Employees think workplace health is more talk than walkNews added by Benefits Pro on May 27, 2014

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Dan Cook

Creating a work environment that addresses the health and well-being of employees is, according to most employers, a top-of-the-mind objective. But when asked if they believe their work environment meets that standard, many employees say it's mostly talk with very little walk.

A survey by engagement program vendor Keas reveals this dichotomy. Keas surveyed 761 employees who participate in one of Keas' employer health programs. Nearly nine of 10 said health is included in the company value statement. Yet one-third felt their employer didn’t really care about their health, but was paying lip service to creating a healthy environment.

The study also showed that employees respond well when working for a company that demonstrates a sincere interest in their health. So, for companies that have begun healthy workplace initiatives but haven't quite followed through, there’s a considerable upside to ramping the program up, Keas said.

Let's take a look at the data. First, the bad news:
  • 34 percent of employees report that their employers do not practice what they preach;
  • 42 percent of employees do not feel that their company truly cares about their health and well being;
  • 43 percent of employees feel executives avoid dealing with and disciplining managers who cause unhappiness and stress among employees;
  • 40 percent of employees say their health care benefits have been reduced.
Now, the good news for companies that truly integrate employee health into the workplace:
  • 50 percent of employees would stay at their company for more than a decade if their employer made more of an effort to create a culture of health;
  • 47 percent of employees would be more inclined to help create and participate in a culture of health if encouraged by peers;
  • 62 percent of employees believe their overall health would improve if their company did more to create a culture of health;
  • Two-thirds of employees (66 percent) believe they would be more productive and engaged at work if their company had a culture of health;
  • Almost half (45 percent) of employees believe that their company promotes and understands the need for a healthy work/life balance.
“The benefits gleaned from integrating healthy living into all of your organization's values are unparalleled. It is powerful for employees to know that their employers have good intentions for them, and when they are ready to engage, the necessary tools and support will be available,” Keas said in a release. “It is extremely important for senior leadership to model and support the values of the organization they expect the team to emulate. Over time, your employees will begin to associate healthy living as a key to vertical success in the company — living the organization's values.”

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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