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Healthy employees: the secret to a healthy brand

8 April 2022 7 min read

Prioritising your employees’ health is paramount to your organisation’s health. It goes beyond providing healthcare solutions. Rather, it involves creating shared value. This also enhances your employer brand.

Holistic employee health programmes address gaps in internal brand equity, gain insights into your organisation’s internal climate, and provide customer satisfaction ratings (Kwon, 135-136). Happy employees lead to sustainable internal harmony. They are more likely to work cooperatively and productively across departments in achieving brand strategic objectives. Improvements in productivity serve to stimulate innovation. Positive behaviour often translates to better external communication and performance. The brand is then perceived in a better light in the public’s eye.

Employees whose health is put first directly improve external brand perception. Optimally, employees would not have negative associations with their work or feel like their job stops them from pursuing their interests. Instead, the workplace becomes a source of inspiration that contributes to their mental wellbeing and satisfaction.

Employee wellbeing requires time and resource investment

Although there is growing recognition of its importance, implementation continues to fall short of expectations. Workplace health initiatives are often seen as common-sense or, conversely, as a luxury. As such, employers do not invest resources to implement them.

A recent poll conducted by Willis Towers Watson found that only 26% of 322 companies, employing over 5.3 million workers surveyed, had adopted wellbeing strategies with clear objectives for each initiative (Emerman, 2022). Otherwise, these organisations merely aimed to fulfil rudimentary healthcare requirements.

While healthcare insurances help, employee health is not limited to their physical wellbeing. According to the World Health Organisation, health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity” (David, 1948). It comes as a surprise that less than half (48%) surveyed viewed mental and emotional health as part of their wellness strategy. Meanwhile, only 35% of these respondents implemented organisation-wide strategies that dealt with mental health.

As employees demand more, future-minded Asian organisations are shifting the focus to holistic workplace wellbeing. From activating purposeful work to creating hybrid environments, career progression schemes, and designing 360° workplace experiences that unite—these actionable schemes contribute to building a Culture of Sustainability.

The current pandemic only demonstrates a more urgent need to address employee health and wellbeing policies through sustainability strategies. Another survey, by Virgin Pulse, concluded that “a highly engaged workforce drives profitability, productivity, and customer ratings while reducing shrinkage, turnover, and absenteeism” (Boyce, 2014).

We believe that fostering a Culture of Sustainability to support wellbeing involves evolving daily rituals; the power of a thousand voices and small moves, supported by systems, stories, and sustainability goals to accelerate positive progress from the inside out.

In practice, improved employee experiences have a higher chance of retaining personnel and attracting the right employees.

SR’s employer branding strategy

Sedgwick Richardson (“SR”) help visionary companies consider the right balance of building belief in the future and credibly supporting this. As part of our employer branding methodology, we have identified key domains of employee wellbeing that address health concerns.

We recognise the importance of building a brand culture sustainably that drives shared value for all stakeholders. In addition to physical and mental wellness programmes, we help our clients explore key brand elements that contribute to long term improvement.

Here are three steps to establish a Culture of Sustainability:

  1. Build empathy & understanding: Set the baselines by engaging and empathising with your colleagues. Evaluating the effectiveness of current well-being initiatives and processes allows us to understand why high-performing employees
  2. Determine your unique Culture of Sustainability to support wellbeing: In determining the maturity of workplace wellbeing to support your employer brand, we believe the desired state can be informed by both the gaps and opportunities. Our unique Culture of Sustainability framework provides a new perspective on what it means for a workplace to thrive.
  3. Develop sustainability programmes—the pathway to Build Belief in the Future: We bring discipline to your corporate wellbeing and sustainability efforts by taking the prioritised topic areas with their defined goals to create long-term programmes and incentives that drive inspired performance. Link the topic to the employee experience, culture, and business performance outcomes for heightened workplace wellbeing.

Prioritising employee health is part of a holistic brand strategy

A holistic employer branding strategy should be considered for brands seeking to invest in employee health. Successful employer branding is not limited to standalone health initiatives. Instead, brands must address internal culture and norms that would affect the physical, mental, and social well-being of their employees.

The key to success is to design an internal brand experience that engages employees positively. This motivates employees to champion their own organisation’s objectives. It also helps retain talent, improves productivity, and encourages creativity. This translates to an improved external brand perception and customer service for a shared sustainable future.

References
Boyce, C. (2014). The Business of Healthy Employees: A Survey of Workplace Health Priorities. Virgin Pulse. Source.
David, T. (1948). Constitution of the World Health Organization. World Health Organization. Source.
Emerman, E. (2022). Employers pinpoint workforce mental health as one of HR’s top priorities for 2022. Willis Towers Watson.
Kwon, Youngbum. (2013). The Influence of Employee-Based Brand Equity on the Health Supportive Environment and Culture—Organizational Citizenship Behavior Relation. University of Michigan.
Raworth, K. (2017). Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist. Random House Business.
(2022). WELL Building Standard version 2. International WELL Building Institute pbc. Source.

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