Health & Wellbeing A Priority In 2018
04 January 2018
If low productivity, staff absenteeism, stress and health issues were a problem for your team in 2017, there are ways to reverse this trend and get a healthier and happier workforce in 2018.
It is well known that in certain sectors - including healthcare - physical and mental health issues are having a significant impact on staffing. Employees need to be fit both mentally and physically to do their jobs effectively, but lifestyle choices and the work environment are not always conducive to a healthy workforce. As a result many hours are lost because of poor performance, time off and staff shortages.
The Challenge Of Developing Effective Health And Wellbeing Strategies
Here at Vivup we know that it’s not easy delivering staff health and wellbeing strategies as the issues that employees face can be very diverse.
A range of factors, many of which are out of your control, can cause health problems. A demanding job in a stressful environment can result in depression or anxiety, but so too can personal finance worries and debt. Being immobile for long periods of time can exacerbate physical health problems, but they can also be made worse if a job is physically demanding. Poor physical health has an impact on mental health too, lowering our capacity to cope with stress and adversity: yet stress can also result in us making poor choices that affect our physical health such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol or eating the wrong foods.
Health and wellbeing is a complicated landscape and there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for all the issues your staff may be affected by.
However, we think there is a way to give your staff the support and incentives they need. That’s to promote a culture of wellbeing at work and provide your team with the tools to self-diagnose and access help when they need it; and to encourage them to prioritise their health, wellbeing and happiness.
We think the New Year is a great opportunity to send staff a clear message that your organisation values them and cares about their health and wellbeing.
How can you do this?
Many people are already prioritising their health by making New Year Resolutions. According to a recent YouGov poll, the five most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2018 are:
- Eat better
- Exercise more
- Spend less money
- Self care (such as get more sleep)
- Read more books
Other common New Year Resolutions include giving up or cutting down on cigarettes and / or alcohol, and finding a new job. Your health and wellbeing strategies could help staff tackle all of these resolutions, even ‘read more books’, and hopefully change their minds about ‘finding a new job’! Here’s how:
- Promote weight management and healthy eating by providing staff with the information and resources they need to make healthy choices about their diet.
- Provide staff with incentives and schemes that help them become more active. Cycle to work and gym membership salary sacrifice schemes are very popular, but there are many other no cost schemes you can implement. More examples can be found here.
- Help staff get on top of their finances by offering fairer finance schemes and financial advice. Schemes that offer discounts on goods will also help them save money and spend less.
- Lack of sleep is a huge problem for modern society, affecting our ability to concentrate and work, and having significant health implications. Provide information and resources that will help staff get better sleep so they can keep this New Year Resolution.
- Encourage staff who want to ‘read more books’ to set up a book group so they can help each other achieve this goal. The social interaction, as well as inspiring reading material, will also have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
- Many employers in the healthcare sector offer smoking cessation support for staff. Make sure this is easy to find out about and access so that those who want help can get it.
Having a central platform for all health and wellbeing initiatives is a great way to ensure that staff can access the support they need in their own time and when they want it. This could be on your intranet or by tailoring a readymade portal, like Vivup, to your specific needs.
Once in place it’s vital that you promote your platform to ensure that all staff know where they can get the help they want. Regular health and wellbeing campaigns are a great way to do this, reminding staff that the resources and schemes are available and that your organisation is committed to their health and happiness.
New Year is naturally a great opportunity to push any initiatives related to common goals and resolutions. If you don’t have the infrastructure in place to promote these effectively, speak to our team about how the Vivup portal works at no cost to your organisation.
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