4 Pillars of an Effective Health Framework at Work

We attended the Talent Management Asia Conference this week where we listened to some of the smartest HR minds in Asia share their thoughts on managing and strengthening talent. A recurring topic was the importance of workplace health for happier and more productive employees.


Jeffrey Tang (Managing Director, Willis Towers Watson) provided some staggering ROI statistics of health programs at work. He explained how the biggest health risks for Asia Pacific are lack of physical activity, lack of sleep, stress and obesity. In an effort to tackle this, companies with better health programmes have reported 25% fewer employees with hypertension, 24% fewer employees with high blood glucose levels, and 30% fewer smokers. It is also clear that employers have a lot to gain from a healthy workforce in terms of improved productivity; healthy employees are twice as likely to outperform their unhealthy employees.


Despite this overwhelming evidence of the usefulness of integrating health programs at work, the majority of Asia Pacific employers do not have an articulated health strategy. In fact, only 1 in 10 companies measure any health or wellbeing programmes. This lack of return evidence along with lack of budgets are the major challenges that HR professionals face when trying to make the case to the finance team.


Jeffrey suggested the following 4 pillars for implementing and managing an effective health framework:


1) Prevention

Employers can prevent a number of risks by actively promoting a healthy lifestyle in the office. This could be as simple as offering fruit instead of sugary snacks in the pantry.


2) Organisational Support

Employers can also support their employees by offering benefits such as subsidized gym memberships to encourage good exercise habits. A fit body makes a fit mind!


3) Personal Support

Offering flexible working hours for your employees can reduce stress through improved work life balance. It’s important to appreciate that every employee has different needs, and to try to cater to these as best as possible. In doing so, you’re taking the next step towards a happier and more productive workforce.


4) Design and delivery

Making health programs easily understandable and accessible is vital to their success. Using technology to implement these saves both time and paperwork, along with increasing employee engagement through making these accessible on mobile phones.

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