Maintaining health at work during the COVID-19 pandemic has often often business critical. However, the importance of health for business performance was clear even before COVID and will continue to be so in the years ahead.
For example, in 2019 (the year before COVID) the insurer Vitality reports ill-health related absence and presenteeism cost British businesses and the economy an estimated £91.9 billion.
The business case is clear. Would you like to see:
- Fewer staff off sick?
- Lower staff turnover?
- Higher productivity?
- Greater staff engagement?
These are some of the benefits claimed for Health at Work programmes. Probably the easiest to measure is annual sickness levels. Across the public, private and voluntary sectors, a range of organisations that have adopted health and wellness initiatives have seen sickness levels fall e.g.
- BT saw a 30% reduction in mental-health related illness.
- Kent County Council saved £2 million through reduced sickness levels and reported higher staff morale and performance.
- Shroders saw a 32% decrease in the risk of participants developing a common mental health problem
‘The evidence shows that people who achieve good standards of well-being at work are likely to be more creative, more loyal, more productive, and provide better customer satisfaction than individuals with poor standards of well-being at work.’
Well-being at work: a review of the literature (nef consulting)
As with any organisational change, it isn’t just what you do but how you do it that makes a difference. In this guide we’ll therefore be looking at both the what and the how.