Health and wellbeing is central to the lives of many Australians. After all, feeling good and staying sharp from a fitness perspective can smooth over many practices in life. In the workplace, it can make it easier to maintain focus or allow any physical elements of a role to be tackled much more easily.
The old adage goes that a healthy employee is a happy employee, so are today's businesses doing enough to live up to that billing? Well, many fail to fully grasp wellness, and don't put the required initiatives in place because the results aren't necessarily tangible in the short-term.
If a company invests funding into a new software system, an office redesign or even just more staff, decision makers are able to see where that money's going immediately. While the importance of corporate health is undeniable, getting a handle on the knock-on benefits can take some time.
An unhealthy workforce can cost a business an additional 4 to 12 per cent of its entire payroll.
The fallout of poor workplace wellness
However, research collated by New Zealand's Agencies for Nutrition Action (ANA) suggested that an unhealthy workforce could cost a company between 4-12 per cent of their entire payroll in everything from healthcare costs to a reduction in wider productivity.
While that may not sound like a daunting amount, if a company has thousands of employees, the impact on its bottom line from not reinforcing health across its operation will quickly become noticeable.
Moreover, ANA went on to break down the amount of actual productive work a healthy staff member does compared to an unhealthy worker. Someone with an unbalanced diet who doesn't look out for their wellness in any real way will do 49 hours of genuine, effective work each month. In a healthy employee, that number nearly triples to 143 hours per month.
Consequently, health and wellbeing is something that organisations simply cannot afford to overlook.
Wellness in the face of global competition
Ultimately, an unhealthy workforce can also limit a company's ability to not only compete with its near-rivals, but could also limit growth opportunities in the wider context, according to a joint report collated by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Medibank.
The research surmised that due to the fact that today's enterprise world is getting even more fast paced, the need for an increased focus on employee wellness is only likely to compound going forward.
To that end, further findings from the Queensland Resource Council suggested that health and wellbeing simply have to be considered as a key asset in the business world, and wellness at large should be built into a company's strategic planning principles.
Meeting the challenge
So, what can businesses do if they want to ensure that their workforce has the best chance of staying healthy, allowing the organisation to keep productivity and efficiency high? Well, the answer lies in leveraging an effective corporate health plan.
Offering staff the added benefit of subsidised cover will not only incentivise them outside their existing remuneration package, it will also enable employees to stay healthier over the long term.
As touched on, health and wellbeing are now central pillars in the daily lives of the majority of Australians, so meeting the needs that come with that in the workplace is a must for employers of all sizes.
Finding the right corporate health plan – or even reassessing the viability of a current arrangement – doesn't have to be laborious. If you'd like to find out more about how your organisation could benefit from business health insurance, call a HICA expert today on 1300 44 22 01 for a cost-free consultation.