Workplace Wellbeing: An Integrated Strategy is Key
The government is soon expected to announce plans to implement annual health checks for UK workers, reports the Times, in a bid to tackle long-term sick leave and reduce the number of economically-inactive people including a growing number aged over 50. The Treasury is also set to launch subsidies to assist small and medium-sized businesses in offering occupational health services and basic health appraisals. They are hoping that by introducing assessments that could involve blood pressure and body mass index tests, they will be able to identify potential health issues earlier and reduce the number of people exiting the labour market. While this initiative is a positive step towards promoting occupational health, it may not be enough on its own. The effectiveness of annual health appraisals depends on multiple factors, such as the quality of the tests, the frequency of the checks and the follow-up support provided to employees. Of course, detecting potential health issues early is important, but it could be argued that initiatives would be more effective if they focused on promoting healthier lifestyles for preventing illness, rather than detecting it later down the line.
Encouraging and supporting employees to adopt healthy habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress management can go a long way in preventing chronic health conditions but promoting a healthy work-life balance, providing mental health support and reducing workplace burnout are also factors which contribute to overall wellbeing. If this initiative is to be successful in keeping people in employment, it’s going to be crucial to strike a balance between diagnosing issues and encouraging a healthy lifestyle which includes promoting a positive workplace culture. It’s doubtful that the government’s strategy of health checks will achieve this goal alone and while it appears to favour employers by reducing absences, it’s not apparent how it will positively impact the health of employees. T-Cup’s holistic approach emphasises the importance of individual wellbeing, team dynamics, and organisational health. We believe that building a strong foundation for overall wellbeing begins with supporting the individual, leading to the development of collaborative and cohesive teams which create a solid foundation for thriving communities. We do this by promoting safe spaces which foster psychologically safe environments and through self-reflection, relationship management and data-led action, we enable positive cultural change through the introduction of relevant wellbeing initiatives. Thriving people create thriving businesses and maintaining a healthy and engaged workforce is critical to success so businesses need to take a proactive approach to ensure that their employees are supported and encouraged to lead healthy, balanced lives.
While the introduction of annual health checks is a positive step towards detecting potential health issues, it is equally important to prioritise corporate wellbeing strategies that aim to reduce stress and burnout and promote happy and productive work environments. Failing to address the root causes of workplace stressors can negatively impact employee morale, leading to reduced engagement and productivity which ultimately affects business outcomes. To encourage people to opt-in to employment and thrive, it is crucial to implement comprehensive wellbeing initiatives that focus on the holistic health and wellbeing of each individual if they are to sustain a healthy and engaged workforce.