5 Ways You Can Support Your Employees' Health and Wellbeing

today is world health day

Here's how you can support your employees with their health and wellbeing...

Today is World Health Day, a time to focus on our own health. From eating well, exercising and managing stress there are things we can all be doing to be a little healthier every day. But, as an employer you might be wondering what role you should have in your employee’s health and wellbeing.

According to research by Cigna, 64% of employees said they wanted more wellbeing support from their employers. This can be in the form of advice as well as access to support systems and benefits that they can help, so employees can choose what they need. A study by YuLife and YouGov found that 25% of employees want more employer-provided benefits that help boost their health.

Having an employee health and wellbeing strategy which includes health benefits isn’t just beneficial for your employees. It can help prevent stress, create a positive work environment and improve employee engagement. According to CIPD almost 27 million working days were lost to work-related ill health in 2017/18. Here are 5 ways you can support your employees' health and wellbeing both in, and outside, of work…

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1. Focus on prevention as well as cure

Having a good wellbeing strategy isn’t just about trying to help someone when they’ve reached burn out. It’s about how we keep ourselves healthy, energised by the work we do, and how we live our lives. Your wellbeing efforts should include a focus on preventing work-related illness like stress and burnout, not just treatment.

One way you could do this is offering Health Screenings. These can assess your employee’s overall wellbeing, detect and potential disease or health risks before they happen, and they’re a great starting point in your health and wellbeing strategy.


2. Encourage good nutrition and hydration

Eating a diet that is nutritious can provide us with the energy we need to keep active throughout the day and fuel our body. There are some basics that we all need to remember, including eating our five a day, getting enough protein, and drinking enough fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day). You could arrange a nutritionist to come to talk to give a virtual talk to your team about some simple ways they could be eating better. Or, you could have your team share their favourite healthy recipes for inspiration. If they're not sure where to start, here's some inspiration for lunches at work


3. Help them get active

Regardless of what exercise you do it is really great for our health, it can reduce the risk of major illnesses like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer, as well as boosting our self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy (NHS).  

But, 84% of UK employees aren’t meeting the amount of physical activity recommended by the NHS (Westfield Health).

There are some ways you can encourage your employees to get a bit more exercise in their day. You could look at offering discounts on gym memberships to their local gym, ready for when they open back up, or Cycle To Work schemes if your employees are still commuting to work.

You could also look at offering flexible working to allow your employees to start or finish at staggered times, so they can fit in a workout before, after or during work. Or you could start up a company wide fitness challenge, now that it’s Spring and the warmer weather is here, it’s the perfect time to find a way to incentivise your employees to get active. Plus, what’s a better way to get people exercising than a little bit of friendly competition!


4. Focus on mental health and wellness

As a business it’s important to create a culture where people can be open about themselves, proactively support mental health and communicate with everyone. You could start by making sure you have discussions in employee’s regular one to ones, to check in to see how they’re doing and if anything is bothering them.

You could also give them access to additional support systems like Employee Assistance Programmes. These allow your employees to talk to BACP-accredited counsellors about any issues they may be having face-to-face, online, e-mail or by phone 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.


5. Make sure they don’t spend all day sat at our desks

Most of us spend all day sat at our desks, but that’s not great for our health. Whether it’s suggesting walking meetings, reminders to stand up during the day and encouraging them to get lunch away from their desk. This is also important for those who spend all day on a screen, as it’s important to avoid eyestrain, headaches and vision problems.


How we can help:

We know it isn’t always easy to know how to offer a wellbeing programme that benefits all employees across all five pillars of wellbeing. If you want to learn more about the ways you can support your employees’ health and wellbeing, why not get in touch with our experts? They can help guide you through solutions and plans you can put in place to help your staff.

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YuLife and YouGov
Westfield Health