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Health and Well Being

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A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce. Organisations have historically taken too lightly the detrimental impact of Employee ill health on productivity and performance. The Health and Safety Authority report that this is a significant issue in the Irish workplace, with approximately 14 million workdays per annum lost at a cost of in the order of €1.5 billion. The costs to both Employers and Employees are not purely financial as absenteeism impacts negatively on quality, production and customer service, while also placing additional demands on Employees who must cope in the absence of their colleagues. It is therefore in the interests of Organisations to pay attention to and promote Employee health.  

But what kind of assistance should be provided? Many Organisations as a standard support an absent Employee in returning to work following illness using various supports and other measures. Increasingly, however, Organisations are meeting the challenge and seeking to shift the emphasis of care provided to its Employees from reactive treatment towards the promotion of better health and well-being as a means of reducing sick leave absence and improving productivity.  

A growing number of Organisations are taking a more holistic approach and focusing on the overall health and well-being of their Employees, not as a ‘nice to have’ but as a strategic operational investment. A healthy Organisation is one that introduces programmes and initiatives to improve Employee well-being and which contribute towards an Employee’s enjoyment, engagement and happiness at work. Such programmes can result in numerous benefits to the Organisation such as reduced Employee turnover while raising morale, productivity and perceptions of the Organisation as a good Employer.