Corporate Health - Why It’s Important For Your Business
Corporate health should be at the top of every organisation’s agenda. Here, we explore why it’s so important for your business.
What is corporate health?
Corporate health (also referred to as ‘workplace health’ or ‘workplace wellness’) is all about how organisations look after the wellbeing of their people. Corporate health strategies tend to adopt a holistic approach, with a focus on protecting both the physical health as well as the mental and emotional health of a company’s workforce, and are usually based on a combination of proactive, preventative initiatives and reactive care and support services.
Why is corporate health so important?
Data from corporate health insurance provider Vitality’s annual Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study for 2020 suggested that in 2019, absence due to ill-health and presenteeism (where employees continue to attend work when they are unwell) ‘cost British businesses and the economy an estimated £91.9bn’. Almost three-quarters of that (equivalent to £68bn) was ‘attributed to factors such as poor mental wellbeing and unhealthy lifestyle choices’.
The intrinsic relationship between health and productivity is obvious – healthier employees who are fit and well are likely to perform better at work. Indeed, research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown a positive link between the introduction of workplace wellness programmes and increased resilience, better employee engagement and morale, reduced sickness absence and greater productivity. From a financial and competitive point, therefore, it’s clear why corporate health is so important.
The right thing to do
However, there is also the moral argument for why organisations should be putting better workplace health at the top of their agenda – it’s simply the right thing to do. Businesses already have a duty of care to look after their employees but given that so much of our time is spent at work, they are also uniquely placed to positively influence the health of the UK’s working population. Through their corporate wellness and health programmes, employers can help to promote healthier lifestyles and behaviours that could have a huge impact on public health, helping to relieve pressure on our overstretched primary and secondary care services.
Give your company the edge
Demonstrating that you care about your employees and want to invest in their health also brings other positive benefits. It can mark your business out as an employer of choice within an increasingly competitive labour market and help you to attract and retain the best talent.
So, how does Corporate Health work?
Top things to focus on to improve the health of your business
Any corporate health or wellness strategy will need to be built around the specific needs of your business. However, there are a few key areas to focus on:
Providing access to quality Occupational Health services is often a crucial aspect of corporate health, allowing you to benefit from specialist advice and expert clinical guidance that can help you to minimise the risks to the health and safety of your employees and provide them with the right support if they do become unwell.
Mental Health Support
In July 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reported that stress and anxiety, depression or other common mental ill-health conditions were two of ‘the 3 most commonly reported health conditions, irrespective of organisation size’ (with musculoskeletal conditions and injuries being the third). Meanwhile, an analysis by Deloitte published in January 2020 found that ‘poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion each year’.
It’s therefore clear that providing better mental health support is a vital area to focus on when it comes to developing your corporate wellness strategy. Providing a mix of both preventative and reactive support is key. While preventative strategies will help you to reduce levels of mental-health related absence and reliance on more reactive services, such as counselling, by having this specialist support in place, you can ensure that any employees who are struggling and require further treatment or therapy can start accessing it right away, when it’s likely to be more effective, rather than having to wait to be seen through the NHS.
Health Promotion and Wellbeing Programmes
We all perform at our best when we are feeling well, physically, mentally and emotionally. Creating a culture that prioritises wellbeing, supporting your employees to make healthier lifestyle choices and making it easy for them to maintain healthy behaviours both at work and in their homelife is a crucial aspect of any sustainable corporate health strategy. Designing your wellbeing programme around your workforce and your specific organisational health risks will ensure that it delivers the greatest impact.
We’ll be exploring all of these aspects of corporate health in more detail in future blogs over the coming months, so watch this space!
Size Doesn’t Matter – Corporate Health for Small Businesses
No matter the size of your organisation, your people are your greatest asset. Yet many smaller businesses still question whether they can afford to be investing in workplace wellbeing services. When you consider though that sickness absence can cost around £495 per employee per year (a not insignificant cost for many SMEs), we think the question they should instead be asking is whether they can afford not to be?
While Medigold Health specialise in creating health and wellbeing solutions for larger businesses and major blue-chip companies, we also want smaller enterprises to be able to enjoy the multiple benefits that corporate health has to offer. Our Protect service allows them to do just that, giving SMEs affordable access to a host of key occupational health and mental health support services.
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