Reasons to invest in your employees’ health in 2021

Bella Marsden

Wed Dec 23 2020

With our lives shifting dramatically in the last year due to coronavirus, it is more important than ever that businesses adapt to ensure they are supporting their employees to be as happy and healthy as possible. This will not only benefit the individuals within your organisation, but also your business as a whole.

Here are some of the reasons to invest in your employees’ health in 2021.

Changing priorities

The last year has been a very stressful time for many, with our normal way of life being turned on its head. We’ve seen that the coronavirus pandemic has affected certain groups more than others, with those suffering from underlying health conditions being identified by the NHS as at a greater risk or becoming seriously ill from the virus (1). This has no doubt affected how people view their own health and how important it is in relation to other aspects of their lives, such as their careers.
Many people will now be looking to prioritise their health and will expect their employers to support this. Long working hours, stressful jobs and lack of support when it comes to health concerns may not be tolerated by employees as perhaps it once was. 2021 will be an important year to develop your employee wellness package to ensure your business is in-line with your employees’ changing values.

A healthier workforce

It goes without saying that investing in your employees’ health will help encourage a healthier workforce, and we all know the obvious benefits of this including reduced absenteeism and presenteeism. However, a healthier workforce will result in a host of other benefits including:

•    Less time taken off work for GP and doctor’s appointments
•    Reduced stress and distractions due to medical concerns
•    Better productivity and job performance – a survey published in JOEM suggested those who ate healthily and exercised were up to 25% more likely to have higher job performance (2).
•    Higher creativity – one study showed organisations promoting health and wellbeing are seen as 3.5 times more likely to be creative and innovative (3).

Helps with recruitment

With a changing landscape due to coronavirus, potential employees will be paying more attention to how well a company will support them, should their health suffer. Having an employee health offering will be desirable and help set you apart from other employers, building a strong employee value proposition and helping you to attract top talent. In the long run, this will help improve loyalty and reduce turnover as employees will be more likely to stay with a company if they feel their health and wellbeing is being looked after.

Having a great health and wellbeing package will add to your reputation as a top company to work for, and help set you apart when recruiting new talent, as well as keeping the talent your already have.

Reduced costs

The cost benefits of a healthy workforce cannot be underestimated. Sickness absence costs UK employers about £692 per employee per year, with the total cost of sickness absence to UK business estimated at £15bn per year (4).

And it’s not just sickness absence employers should be concerned about. According to CIPD’s Health and wellbeing at work 2020 survey, up to 89% of organisations surveyed have seen presenteeism (working when sick), and 73% have seen ‘leaveism’ (using holidays to take sick leave), with rates increasing in the last 12 months (5). This survey even led to a leading workplace psychologist, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, to suggest presenteeism actually costs the UK economy twice as much as absenteeism.

There is no doubt that employee sickness has major cost implications for businesses in the UK, and now with coronavirus risks and more people having to self-isolate when presenting with symptoms, it is a crucial time for employers to make sure they are taking steps to improve the health of their teams.

Employee Health Checks

Medichecks offers an alternative to the traditional on-site employee health screenings which can be expensive and time consuming, not to mention a logistical challenge in the current climate with many employees working from home.

Our range of home health checks measure markers in the body that affect mood, energy and overall health including vitamins, hormones, cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease risk. The tests are completed easily at home and sent to our laboratory for analysis. Results are delivered securely online with actionable advice from a doctor so your employees can make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve their health and wellbeing.

Find out more about our employee health checks here.