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Driving Workplace Wellness: NHS cuts could put more pressure on businesses to play their part in supporting employee health

FTI recently worked with the World Economic Forum and the Workplace Wellness Alliance (the Alliance), a consortium of over 150 companies committed to advancing workplace wellness and achieving a global standard to enhance health and productivity.
Healthy workers: Good business, good policy  

In today’s challenging economic climate, supporting a strong, healthy workforce is more critical than ever. The burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and mental ill-health, is growing and having a huge impact on socioeconomic structure. The World Health Organization estimates the global cost of mental ill-health alone will increase to about £10 trillion by 2030. A high percentage of NCDs can be prevented through cost-effective interventions and a significant proportion of the population can be reached by introducing these preventative measures through the workplace.   In the US, workplace wellness initiatives have been adopted by numerous corporations to rein in the costs of providing healthcare insurance to their employees. In the UK, recent changes to the NHS and continued bleak growth projections are placing a spotlight on the role employers can play in supporting employee health initiatives that can help relieve the burden on the healthcare system. Employers already have a vested interest in creating an environment which encourages healthier behaviours, such as healthy eating, exercising and not smoking. Quite simply, healthier employees are more productive and have fewer sick days than their less healthy colleagues. However, there is a lack of standardisation of workplace wellness metrics and methods to evaluate return on investment (ROI), which makes establishing clear numbers to make a business case challenging.  

Investing in workplace wellness and measuring outcomes: Our work with the World Economic Forum  

FTI recently worked with the World Economic Forum and the Workplace Wellness Alliance (the Alliance), a consortium of over 150 companies committed to advancing workplace wellness and achieving a global standard to enhance health and productivity. We led the collection and analyses of data from Alliance member workplace wellness programmes and supported the World Economic Forum with the development of the Alliance report for the Annual Meeting 2013 in Davos. The report brings together the latest thinking on workplace wellness, as well as metrics representing data from Alliance member initiatives covering almost two million employees from 25 companies across 125 countries and more than 500 locations. It reviews the challenges facing workplace wellness today and provides a means to understand the importance of measurement and impact of workplace wellness programmes. It develops benchmarks that allow companies to measure progress over time and determine how they are performing relative to their peers.   A selection of case studies showcases a wide range of ROI measures in different programme contexts. For example, smoking cessation programmes and incentivisation can enhance productivity; nutrition and exercise programmes can reduce employee healthcare costs, and centralised programme design can lead to increased employee engagement, which can lead to reduced turnover. These help to create a blueprint for identifying and implementing effective programmes and measuring outcomes.  

Our findings: Opportunities for cost benefits regardless of organisation size  

Investing in workplace wellness is likely to benefit your organisation, no matter what size it is, where it is and in what industry or sector. In the UK, the changes underway within the NHS are likely to have a profound and on-going impact on the balance of responsibility for health maintenance between the state, the employer and the employee. FTI is advising companies today who are building upon the work of the World Economic Forum to implement the targeted best practices around workplace wellness that reflect each individual company’s business structure and culture. Workplace wellness is a prudent, cost-effective means of supporting the vitality of the workforce – which has benefits at the corporate and national level.   

The Workplace Wellness Alliance report is available online:   http://www.weforum.org/news/new-data-supports-case-investing-employee-health



15th October 2013

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Driving Workplace Wellness: NHS cuts could put more pressure on businesses to play their part in supporting employee health
FTI recently worked with the World Economic Forum and the Workplace Wellness Alliance (the Alliance), a consortium of over 150 companies committed to advancing workplace wellness and achieving a global standard to enhance health and productivity.
FTI Consulting