Creating a healthy workplace effectively requires data – bring on Britain’s Healthiest Workplace!

BHW healthy workplace award is back to benchmark UK businesses

We are really looking forward to the results of this year’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey. For those unfamiliar with it, this annual healthy workplace award is a benchmark for testing the employee health of the nation. Founded by Vitality, it is backed as usual by the Financial Times, joined this year by Rand Europe, Aon, and the University of Cambridge to add fresh academic data analysis.

Our Employee Health Director, Dr Steve Boorman, has been involved with the board and steering committee for this initiative since the very start. 

He explained: “Among other things, the survey aims to highlight the true costs and productivity impacts to a business that are associated with their staff health – that is not just sickness absence, but also sick presence and presenteeism, which are growing issues. Gathering data from companies is not just a way to learn, but to raise awareness that staff health is a financial factor not just an HR issue.”

Healthy workplace award gathers impressions from workers and businesses

As in previous years, the survey is inviting businesses with more than 20 staff, and their staff too, to answer questions about the perceived current health of their workforce, so they can understand what they need to do to make a positive further impact and create healthy workplaces.

“This year is important, as it will explore the effects of the pandemic as well as the broader factors influencing the health of employees. It has previously shone a light on topics including loss of productivity from day one absence, a subject close to our heart. After skipping a year due to COVID, we hope this year will help raise employee health and wellbeing even higher on the corporate agenda” says Dr Boorman.

You need data to inform workplace health strategies and help with creating a healthy workplace

The survey will culminate in awards in a range of categories in November this year, with coveted Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum gongs up for grabs. 

Yet Dr Boorman is keen to emphasise that this is in no way a ‘beauty parade’ but strives to be a driver of change. He stated:

“Of course it’s great to identify and share those exemplars of good employee health practice in the winners’ lineup. However it is also about creating insight that can inform strategies. We have known for a long time that there are three employee states of health. Those who are thriving and contributing to their maximum, those off sick and clearly costing their employers as a result, and those who are sick but also come to work. The latter may be struggling, sometimes unnoticed, and create hidden costs and impacts.”

“Employers can benefit directly from the survey. It acts as a kind of thermometer, helping to measure the health of their employees, understanding the issues that exist. The data from the wider survey can in turn also identify potential measures for improvement. These can link directly to the business case of boosting productivity and efficiency, while reducing costs and risks.  We hope it will incentivize employers to adopt systems to help track and measure data around employee health more consistently and accurately.”

Connecting employee health and business success

“I hope that this survey and the insights it delivers will help employers make new connections between employee health, business success, and competitiveness. Then they can take other supportive actions. For example, increasing Occupational Health investments and understanding that it is not just a new ‘cost’ but a benefit to the business.  There are so many benefits of a proactive employee health strategy. Benefiting brand reputation, helping retain staff, and attract the new talent and teams that companies need in the future. Embracing more measurement in this area will help organisations prove its Return on Investment.”

We urge companies to get involved. It will help build the biggest and clearest snapshot possible of the health of our nation’s employees. It is free to register for any company with more than 20 employees and will test both employees’ and their employer’s perspective on health. Not only are entrants in with a chance of awards, but they gain a valuable benchmark report on which to build. Register on the Vitality website.

Historic data can only ever provide a partial picture of workplace health – how do you take action?

Surveys like Britain’s Healthiest Workplace provide valuable intelligence to help companies understand where they stand. They then need to take proactive action. With the aid of the Empactis Employee Health Management System employers can create healthy workplace cultures backed up with effective enterprise-wide health management and workflows.

It helps organisations build and maintain a true and accurate understanding of current workplace health and associated factors such as sickness absence, interaction with occupational health services, and wider employee relations matters.

Only with complete and current data can leaders make effective workforce-level decisions and design future workplace strategies that can truly transform workplace health.