How healthy is your team?

Recent years have shown us all the importance of good health within our team. Healthy bodies and strong minds within our organisations lead to increased resilience, confidence and economic prospects.

Staff feel stronger, both emotionally and physically, and businesses benefit from a more present workforce who are motivated and striving for the same goal.

But where should a business start on its journey to creating a healthier workforce? What support is available to navigate the world of workplace health?

The Business Health Matters programme is a not-for-profit service that has been developed in Lancashire to give businesses the support they need to make the first step into improving workplace health.

Backed by the University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire Mind, ukactive and a number of local authorities and leisure trusts across the county, the programme has been created to improve and shape the future of employee health and wellbeing.

In Lancashire, almost a third of adults are inactive, getting less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week (Sport England, Active Lives survey 2019/20) and nationally, physical inactivity costs businesses £6.6bn (Axa Health).

By prioritising the health of employees we can improve their standard of living and improve productivity levels of businesses

With one in four people also experiencing some form of mental health problem each year, the national cost to UK employers of poor mental health is over £42bn (gov.uk)

And some industries are harder hit than others when it comes to poor health. For instance, the construction industry has the highest number of suicides compared with those working in non-manual roles in the UK, with workers three times more likely to take their own life (The Lighthouse Club & Glasgow Caledonian University, 2019).

Adrian Leather, chief executive at Active Lancashire, explains: “Levels of physical activity are higher across Lancashire than the national average and this has a huge impact on businesses. By prioritising the health of our employees we can not only improve their standard of living both inside and outside of work but improve the productivity levels and overall economic success of our businesses.

“This programme is driven by Active Lancashire and a team of passionate partners, all of whom want to create long-lasting changes for our county. The two programmes we have created focus on education and identifying those early signs of poor health so that we can prevent issues down the line, while building a community of people passionate about improving the health of our Lancashire workers.”

The programme offers free, ESF-funded training to employees in SMEs which empowers them with the skills and knowledge to drive positive health changes within their workplace. The Level 2 and Level 3 Workplace Health Champion Training takes place in venues across Lancashire, consisting of a one day (Level 2) and three-day (Level 3) course.

By becoming a Workplace Health Champion, employees feel more motivated and join a community of ambassadors across the county who share knowledge and good practice for years to come.

For those businesses who want to support employees with both their physical and mental health, the programme also offers affordable, confidential and comprehensive workplace health screenings, delivered in the heart of the organisation at a time that suits your team.

Uniquely, the screenings (priced at £60 per employee) combine both physical and mental health elements for a fraction of the price of many private screening services. Businesses which offer screenings to employees help them proactively identify the early signs of poor health and, as a result, can support staff to improve their overall health with a range of wellbeing packages also on offer.

By offering employees support with their health and wellbeing, businesses can tackle rising absence costs and play their part in contributing to a healthier and more prosperous future for Lancashire. In an ever-increasingly competitive jobs market, businesses can also set themselves apart from the competition, attract applicants and retain employees who value the organisation’s commitment to health and wellbeing.

To find out more and register your business’ interest, please visit www.businesshealthmatters.org.uk

To learn what support our programme can offer your business, you can also email businesshealthmatters@activelancashire.org.uk or call 01772 299838.

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