Protecting Your Workforce
1st Mar, 2017
To a great extent, the success of your business relies on the contribution made by every member of your workforce.
In return for the time and money you invest in their employment, you may reasonably expect high productivity, dedication to whatever job needs to be done, and loyalty to the company.
That may be your expectation, but there is still a lot you may do to foster all of those positive outcomes by demonstrating how much you care and the extent to which you are committed to protecting your workforce.
This means minimising the need for sickness absence, keeping your employees healthy, happy and contented in their jobs and motivated to perform to the very best of their abilities.
In a nationwide survey of sickness absence amongst employees in 2016, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that the average employee is absent on sick leave for 6.3 days a year.
Quoting similar surveys, Personnel Today estimates that this rate of sickness absence is the equivalent of nearly 3% of time scheduled to be spent at work.
This represents a considerable loss to the UK economy as a whole and, for employers, hundreds of pounds per employee.
The National Health Service (NHS)
Waiting times for non-urgent referrals to the NHS – the majority of conditions, in other words, for which individuals need to take time off work – are currently a maximum of 18 weeks. But the NHS already struggles to abide by those maximum waiting times, especially during the winter, when over-stretched emergency services are taking priority.
Yet the majority of employers currently rely on the NHS for the primary response to sickness absence, with fewer than one in twenty paying for non-NHS treatment or private health insurance. This results in a vicious circle of overstretched GP and NHS services struggling to meet demand and unable to do much to improve rates at which employees are able to return to work.
That is the reason why the organisation for employers in the manufacturing and engineering sectors of the economy, EEF, is pressing for more radical solutions to sickness absence problems, including the introduction of government incentives for employers to invest in private health insurance for their employees.
In second place only to minor illnesses, mental health issues account for most instances of sickness absence according to the report by the CIPD.
According to the mental health charity MIND, as many as one in six employees are suffering from issues such as stress, depression or anxiety at work. Clearly, mental health problems such as these prevent members of your workforce from performing to the best of their abilities.
In an attempt to shine the spotlight on these issues, the current government has promised a high-level review into workplace mental health practices and some awareness of the problems is now reflected in the government’s Fit to Work programme.
Despite the serious impact on the average employer’s payroll costs, many of the accidents and physical and mental health issues amongst employees are brought about, or at least made worse, by the job itself. They are all issues which may undermine the smooth running of your business.
Our mission here at ViiSana is to help you restore a positive employer and employee relationship by providing a range of products to maintain a healthy and less stressed workforce, encourage them to return to work after any period of sickness absence, and generally heighten their sense of motivation and commitment.
Our range of Vitality insurance products and services all have one goal in mind – helping you to make your workforce healthier, fitter, less stressed, motivated and content at work.
The solutions are designed to promote workplace wellbeing – which, in turn, develops a whole culture of well-balanced mental and physical health – through products such as health insurance, serious illness insurance and life insurance, which help bring a genuine sense of financial security and peace of mind to your employees and their families.
A healthier and fitter, motivated workforce is good for your business, but we also go that extra mile in encouraging positive attitudes amongst your employees through a wide range of rewards for adopting a positive approach to their physical and mental wellbeing.
The rewards range from cinema tickets, discounts on air travel and even weekly coffees. On a more serious note, our rewards also help to back up the efforts you are making to improve health and fitness in the workplace – including health check-ups and screening, discounts on fitness equipment and gym membership fees, discounts for enrolment with weight management programmes and courses to help stop smoking.
Newly motivated and rewarded for their own efforts, your employees may soon realise how much you are about their health and wellbeing in the workplace. They may tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, thus enhancing your reputation in the area as an excellent and helpful employer – which, in turn, gives you the edge in recruiting and retaining the most capable and qualified team.
For more information, or to have a no obligation discussion with one of our Protection Consultants, please contact us here @ Viisana.