Health and Wellbeing Supplement 2010

Health & wellbeingSponsor’s comment: Focus on workforce health will bring significant cost savings

Interview with Professor Sayeed Khan, the EEF’s chief medical adviser

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Editor’s comment

Despite ongoing economic challenges and the pressure to control costs, employers appear to have recognised the need to take a proactive approach to employee health and wellbeing.

When putting together a wellbeing strategy, however, it is vital that employers define exactly what this means for their organisation in view of their corporate objectives and goals. This will enable them to tailor a wellbeing package to meet the needs of their workforce, ensuring that it maximises its success. After all, there is little point in simply paying lip-service to the idea of wellbeing by offering free or subsidised products that employees may not want or use.

Engaging staff with a health and wellbeing strategy is crucial if employers are to reap maximum benefits from their spend. This can even help to cut the costs associated with ill-health, particularly if employers can engage employees with their recovery once they go off sick. The more engaged staff are with this, the more likely they are to return to work in the shortest possible time.

With some issues, this may be more of a challenge, however. Some employees still perceive a stigma attached to mental ill-health, so it is encouraging that employers are actively taking steps to overcome this and offer benefits to support staff affected by such issues.

Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor