Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 247
The business case
First, let's consider the business
case. Companies with fewer than
50 employees lose an average of
4.2 days per employee every year.1
For SMEs, even a single day of
absence can cause a drop in
service levels, and potentially
a loss of business if customers
Meanwhile, a 2016 report2 into
absence management found that
three-quarters of respondents had
observed 'presenteeism', where
employees come to work despite
feeling unwell. Employees coming
to work while sick can have a
negative impact on productivity
as well as health.
In your business, you'll probably
have some form of procedure for
managing sickness absence. But
let's flip that idea on its head for a
moment. Instead of reacting to
incidents of ill health, what if you
could help prevent your employees
developing health problems in the
Easing stress with an idea
Here's an example. In small doses,
stress and pressure at work can be
useful. People push themselves to
succeed and become more
productive. Yet if stress does not
subside, or gets worse, they can
become mentally fatigued and
In our SME research,
over a third of
respondents say they
are more stressed
than they have ever
been in their career 3
For many it's juggling work
responsibilities with commitments
outside of work that causes them
stress. They avoid sickness absence
because they don't want to feel
like they are overburdening their
colleagues. One solution might be
to encourage an open dialogue
between your employees, so that
they feel better able to discuss and
manage their work-life balance.
You may feel you can't afford to
implement a wellbeing strategy.
But a shift in attitude costs
nothing. And if you enjoy close
working relationships with your
team, where everyone feels like
they're in it together, you'd be
surprised how quickly new ideas
can take hold.
To find out more about the latest
in wellbeing visit
1 CIPD Report (Absence Management
Survey Report) 2015
2 CIPD Report (Absence Management
Survey Report) 2016
3 Bupa research, November 2016
Tools for managing wellbeing
Finding out what makes your employees tick
is the first step. Here, technology can help.
For example, data from our own wellbeing app,
Bupa Boost, indicates that the top three goals
for most employees are to eat fruit, drink more
water and get to sleep before midnight - not to
get physically fitter, as you might expect.
A healthy start
Looking after employee wellbeing is
a long-term strategy. Small steps are
often all that's needed for the idea
to take hold and gain momentum.
Get it on the agenda
Business leaders have to make sure
that health and wellbeing are a core
priority for their businesses. That
means getting senior staff to discuss
it at board level, and establishing a
roadmap for success.
Train the right people
Consider who is going to oversee
the wellbeing strategy and make sure
it sustains momentum. Give them
the tools they need to make it work.
This might involve sending managers
on wellbeing training courses.
Start a conversation
An effective way to kickstart a
wellbeing strategy is to invite
employees to participate in its planning
and implementation. By talking to
employees, SME leaders can gauge
what their health goals are, and what
support might be most beneficial.
Think proactive not reactive
Health insurance gives your team
access to eligible treatment. However
wellbeing is not just about reacting
to ill-health. Encouraging healthier
lifestyle choices is a more proactive
approach. As part of your health
insurance, we give you tools like
Bupa Boost, our health and wellbeing
app. Bupa Boost is available to
everyone in your team, whether they
are covered by your health insurance
scheme or not.
To find out more about Bupa's
products and services specially
created for businesses like
Or talk to us on
0808 252 3019*
Bupa Boost is just one of the tools you can
use to engage your employees in looking after
their health. By showing you care about their
wellbeing, you're not just looking after your
people, you're helping your business to thrive.
Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited, which is authorised
by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct
Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
*Lines are open 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
We may record or monitor our calls.