Lack of employee health initiatives costing businesses in the long-term

Brady George speaks by SS Great Britain

Despite increasing awareness about the importance of supporting health and well-being in the workplace, only eight per cent of employers operate a well-being strategy.

These figures come from a Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) report, which says that the implementation gap is affecting employee health and long-term business sustainability.

The average cost of absence now stands at £554 per employee per year, yet less than two-fifths of organisations are monitoring these costs.

Commenting on the report, Brady George, Managing Director at Bristol-based facilities management firm Almeda, says FM can play a crucial role in boosting employee well-being and creating a more positive business environment.

He said: “Employees view facilities and services as an extension of the level of care by management. A poorly maintained facility or perceived poor service from maintenance staff creates a negative attitude.

“The lack of attention in these areas, as well as the lack of amenities such as wellness programs or on-site dining, is seen as a direct reflection of senior leadership.”

Almeda takes a campus-like approach to employee well-being and has put in place a number of initiatives to create a culture of collaboration and healthy living.

These initiatives include juice detoxing, free daily fruit and vegetables, yoga, hypnotherapy and fitness classes.

“These services are optional,” explains Brady. “Most of the people we hire advocate healthy living, and if it resonates with employees they are welcome to join in, but we don’t preach.

“It has made a positive change in Almeda and the way we operate.”

Almeda also recently launched a new catering division that will change the way large manufacturers and businesses think about the way they feed their staff.

International building materials company Hanson UK is already working with Almeda to completely renovate its in-house restaurant, with the family-run firm not just building the space but also providing and cooking the food.

“We spend most of our day at work so it makes sense to create a workplace people want to come to,” says Brady. “The benefits of implementing a long-term well-being strategy are enormous. It improves staff engagement and productivity, reduces employee sick days and promotes a feel-good vibe in the workplace.”