Today more than ever, having healthy and motivated employees is fundamental to the success of our businesses.
With 42%* of employees stating that a health condition affected their work “a great deal” or “to some extent,” engaging employees in their wellbeing and providing prompt access to healthcare must be a focus for any business, irrespective of size.
It’s a well-known fact that healthier employees are absent less, recover from sickness quicker and are more engaged in delivering the organisation’s objectives.
From our own experience at KIMS Hospital, we know the benefits of investing in our staff’s Health and Wellbeing and in 2016, were recognised for doing so. We were one of the first healthcare organisations in Kent to receive a top accolade; ‘Excellence Award’** for the importance we place on the health and wellbeing of our 250 staff.
In conjunction with our staff and in addition to implementing some new wellbeing initiatives focusing on increasing physical exercise through to healthy eating and stress management, we ensure everyone has prompt access to diagnostic tests and healthcare treatment. This means any health issues are identified promptly and treated swiftly.
As the largest independent hospital in Kent, KIMS Hospital has been working closely with a number of organisations, including some of those involved in The Wellbeing Symposium, to improve the health and wellbeing of local people; just as we have for our own staff.
Simon James, CEO at KIMS Hospital said:
“We take very seriously our commitment to local businesses and believe we have a key role to play in delivering economic growth in Kent by helping your staff stay healthy and in work.”
Over the coming months you’ll be hearing more from us about various health awareness campaigns and promotions we’ll be running to keep you and your staff healthy and treat them if they fall ill.
During February and March, to coincide with the British Heart Foundation’s campaign, you can visit KIMS Hospital and learn about how we can help you and your people prevent heart disease.
Alternatively we’d be happy to visit you.
To request further details or book an appointment, or to have a discussion about how KIMS Hospital might be able to help support your business’ healthcare needs then please contact us at please contact a member of our corporate liaison team at email@example.com or by calling 01622 237 727
Alternatively, pop along and see us at The Wellbeing Symposium on 22nd February, 2017.
* Department of Work and Pensions: Health and Wellbeing 2014
**Excellence Award from The Workplace Wellbeing Charter and The Kent Healthy Business Awards is part of a national initiative funded by Public Health England
This advice comes from leading law firm Brachers and its associated HR consultancy, Kent HR, which specialise in employment and HR matters and are co-sponsors of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.
It follows the recent announcement from Theresa May of plans to “transform” attitudes to mental health and statistics from a recent study published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development which highlighted that:
37% of mental health sufferers are more likely to get into conflict with colleagues
57% find it harder to juggle multiple tasks
80% find it difficult to concentrate
62% take longer to do tasks
50% are potentially less patient with customers/clients
The study indicates that mental illness is the largest single cause of disability in the UK. Catherine Daw, partner and head of employment at Brachers said:
“Employees can feel that their work contributes to, and impacts on, their mental health and statistics show that every year, three in ten employees experience mental health problems.
“Unfortunately, the complexity, diversity and range of root causes can make management of mental health at work difficult. It is nevertheless important that employers do take steps to support their employees; the Centre for Mental Health estimates that 91 million days are lost each year due to mental health problems with the total cost to employers estimated at nearly £26 billion each year. That is equivalent to £1,035 for every employee in the UK workforce.”
Veronica Fox, HR Consultant, Kent HR advises there are positive steps that employers can take:
“Employers should try to spot the signs of mental illness. These might include increased unexplained absences or sick leave, poor performance or timekeeping, poor decision-making, lack of energy and uncommunicative or altered behaviour”.
Brachers and Kent HR, who are co-sponsoring of The Wellbeing Symposium on 22 February in its bid to help raise awareness of wellbeing in the workplace, recommend employers start by having an informal discussion to try to find the root cause or, if the employee is returning from sickness absence, hold a ‘return to work discussion’.
There will be many factors affecting mental illness which an employer cannot control so Brachers and Kent HR recommend employers focus on what they can control. This might include:
adjusting workloads or duties;
giving some flexibility in working arrangements (possibly for a short period);
taking steps to improve the quality of working relationships; and
increasing awareness of mental health issues amongst line managers and increasing employee involvement in decision-making.
Under the Equality Act 2010 employers might legally be required to make reasonable adjustments; for example, an employee might require specialist medical treatment following diagnosis and employers should make reasonable provision for the employee to attend appointments”.
Brachers LLP and Kent HR join KIMS Hospital, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent County Council, Wellbeing People, C3 Collaborating For Health, Mytimeactive and Golding Homes as sponsors of the 2017 Wellbeing Symposium.
To find out more about this year’s event including the 2017 speaker line-up, how to book tickets and make nominations for the inaugural Inspiring Wellbeing Awards, visit: www.thewellbeingsymposium.com/
A recent health study revealed that Brits are among the worst sleepers in the world; which is a worrying statistic.
According the the report, published by health insurer Aviva in October, around 37% of adults in Great Britain claim they do not get enough sleep each night – with two out of five saying that, as a result, they are too exhausted to exercise.
It’s no secret that sleeping right and eating well has a direct correlation to a healthy state of mind, so, what can we do to improve our snoozing habits?
Well, it’s proven that the human body reacts positively to familiarity, which can be helped by keeping a sleep schedule.
By going to bed, and waking up, at roughly the same time – even on days off – you can help your body maintain stability and give you the motivation needed to exercise.
Sleep deprivation has been suggested to have other impacts on health – it’s claimed that those who get less than the recommended seven hours are more likely to consume more calories within the following 24 hours.
Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition combined the results of 11 studies, totalling 172 participants, concluding that those awake longer spend extra hours on the sofa or eating junk food.
Lack of sleep has an impact on mental health characteristics – including exhaustion, anxiety, frustration and impulsive behaviour – which, in turn, can affect performance in the workplace.
There are a number of ways to help you drift off better in the evenings; here are some of our top tips to getting your head down.
1) Put down the smartphone
Phones, tablets and computers all have screens designed to bright. This fools our mind into thinking we’re supposed to be awake. By using these everyday objects unnecessarily late into the night, even to do something as innocent as check social media, subconsciously keeps the brain whirring – in turn making it difficult to properly switch off. Try reading a book or listening to the radio, instead.
2) Keep a routine
As previously mentioned, keeping to a sleeping schedule – going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time – can keep your body clock on track and help your state of mind. Don’t be too strict, though, because worrying about plans changing or missing a time can affect your wellbeing, too. It won’t be a disaster if you change the time every now and then.
3) Don’t worry, do something
If you’re worrying and struggling to get to sleep, don’t toss and turn, don’t keep going over your problems in your head – this will only continue to agitate you and postpone your slumber. Instead, a great way to work organise your problems is to get out of bed and write them down. By creating a visual list you have the ability to prioritise. Writing down what you’re thinking about is known as a ‘mental download’ and will help your brain wind down.
4) Keep to the 20-minute rule
Follow the 20-minute rule: if you’ve decided to settle down and find yourself not getting to sleep within 15-20 minutes, don’t try harder to drift off. Instead, get out of bed, go and sit elsewhere and do something until you feel sleepy again. Read a book, organise a cupboard, partake in a menial, unstimulating task that you’ve been putting off. This will relax you.
5) Keep a healthy lifestyle
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle you should notice a big difference in sleep quality. It’s easier said than done, granted, but even something as simple as limiting your caffeine intake to the morning and early afternoon can make a big difference.
There are many things you can change in your life to ensure a good night sleep – these are just a few of our top tips.
It’s no secret that by keeping your employees happy, you have more chance of keeping hold of them.
A recent report by AXA PPP healthcare (October 2016) has pushed this topic in the spotlight – especially after it was revealed it costs nearly £30,000 to replace an employee.
Regardless of whether it costs your business as much as £30,000, when replacing a team member you have to factor in a degree of disruption, time loss and cost; from recruitment costs and training time to lost productivity. This is without considering social aspects such as existing client/customer relations, familiarisation with suppliers, and so on. The loss and disruption caused by losing a valuable member of staff is significant.
But what has this got to do with wellbeing? Well a lot, actually. The same report by AXA PPP healthcare has highlighted that the significant outlay of cost has encouraged SMEs to focus on staff wellbeing to lower the chances of them handing in their notice and moving elsewhere.
So what are businesses doing to stop staff jumping ship?
The AXA PPP healthcare report revealed that UK SME bosses predict the biggest areas of focus for them in 2017 will be employees’ work/life balance (35 per cent) and offering more flexible working practices (21 per cent).
1) Work/life balance
Working manageable hours (i.e. not too much overtime) means having time to spend with loved ones, enjoy pursuits, stay healthy and get enough sleep. Evidence shows that mastering a good work/life balance lowers risk of stress-based illnesses and has a positive effect on mental health. A poor balance can lead to high absence and low productivity.
2) Flexible working practices
Setups like flexitime, home-working, compressed hours and job shares can be valuable to employees and employers. Flexi-working can lead to a more productive and happier workforce. It can also have a positive impact on staff engagement and motivation.
Encouraging manageable hours, smart working and enabling employees to shape their working day would have a huge impact on how content they felt at work.
Following the release of the report Iain McMillan, Director of SME for AXA PPP healthcare reiterates the importance of investing in the wellbeing of staff. He said:
“Creating a positive, supportive environment where workers can flourish is key to building and maintaining a high-performance workforce and, at the same time, safeguarding your business from the costly risk of losing valuable people.”
The drive to improve wellbeing at work has come far in the past few years and reports such as this one reinforce the benefits for both the employer and employee. What’s more, the perceptions of ‘wellbeing at work’ strategies have gone from ‘nice to haves’ to vital ways to retain valuable staff members, improve productivity and engage of staff.
After being met with a generous smile from Professor Stephen Clift from Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) earlier in the morning at the symposium, I had high hopes for his talk on singing and wellbeing and wasn’t disappointed.
‘Sport is dead’, was not a comment we expected to hear from Britain’s greatest Paralympic athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as she delivered her moving headline speech at The Wellbeing Symposium 2015.
I’ve only ever signed up for a gym membership at university, and that was only for two reasons. 1. I got a great student discount, and 2. I actually had the time to go there! It’s hard enough fitting in regular exercise around work without having to add in travel to a gym or leisure complex, and that’s before you’ve even thought about the price.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, a staggering 91 million working days every year are lost to mental illness, but in many offices up and down the country sympathy is not always there for sickness that is not of the physical kind.
Summer seems a distant memory with this week’s drizzly weather. The hay fever news stories have also disappeared with the nationals no longer reporting the ‘worst year on record’ for runny noses and itchy eyes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the allergy threat is over for this year. With the cold weather and the prospect of more cosy nights in approaching, those pesky indoor allergies are now the ones to watch.