Vitality and consulting firm Mercer have launched 'Britain’s Healthiest Company', an initiative which aims at finding and celebrating organisations with the healthiest employees in the UK. The results of the challenge will not only be used to identify the healthiest firms, but also to develop industry norms, in an attempt to lower the burden for the UK economy caused by unhealthy employees.
Britain’s Healthiest Company
Britain’s Healthiest Company is a partnership between consulting firm Mercer, health insurer and wellness programme provider VitalityHealth and The Sunday Telegraph to find celebrate UK’s organisations demonstrating “best practices and innovative approaches to looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.” To find the healthiest company, employers and employees of participating organisations are asked to partake in a survey* that evaluates the effectiveness of workplace wellness programmes and the health of the employees. The survey involves questions regarding lifestyle, behavioural and clinical risk factors, including weight, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, stress, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. How often people attend health screenings to monitor and understand their health are also taken into the equation.
The study not only identifies ‘Britain’s Healthiest Company’, but will also provide UK employers with insights into the wellbeing of their workforce, in the form of a confidential Corporate Health Report, which can be used to evaluate wellness programmes and HR strategies. In addition, the results of all participating companies will be used to research the health of UK employees and UK companies, which will help develop industry norms for the UK market.
Last year’s study showed that in 2014, sick leave and presenteeism (working while unwell) has cost UK organisations, on average, 7.7% of their yearly wage expenses, which translates into a total cost of lost productivity to the UK economy of more than £58 billion on an annual basis. Chris Bailey, Head of Corporate Consulting for Employee Health and Benefits at Mercer, explains the importance of a good wellness programme for organisations: “The results from the last two years of Britain’s Healthiest Company suggest that organisations investing in the health of their employees are rewarded with a competitive advantage. The data shows that, of the 2014 participants of Britain’s Healthiest Company, the top 20% healthiest companies had 37% less ‘lost productivity’ than the survey average. This should place wellness firmly on the agenda of boardrooms nationally.”
Britain’s Healthiest Company 2015
Registration for the 2015 study has recently been opened and organisations have up to 31 March 2015 to present their candidature. The top three companies will be announced during an awards event in July 2015 and in August 2015 every participating organisation will receive a Corporate Health Report.
* University of Cambridge and RAND Europe are academic partners and are responsible for the survey design, data collection and analysis.