Breathe new life into your work­place with in­no­va­tive cor­po­rate well­ness pro­grammes

AIA Vi­tal­ity’s new study shows that big re­wards await firms that take charge of their em­ploy­ees’ health.

Singapore Business Review - - AGENDA -

Are your em­ploy­ees of­ten on sick leave or are present but barely func­tion­ing? If so, then it’s prob­a­bly time to roll out a struc­tured cor­po­rate well­ness pro­gramme to rein­vig­o­rate your staff.

A grow­ing body of re­search re­veals that proac­tive man­age­ment of em­ploy­ees’ phys­i­cal and men­tal health can pro­duce a range of im­por­tant busi­ness ben­e­fits. For in­stance, the in­au­gu­ral 2017 Sin­ga­pore’s Health­i­est Work­place Sur­vey by AIA

Vi­tal­ity showed that em­ploy­ees’ life­style choices and gen­eral health are di­rectly re­lated to busi­ness crit­i­cal out­comes such as a re­duc­tion in ab­sen­teeism, greater staff en­gage­ment and pro­duc­tiv­ity, and a re­duc­tion in staff turnover.

“Cre­at­ing a cul­ture of health in an or­gan­i­sa­tion can only be pos­si­ble when em­ploy­ees and the man­age­ment work to­gether,” says Ms Carolynn Ang, head of hu­man re­sources, Asia Pa­cific, Cen­tu­rylink which bagged the top spot in the study as Sin­ga­pore’s health­i­est work­place.

The study, which sur­veyed ap­prox­i­mately 1,200 em­ploy­ees across 14 or­gan­i­sa­tions in the re­gion, re­vealed that the cost of em­ployee ab­sen­teeism and pre­sen­teeism is ap­prox­i­mately $800,000 per year on av­er­age for or­gan­i­sa­tions in Sin­ga­pore. Pre­sen­teeism refers to re­duced pro­duc­tiv­ity at work; al­though phys­i­cally present, em­ploy­ees are lim­ited or con­strained by health prob­lems to carry out their daily ac­tiv­i­ties, re­sult­ing in pro­duc­tiv­ity loss.

In or­der to cor­re­late em­ployee health and work­place pro­duc­tiv­ity, the study de­ter­mined each worker’s AIA Vi­tal­ity

Age. If a par­tic­i­pant is par­tic­u­larly fit and healthy, their AIA Vi­tal­ity Age could be lower than their ac­tual age. How­ever, ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents’ Vi­tal­ity Age was much higher than their ac­tual age.

The av­er­age AIA Vi­tal­ity Age gap in Sin­ga­pore is 4.5 years, lower than the

Asian av­er­age of 5.1 years but sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the gap of 3.4 years for Aus­tralian re­spon­dents. From an em­ployer’s per­spec­tive, a lower AIA Vi­tal­ity Age gap di­rectly trans­lates to greater work­place pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Across all sur­vey par­tic­i­pants, the re­sults demon­strate that each ad­di­tional year of AIA Vi­tal­ity Age gap cor­re­sponds, on av­er­age, to 3 ad­di­tional days of lost pro­duc­tive time per em­ployee per year. The re­port also showed that a grow­ing num­ber of em­ploy­ers per­ceive em­ployee well­be­ing pro­grammes as a strate­gic pri­or­ity, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing chal­leng­ing eco­nomic times. Even a small on­go­ing in­vest­ment in the well-be­ing of em­ploy­ees can pay big div­i­dends for the busi­ness and help to im­prove the bot­tom line. “Hu­man re­source is the key as­set for ev­ery busi­ness. Our team can only be ef­fec­tive if ev­ery­one is happy and healthy,” says Dr Low Lee Yong, CEO and founder of MHC Asia Group. The firm came in sec­ond in the rank­ing amongst the city’s health­i­est work­places. “If your co-work­ers are happy and healthy, your share­hold­ers will be over­whelm­ingly happy,” he notes.

Move it, move it

Fa­cil­i­tat­ing healthy habit changes in the work­place can make all the dif­fer­ence to em­ploy­ees’ health. For­tu­nately, clos­ing the AIA Vi­tal­ity Age gap isn’t all that hard. “Change can be done in small steps!” said Ms Ang. Em­ploy­ers need to know their em­ploy­ees’ unique clin­i­cal and life­style risk fac­tors and as­sesses how they in­ter­act with the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vices of­fered.

The study showed that 100% of em­ploy­ees re­ported im­proved over­all health af­ter em­ploy­ers or­gan­ised fit­ness classes as breaks in the work­place. All of the re­spon­dents also in­di­cated that hav­ing ac­cess to a di­eti­tian or nu­tri­tion­ist helped them take charge of their health.

Other in­ter­ven­tions in­clude of­fer­ing healthy food al­ter­na­tives at the work­place, which 83% of em­ploy­ees con­sid­ered ef­fec­tive. Em­ploy­ers can also of­fer clin­i­cal screen­ing ser­vices, such as blood pres­sure and blood glu­cose screen­ing, which was con­sid­ered ef­fec­tive by 81% of re­spon­dents. Cre­at­ing aware­ness of pro­grammes of­fered will en­sure pos­i­tive take-up of in­ter­ven­tions from em­ploy­ees, to ben­e­fit their health and well-be­ing.

“It’s im­por­tant to lis­ten to feed­back from em­ploy­ees, com­mu­ni­cate and find creative ways to ac­cede to sug­ges­tions,” added Ms Ang. Or­gan­i­sa­tional sup­port is also vi­tal. Even in ar­eas where the em­ploy­ees are less will­ing to change of their own vo­li­tion, cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to change and a cul­ture of health within the or­gan­i­sa­tion may pro­vide ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion.

Sin­ga­pore’s Health­i­est Work­place by

AIA Vi­tal­ity is a sur­vey by AIA Sin­ga­pore in part­ner­ship with AIA Group and RAND Europe CIC.

“The cost of em­ployee ab­sen­teeism and pre­sen­teeism is ap­prox­i­mately $800,000 per year on av­er­age in Sin­ga­pore.”

A grow­ing num­ber of em­ploy­ers per­ceive em­ployee well-be­ing pro­grammes as a strate­gic pri­or­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.