The value of providing ill-health prevention support in the workplace
December 10th 2021 | Posted by Phil Scott
Health awareness has been more high-profile than ever during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Given that we are in a situation where most people are focused on their health, employers have an opportunity to step up to the plate.
HR managers and their teams play a vital role in monitoring issues caused by health in an organisation. They can also be pivotal in bringing new ill-health prevention support ideas to the business. Relevant provisions that can add value by preventing illness include flexible working, counselling services, stress and mental health initiatives, and assistance programmes for employees.
Services that can prevent ill-health in the workplace
The range of services that can be implemented in order to prevent potential employee health issues are varied and some may be more appropriate than others depending on the organisation. Examples of potential initiatives include:
- Access to diagnostic tools and processes.
- Availability of health screening.
- Access to GP services and/or private health care.
- Advice on lifestyle choices such as diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
- Fitness advice and support possibly including gym membership.
- Meditation and/or yoga classes.
Having an ill-health prevention package in place shows that an employer cares about their employees’ well-being. It also removes stress from the shoulders of employees as they know they have access to professional advice and support that can help prevent them from becoming ill.
Providing support benefits the individual and the employer
The benefits of ill-health prevention support in the workplace for employees are obvious. They have a framework in place which gives them access to preventative measures that can serve as an early warning for potential illness and enable them to take further action if necessary. In many cases, this prevents illness from happening or reduces its severity. This is obviously good news for individuals as it allows them to live a healthier and happier life both inside and outside the workplace.
This type of ill-health prevention programme also delivers significant benefits for the employer. For example, it helps to reduce potentially costly sickness absence rates. Given the amount of damage done by the pandemic in this area, this is a major positive for an organisation.
Having a reputation for taking care of employees’ health and well-being is also good for the image of an organisation. This is important from a potential employee and a potential customer point of view. People who are thinking of working for the employer are more likely to do so if they see that there are good quality ill-heath prevention measures in place. Customers are more likely to buy from businesses that take care of their employees as they believe this means they should look after their customers too.
Overall, organisations that do not have ill-health prevention support in place are missing out on a valuable tool. HR professionals have the ability to address the situation by promoting the value of such measures and assisting with their introduction.