PruHealth, private medical insurer, has revealed as part of its new Workplace Health Report into the impact of health and wellbeing measures and culture in the workplace, that 33% of smaller firms in the UK offer health incentives for their employees.
55% of senior executives of such firms believe fostering a healthy lifestyle in the workplace is part of their role as a responsible employer. 83% of employees say that an employer's attitudes to health and wellbeing are an important factor when looking for a new role, which means providing a health and wellbeing programme has never been more important to help attract and retain quality.
Firms also believe health initiatives can help increase staff morale, improve productivity and reduce absenteeism as a 'halo' effect of a healthier workforce. Additionally benefits of encouraging a healthy culture in the workplace are also evident, with 38% of such firms experiencing a drop in absenteeism since introducing wellbeing initiatives.
47% of senior executives of smaller firms say that they are setting a good example through healthy behavior and taking part in exercise classes and sports teams at work.
Shaun Matisonn of PruHealth comments, "When it comes to health and wellbeing programmes in the workplace, we are seeing a turning point in UK businesses. The provision of these programmes and investment in employee health are no longer peripheral issues, they are core concerns. Not only are employees demanding these types of employee benefits, but with the pressures of the current economic environment, fostering a healthy workforce has never been more important to help aid both morale and productivity. Having now built this momentum, companies must be careful not to throw money away on poorly executed health and wellness strategies. It is all very well having these programmes in place, but employee engagement must be actively and continuously encouraged. It is understandable that employee numbers in small and medium-sized firms may be an obstacle to putting together a football team or exercise classes, but there are lots of smaller-scale initiatives to get staff involved, such as using pedometers and providing fruit bowls.”
PruHealth's Vitality incentive programme enables smaller companies to provide a full 'blue-chip' range of healthy activities for employees as part of their private health insurance, enabling companies of all sizes to benefit from a healthier workforce.