Nuffield Health in the UK believes the need for employers to look after the health of their workforce will become the new corporate responsibility model.
.Speaking at the launch of its Wellbeing in the Workplace 2012 research, group chief executive David Mobbs explained organizations had a key role to play in improving the nation’s health.
“I think it’s important for a number of reasons, not just about improving productivity and engagement of your people, but also about the UK business sector standing up to help address some of the major challenges in terms of health, including the aging population and taking off pressure from public purse and NHS,” he said.
“UK plc has just gone through corporate social responsibility where sustainability and fair trade are the boxes that organisations are looking to tick to become a better company.
“I think in the future it will not be about sustainability of environment that they will be looking to address, it’s about sustainability of the health of your workforce.
“So I think employee welfare will become the new form of corporate responsibility.”
Mobbs also noted that the World Economic Forum had highlighted the importance of health as a threat to economic stability, while other reports had identified the potential for certain illnesses and diseases to swamp the NHS if they were not properly dealt with.
“Wellbeing is about lifestyle issues, which is about myriad decisions that you make in your everyday life whether you are an individual or employee in workplace.
“It is neither desirable or affordable for the state to intervene that way so there’s a role for all of us to play in improving the health of the UK and employee wellbeing programmes will have a role to play, that’s why I believe it’s the new form of corporate responsibility,” he added.
About Nuffield Health
Nuffield brings a pioneering approach to healthcare that combines fitness, prevention and cure, to arm their customers with the support, information and facilities to get – and stay – healthy.
They are unique in that they are an independent, not-for-profit organization. According to their website, they “have neither shareholders, nor investors and our surplus is put back into improving infrastructure, completing refurbishments or enhancing the skills of our staff. Our independence from the government and the stock market, allows us to plan for the long term and make rational strategic decisions that benefit the customer.”
Their strategic aim is to improve the health of the UK population. Their charitable aims are to advance, promote and maintain health and healthcare of all descriptions and to prevent, relieve and cure sickness and ill health of any kind.
They do this in three ways:
- By providing accessible, affordable healthcare
- By investing our surplus back into the organisation
- By working with good causes in our local communities.
I totally agree with this mantra. My company, Staff Absence Solutions aims to assist our clients with a unique approach to staff absenteeism. We offer a hands on approach, with a bespoke treatment package for each referred member of staff. We currently have a 100% success rate in treating rail industry staff (including drivers who have been involved in incidents of suicide).
Your article is outlining exactly what we are doing. Thank you for raising the profile in this issue. Corporate culture needs to change!
While this approach appears laudable and there is an aspect where employers can assist in this effort toward wellness and be a positive resource, personal wellness is a personal responsibility. I can see this thrust from the business sector actually being an attack on personal freedoms. In the US, our current system of health insurance being provided by employers has produced a system which denies portability. It stems from businesses, during WWII when wages were frozen, offering insurance as an employee benefit to retain employees and to induce employees of other businesses to come to work for the employer offer to pay health insurance. This short term focus has had a long term impact on how employees view their personal responsibility in terms of managing and paying for their personal and family health care.
This “new” thrust has the potential to do as much if not more damage to the concept of personal responsibility – which has a big impact on personal freedom as well.
I agree that there must be personal accountability. Employers can foster improved well being by creating a culture of health and financial incentives to improve their personal health choices.