How to motivate your clients to adopt a preventative wellbeing strategy
Preventive care can lead to a positive impact on the quality of life. For example, lifestyle-related factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise are said to account for 88%* of preventable diseases in the UK. Plus, adopting a healthy lifestyle is thought to decrease the risk of developing chronic diseases by 80%.
Despite the evidence, many businesses tend to focus more on providing healthcare support to employees when they become ill, rather than taking proactive action to prevent poor health in the first place, leading to a loss of 185.6 million working days annually to sick leave.
Here’s how you can encourage your clients to adopt a more preventative wellbeing strategy to take better care of their workforce.
1. Talk to them about numbers
A preventative wellbeing strategy could help minimise absenteeism, curb presenteeism and reduce healthcare costs through fewer claims.
For example, nearly 30% of adults in the UK took days off in 2022 due to minor illnesses such as flu or cough in 2022 – which has been the leading cause of workplace absenteeism. While it's impossible to completely prevent them, businesses can certainly take small steps to decrease the impact, such as regular check-ups, access to wellbeing resources, or even encouraging them to take the flu jab. The NHS estimates that if people regularly took flu vaccinations every year as recommended, it’d save them 23,000 bed days every winter.
Also, UK adults taking sick days because of work-related stress cost the UK economy £28bn a year. Offering access to counselling or therapy, mindfulness apps and general mental wellbeing support could go a long way in reducing stress levels across their workforce before they hit burnout.
2. Take the initiative
High absenteeism in the workplace can lead to a chain reaction of negative consequences. Not only does it affect the sick employees, but it also burdens the healthy workers, who take on additional responsibilities to compensate. The added stress and anxiety could eventually lead to more absenteeism, creating a vicious cycle.
So, rather than waiting for a crisis to occur, businesses could take proactive measures to prevent it and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the rest of the team.
3. It helps to demonstrate value and care
When businesses invest in ongoing support and provide preventative measures, not only do they demonstrate genuine care for their employees' well-being but also establish a foundation of trust.
Employees recognise the efforts put into supporting them with their health and are more likely to reciprocate with increased job satisfaction, engagement, and long-term loyalty.
4. Improves overall work culture
When a business makes an effort to create a healthier environment in the workplace, it increases employee morale and promotes a positive workplace culture.
Having a safe and welcoming culture further encourages employees to feel more comfortable sharing their health concerns openly and honestly. Knowing their employer is proactive about health and wellbeing, they’re more likely to seek assistance before minor issues escalate, potentially decreasing the levels of absenteeism.
This simple and proactive approach not only contributes to a healthier workforce but also nurtures an atmosphere of trust and support, ultimately benefiting both your clients and their employees.
5. Reduced pressure on NHS
If businesses focus on prevention alongside treatment at the workplace, it could also reduce the overall demand on the NHS.
Some of the services in healthcare packages include online consultations, diagnostics and treatments, specialist referrals, mental health support, medication prescriptions, etc. If UK adults could access these services at their workplace, the NHS could focus on critical cases and improve access to care, ultimately benefiting everyone in society.
Of course, not all health conditions are preventable. Your clients will always have employees who’ll need time off to care for their health. So, it’s still important for them to have a clear policy for helping employees smoothly return to work after an absence, but preventive strategies have a promising potential to reduce these instances. Preventative care demonstrates compassion, nurtures workplace culture, and can reduce costs.
Discuss and encourage your clients how a preventative wellbeing strategy could positively impact their business in the short and long run, and help them recognise the value of investing in their employees’ ongoing health and wellbeing.
Benenden Healthcare for Business enables all businesses in the UK the ability to offer affordable, high-quality private healthcare to every single one of their employees. Affordable private healthcare that complements your existing benefit solutions, making business healthcare a reality for all employees.
* Vitality (Health Claims Insights Report, 2022)