Health’s Commercial Director, David Capper, this represents a tremendous opportunity to further his organisation’s agenda of encouraging a healthier workplace environment. “One of the benefits of the AWRC will be reduced dependency on the health service. At Westfield Health, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, so we work with our own staff and customers to promote the benefits of moving more as a way of improving overall wellbeing,” he explains. “By supporting this venture, we’ll be helping people to take charge of their own wellbeing while reducing some of the pressure on the NHS – at a time when the need to reduce demand on the service has never been greater. As part of the partnership Westfield Health will be supporting the AWRC with a cash and match in kind contribution, designed to assist with the Centre’s goal of creating ‘innovations that help people move.25’

Everyday Health Mobility around the office has been discussed before. We’ve seen suggestions that workers should spend time working at a terminal while standing up, or use special ergonomic chairs designed to improve posture. There is now a sustained emphasis on everyday health issues. Companies will be making greater use of technology and adopting new approaches to their employee management schemes. This means

Is your company losing productivity due to poor sleep health? Our Sleep Well, Work Well programme helps staff to understand their sleep habits and achieve better quality rest at night so they feel more alert, motivated and productive at work. Developed with a sleep expert, our programme will help your employees perform to their full potential every day.

Find out how a better nights sleep could boost your staff’s productivity: westfieldhealth.com/staffsleep

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 15


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Some advances sound like the stuff of science fiction. Nanotechnology, can enter the bloodstream and monitor health parameters such as blood pressure and cholesterol

adopting new products. Wearable technologies such as Fitbit can monitor heart-rate and provide more information about our health and wellbeing. Moving into the future, the potential for these devices is promising. They can provide more information, detect problems before they arise and deliver personalised medical advice. Some advances sound like the stuff of science fiction. Nanotechnology, can enter the bloodstream and monitor health parameters such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Enabling people to take advantage of these technologies will improve employees’ wellbeing and also their bottom line. The further we move into the future, the more exciting some of these technologies become. Medical apps are already giving people access to more information. They can help them track

16 | WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM

their diet and plan exercise routines to become fitter and more active. They can raise their own awareness of the health issues they might face in the workplace. Some also give access to qualified medical experts who can offer quick diagnoses for simple medical ailments. In many cases they can encourage patients to manage conditions for themselves, without the need of a medical appointment. Moving forward, the emphasis on health and wellbeing is growing. Understanding of the health risks associated with working in an office is increasing and new technology is creating new opportunities to improve the wellbeing of staff across an organisation. Businesses will be looking at new ways to incorporate fresh processes and thinking into their operations.


SPECIAL REPORT: MANAGING WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLBEING

References: The Employee Benefit Crisis: https://www.kronos.com/about-us/newsroom/employee-burnout-crisis-study-reveals-big-workplace-challenge-2017

1

Survey Reveals Views about Health and Wellbeing: https://www.westfieldhealth.com/business/research-blog/survey-reveals-employee-views-about-health-and-wellbeing-programmes-in-the-workplace 2

3

The Cost of Health and Safety Compliance Versus Fines: http://www.arinite.co.uk/the-cost-of-health-and-safety-compliance-vs-a-prosecution-fine/

4

The Bottom Line Impact of Staff Wellbeing: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-pirouz/the-bottom-line-impact-of_b_5713699.html

5

The Cost of Low Moral: https://go.roberts.edu/bid/183778/The-High-Cost-of-Low-Morale-by-Nicole-Fink

6

Solving the Productivity Problem: http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/165947/solving-productivity-problem.aspx

7

UK Productivity Falls to Pre-Crisis Levels: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40504734

8

Happy Employees are 12% More Productive at Work: https://www.fastcompany.com/3048751/happy-employees-are-12-more-productive-at-work

9

The Happy Secret to Better Work: https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work Why Google’s Staff are Happier than Ever: https://www.aol.com/2012/08/17/why-google-employees-are-happier-than-ever/

10

Employees Value Health Benefits over Gym Membership: https://www.ftadviser.com/protection/2017/07/12/employees-value-health-policies-over-gym-membership/ 11

Employee Benefits Report: http://www.frac.tl/employee-benefits-study/

12

Cost of NHS Prescriptions to Rise by 2.4%: https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/3143485/the-cost-of-nhs-prescriptions-is-set-to-rise-2-4-heres-how-to-get-cheap-and-free-medicine-in-the-uk/ 13

The Real Cost of Putting off a Doctor’s Appointment: https://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/health-matters/health-and-wellbeing/using-private-medical-insurance 14

15

LEBC Group Case Study: https://www.westfieldhealth.com/intermediaries/case-studies/case-study/lebc-group-ltd

Stressed out Workers Feel Unsupported: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/stressed-out-staff-feel-unsupported-at-work-says-mind/#.WhfpC0pl_IU 16

Only 55% of Mental Health Trusts Have Seen Budgets Rise: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/09/nhs-mental-health-funding-is-still-lagging-behind-says-report 17

Employers Believe Stress Doesn’t Warrant Time Off: http://www.aon.com/unitedkingdom/employee-benefits/news/articles/managers-dont-believe-stress-warrants-time-off.jsp 18

19

Mental Health Costs UK £70bn: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/10/mental-health-issues-uk-cost-70bn-oecd

20

Crossrail Mental Health: http://www.hrreview.co.uk/analysis/analysis-wellbeing/christina-butterworth-mental-health-first-aid-crossrail/102350

21

The Wearable Life 2.0: https://www.pwc.com/ee/et/publications/pub/pwc-cis-wearables.pdf

London Office Block Gets Running Track: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-office-block-gets-rooftop-running-track-on-16th-floor-a3627036.html 22

Google Submits Plans for Landscraper: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/01/google-submits-plans-million-sq-ft-london-hq-construction-kings-cross 23

24

25

Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre: https://www.shu.ac.uk/research/specialisms/advanced-wellbeing-research-centre https://www.westfieldhealth.com/press-media/press/2015/10/01/westfield-health-named-major-partner-for-advanced-wellbeing-research-centre

WWW.CEOREPORTS.COM | 17


CEO Reports… the leading specialist combined online research and networking resource for CEOs and senior management.

• Up to the minute unparalleled depth of information on specialist subjects available to all site users on a free of charge open access basis. • Qualified signed up members are able to access premium content Special Reports and interact with their peers using a variety of advanced online networking tools. •

Designed to help users identify new solutions, understand the implications of different choices and select the best solutions available.

Thought Leadership – Advice and guidance from internationally recognised key opinion leaders.

• Peer Input – Contributions from senior management personnel within major corporations and SMEs. •

Independent Editorial Content – Expert and authoritative analysis from award winning journalists and leading industry commentators.

Unbiased supplier provided content.

Designed to facilitate debate.

Written to the highest professional standards.

Visit http://www.ceoreports.com/

CEO Reports – Managing Workplace Health and Wellbeing – Westfield Health & Wellbeing Ltd  

CEO Reports – Managing Workplace Health and Wellbeing – Westfield Health & Wellbeing Ltd

CEO Reports – Managing Workplace Health and Wellbeing – Westfield Health & Wellbeing Ltd  

CEO Reports – Managing Workplace Health and Wellbeing – Westfield Health & Wellbeing Ltd