Many US businesses are taking a proactive approach to improving health in the workplace by implementing a broad range of employee wellbeing and exercise programmes. The aim is to create a healthier, more productive workforce while reducing costly sickness and absence levels.
Statistics show that organisations in the US are becoming increasingly serious about sustaining employee engagement in wellbeing. However, without real cultural change within the organisation, participation in programmes tends to drop once the initial enthusiasm wears off. In response, many organisations are experimenting with personal coaching, web or app-based fitness competitions and social networks to track and reward healthy behaviour.
Studies have revealed that introducing incentives increases employee participation. In the US, around $60 billion is spent annually by employers and health plans to motivate workers to engage in programmes and to improve workplace health. A MasterCard/Harris Interactive survey found that 61% of employees would participate if incentives were offered compared with just 26% otherwise.
Examples of rewards include gift cards, health insurance discounts, gym membership, personal trainer coupons, time off, cash and even health-focused travel. These help to motivate employees and encourage them to keep going, enabling them to make lifelong improvements to their health.
UK-based workplace health programmes
Many UK companies are also starting to take health in the workplace more seriously with the help of experts such as occupational health provider Medigold Health. Medigold Health specialises in providing proactive employee wellbeing services. It provides a comprehensive range of services covering numerous health and lifestyle topics, either to be delivered onsite or via email. These services can be provided as one-off projects or as part of a wider and integrated wellbeing programme.