FACT: Healthy Workers = Healthy Organisations = Healthy Business Performance
Many organisations invest in workplace programs that promote a healthier workforce. They do this not only because it is their duty as a good corporate citizen, but because they understand that keeping their staff healthy adds value to the overall company performance. Employees are often very grateful for the wellbeing practices their employer offers and readily participate in these programs. I wonder though, how many of you actually factor this into your decision making process when opting to accept a new job?
I took it upon myself today to review approximately forty new jobs that have been listed online this week alone. What I was looking for was whether or not an employer focused on the health benefits available to their employees in their job advertisements. What I discovered was that employers often describe what you the candidate can expect to be rewarded with should you be hired and perform as required. These ‘benefits’ in the main included:
- An attractive salary,
- a great workplace culture,
- a structured pathway to developing one’s career and opportunities to advance within,
- a structured roster,
- an innovative workplace that embraces change, and
- an organisation that values their employees.
There was no mention of joining a working environment that actively encouraged workers to engage in a variety of health based programs leading to fitter physical and mental shape and overall improved wellbeing. Not in the public nor private sector jobs, and not at all within the employee relationship management type roles that I scoured. Many of us whine that we do not have enough time to focus on our health. And we complain because the state of our health is very important to us. So why would an employer fail to differentiate themselves in this manner when shopping for a new recruit, particularly when they have such a great variety of established wellbeing programs?
Is it the candidate that places little importance on this element of the job seeking criteria, or is it the employer? An employer knows that the great benefits of a healthy workplace include:
- Improved work performance and productivity,
- reduced costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, disability and workers’ compensation,
- improved organisational culture and employee retention, and
- improved organisational image, talent attraction, and fulfilment of corporate social responsibility obligations.
Don’t we want to walk into a workplace that thrives on achievement? Don’t we all want a job with a company that has a great culture? Don’t we want to work alongside the best the marketplace has to offer? Are we not proud to work for a company with a reputation for actively giving back to society? Are employers missing a key opportunity to upsell themselves when recruiting?
Workplace wellness considers the physical, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, emotional, occupational and mental health of employees. And there is an abundance of data out there to prove that employer generated health programs actually do work. And let’s face it, we all have some sort of health risk, albeit in varying degrees. We may eat poorly, lack exercise or sleep, drink or smoke, or cope with the hand our genetics dealt us. Thus we all see a personal advantage in taking part in one or more wellbeing programs. So understanding that healthier employees tend to be happier, and that we all want to be healthy and happy, should we all want and expect health and wellbeing incentives to be integrated more prominently in our recruitment strategies?
If you’re still on the fence on the questions I’ve posed, consider this startling statistic released only within the past ten years…. the healthiest employees work approximately 143 effective hours per month compared to 49 effective hours per month by the least healthy employee (Medibank Private, The Health of Australia’s Workforce)
All companies want to be an employer of choice. And all companies want to engage high performing staff. Perhaps this is your organisation’s pathway to capturing the interest of our top talent…?