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Why Does Your Business Need a Corporate Wellness Programme?

There is no disputing the fact that sickness absence has a huge negative impact on the performance of any business. According to the Department of Works & Pensions:

  • Approximately 130 million days are lost due to sickness absence and poor health every year in the United Kingdom

  • Sickness absenteeism costs the national economy £100 billion a year

If staff members are consistently absent then this can affect the business in different ways:

  • Productivity levels can fall

  • Company reputation can be affected

  • Staff morale diminishes

  • Staff turnover increases

  • Financial costs increase

Prevention is Better Than Cure

According to the NHS the 5 most common preventable diseases are:

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Lung disease

  • Liver disease

BHF says that cardiovascular disease is the UK’s single biggest killer, but in many cases it is preventable.

Cancer Research UK says that an estimated 42% of cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to a combination of 14 major lifestyle and other factor that can be avoided.

Diabetes UK states that diabetes is the fastest growing health threat of our times and an urgent public health issue. 3 in 5 cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented.

According to the World Health Organisation four of the most prominent chronic diseases in the world are cardiovascular disease, cancer, COPD, and type 2 diabetes. These are linked by common and preventable biological risk factors caused by behavioural risk factors which include:

  • Smoking tobacco

  • High blood pressure

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Poor diet

  • Lack of physical activity

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

“Every year thousands of people in the UK could avoid developing diseases and prevent an early death by changing their diet and lifestyle.”


Corporate Wellness Programme

Strong evidence has shown that having a corporate wellness programme can improve the health & wellbeing of employees. On average UK workers spend 1/3 of their adult life at work, therefore the DWP states that this is an ideal place to encourage employees to improve their health. The workplace offers several advantages in that a substantial number of the working population can be reached and multiple levels of influence on behaviour can be targeted1.

Evidence supports the idea that wellness programs have a positive impact on intermediate and bottom-line benefits2. Most of the financial benefits take the form of cost savings rather than increased income or revenue flows2. Corporate wellness programmes have been shown to incur cost savings from £2 for every £1 spent (1:2) to £34 for every £1 spent (1:34)3.

Examples of businesses that have implemented a corporate wellness programme and seen positive returns on investment include:

  • British Gas introduced workshops and for every £1 invested the company received a return of £312

  • A manufacturer with 20,000 employees made cost savings of £11m over 3 years2

  • A manufacturer with 200 employees invested £7,150. For every £1 invested £11 was saved2

The magnitude of the benefits can vary significantly and this depends not only on what type of organisation and programme is involved, but also on the way in which the programme is planned and executed2. Linking the corporate wellness programme activities to organisational objectives, support from top management, and broad-reaching communication programs are important to establish and maintain corporate wellness programmes1.

Introducing company policies that promote healthy behaviours and allowing employees to participate in, and consult with workplace health initiatives has been proven to make the implementation more effective and employees more likely to participate.

According to the World Health Organisation the benefits of implementing a successful CWP include:

How much time, money and effort do companies spend on appraisals, objective settings, reviews etc. whilst ignoring the need to look after their employees and making them feel valued? Taking care of your employees and making work an enjoyable place to be is such an important factor in getting the best out of your employees and making sure they turn up for work.

Find out how I can help you improve the health and well-being of you employees. Check out my corporate wellness webpage for more information or download my brochure below.

1 The workplace as a setting for interventions to improve diet and promote physical activity - WHO

2 Building the case for wellness - Price Waterhouse Cooper

3 Healthy Work – Evidence into Action 2010

4The long-term impact of Johnson & Johnson's Health & Wellness Program on employee health risks.


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