July 17, 2008

Think Healthy, Companies Are Told

DESPITE the economic downturn, employee health and well-being is emerging as a key weapon in the corporate battle for talent.

Research commissioned by Business in the Community's Business Action on Health campaign shows six in 10 workers would consider quitting employers who fail to address workplace health and wellbeing.

Additionally, eight in ten (83 per cent) say employers' attitudes towards health are an important factor when making a decision about a job.

Encouragingly, businesses are increasingly responding to the growing importance of health and wellbeing with BITC's latest Corporate Responsibility Index, which benchmarks responsible business, showing that seven in 10 companies take action on health and well being.

However, BITC is warning those HR and business directors who have not yet put health and wellbeing at the heart of their businesses to act now or risk losing their competitive edge.

Stephen Howard, chief executive, BITC, explains: "Tough market conditions mean it is more important than ever to retain staff. Whether you work in an SME, or a multinational company, no business leader can afford to be complacent about the financial and cultural impact of churn.

"Our research clearly shows that workplace welfare is an emerging weapon in the battle for talent and although many companies are already taking action on their health and well being record, those that aren't need to take action now or risk losing staff."

To help Britain's bosses take action and create a healthier workplace, BITC has unveiled a step by step guide, relevant to businesses of all sizes.

Developed in partnership with HR consultancy, Towers Perrin, the Healthy Workplace Action Pack and Healthy Eating Toolkit, will provide UK employers, for the first time, with actionable advice to make health and wellbeing an integral part of their organisation's makeup.

The Towers Perrin Healthy Workplace Action Pack offers a straightforward, 12 step approach suitable for any employer wishing to optimise the health of its employees. A key element of this is healthy eating. Currently just one in 10 employers provide healthy food options and advice.

(c) 2008 Evening Mail; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.