The days of considering an employee's health as the individual's problem are long gone and rightly so. With the wellbeing of staff directly affecting business outcomes, there is a clear need for the organizations to get involved.
Among the many benefits of a healthier workforce, the three most prominent are:
- Reduction in absenteeism, due to sickness
- Improved productivity and staff engagement
- Lower staff turnover, leading to reductions in recruitment costs.
The Healthiest Workplace Survey 2019
AIA Insurance partnered with RAND Europe to research Sri Lankan workplace health scores, via the Healthiest Workplace Survey. This survey took a comprehensive look at employee wellbeing factors, with the intention of imrpoving employee engagement and workplace initiatives. The results identify areas of concern for employers.
Key Health & Wellbeing Results
- A person’s AIA Vitality Age is determined based on his or her lifestyle choices taking into account clinical and mental wellbeing risks associated with those choices. When compared with the individual's actual age it helps identify the effect of those lifestyle choices. The lesser the gap between an employee’s AIA Vitality Age and Actual Age, the healthier the employee.
- It is reassuring to see that since 2018, Sri Lanka has improved the AIA Vitality Age gap from 5.2 years to 4.9 years. This translates to nearly 1 whole day (rounded up) of additional productivity, per employee, per year.
- The lifestyle factor which has the largest negative impact on employee wellbeing is diet. Employees are not getting the recommended amounts of nutrition, particularly from whole grains. This is largely due to the higher cost associated with healthy foods.
- Obesity and musculoskeletal problems appear to be widespread.
41% of employees are classified as overweight or obese, as per their BMI.
75% reported one or more musculoskeletal ailments. Lower back and neck issues are the most common complaint.
- Mental health continues to be a problem with an increase in symptoms of depression being reported. While this may be the result of lifestyle and finance factors, evidence suggests that work-related stress also adds to the issue.
This stress can be attributed to organisational culture, leadership and relationships. In fact, 26% of employees reported they were subject to bullying in the workplace.
Importance of Healthy Workplaces
Human resources are your greatest assets. To get the most out of your staff, you need to prioritise their health and wellbeing.
Problems in this area resulted in a loss of 18.4% of working hours. This corresponds to an estimated cost of LKR 12.4 million per month, per organisation.
Add to this the expenses associated with staff turnover (due to illness related termination), recruitment and training of new employees. The total impact on your business is significant.
The good news is that with well-designed, properly evaluated and implemented employee engagement and workplace initiatives, your company can reap the benefits that a healthier workforce has to offer. Employees with greater physical and mental wellbeing are more motivated, engaged and productive. Small investments in this area can pay high dividends; and help you achieve business goals with greater efficiency.
Your greatest asset deserves the greatest care. Encourage positive change in personal lifestyle factors and improve your employees’ workplace experience. Focus on the big picture. A healthy workforce reduces costs and increases productivity. At the very least, taking care of your staff is the right thing to do.
Your Next Steps
- Understand the results of the Healthiest Workplace Survey 2019, in more detail, by accessing the full report here https://bit.ly/2SGkyjj
- Consider the implications of the findings, on your own business.
- Use the best practice guidelines from our report, to implement initiatives that boost the health and wellbeing of your employees https://bit.ly/2SGkyjj
AIA Insurance – helping you live healthier, longer, better lives.