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Food for thought

Despite this consensus, 24% are failing to invest in the wellbeing of their staff because of insufficient access to relevant occupational health information, while 33% don’t invest more due to a lack of government incentives.

Bridging the guidance gap

Alex Gourlay Managing Director, Boots Chair, Business Action on Health Campaign

Why should employers invest in promoting health and wellbeing at work?

Because they recognise that a healthy, committed workforce is vital to business success. Investing in those elements that drive the engagement and wellbeing of your people is going to drive your business and the bottom line. If your company isn’t doing this, you’re missing an important business opportunity.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of businesses agree that employee wellbeing has a direct impact on workforce productivity levels, according to Norwich Union Healthcare’s January 2008 ‘Health of the Workplace’ report.

Recognising the ‘guidance gap’, in October 2007 Business in the Community launched Business Action on Health, a business- led campaign to help companies better understand how to promote health and wellbeing in their organisations for the benefit of their people as well as their bottom line.

The UK has the fastest-growing obesity problem in Europe, with three-quarters of the adult population overweight. Nearly a quarter of adults are classified as obese.

Health Profile of England, 2006

To inaugurate the campaign, our Leadership Team published Wealth from Health, which reviewed the latest available research on workplace health and set out a working model identifying four key performance indicators (KPIs)

  • wellness, engagement, retention

and turnover and brand image

  • -

    which we collectively identified as

crucial to assessing the impact of health and wellbeing programmes in the workplace.


To provide practical guidance to employers, we worked with global human resources consultancy Towers Perrin to create the Healthy Workplace Action Pack, a 2-step guide to help companies develop and maintain an integrated health and wellbeing programme.

The Healthy Eating Toolkit

Building on the Towers Perrin framework, this Healthy Eating Toolkit has been produced with the support of the Food and Drink Federation to supplement the Action Pack with more in- depth information on promoting healthy eating among employees. This guide provides a flexible framework for action and can therefore be used by companies of any size, ranging from small and medium-sized businesses to large organisations.

We appreciate the work by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and our Healthy Eating Steering Group – which includes representatives from ARAMARK, Cadbury, Danone, Kellogg’s, Tate & Lyle and Unilever, as well as input from the Food Standards Agency – to produce this Toolkit. This addresses a key gap in the provision of health and wellbeing information in the workplace. Research by Adecco reveals that fewer than 0% of European businesses offer their employees dietary advice or relaxation programmes.

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