MorePeople | Can offering health and wellbeing benefits help you attract top talent?

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Can offering health and wellbeing benefits help you attract top talent?

A business relies on a healthy workforce far more than it might realise. After all, it costs money and causes disruption if people are off sick, and you don't want poorly employees turning up for work anyway and passing their germs on to the rest of your workforce.

This all means there's a very strong case for employers playing a small part in supporting their staff's general health and wellbeing.

While nobody is suggesting that bosses should be responsible for nursemaiding their employees, they can at least offer a few staff perks based around managing health.

In fact, this is becoming increasingly popular among businesses, with a survey by Aon Employee Benefits finding that 42 per cent have invested in schemes to promote workplace wellbeing in the last 12 months. 

This is up from 36 per cent a year earlier and perhaps reflects a growing number of reports - or at least greater awareness - of stress and mental health-related conditions within their workforce.

Whereas 55 per cent highlighted these issues among their employees last year, the figure now stands at 68 per cent.

It certainly seems as if companies are increasingly recognising the business and moral case for actively taking steps to look after their staff's general health and wellbeing.

But, additionally, it could be a key differentiator for firms that are looking to secure top talent in competitive markets.

It's exactly these kinds of staff benefits that can often make the difference when a candidate is weighing up two separate job offers.

Businesses that can demonstrate they have the best interests of their staff at heart could therefore be putting themselves at the front of the queue when they are trying to fill key positions.

What are employers doing to help staff stay healthy?

The Aon Employee Benefits survey found that health and wellbeing apps are proving very popular among companies that want to look after their staff.

Indeed, the number of bosses offering these to their staff has gone up from 21 per cent to 48 per cent in the last year.

Meanwhile, the number of employers offering virtual GP services has gone up from 16 per cent to 27 per cent, and 42 per cent have now chosen to implement stress reduction techniques.

Another interesting finding was that more than eight in ten respondents said they consider themselves responsible for influencing their employees' health behaviours.

That's why a growing number of organisations are looking at implementing programmes to help address specific issues as well, ranging from quitting smoking and losing weight to increasing physical activity.

Meanwhile, the proportion of firms with designated funding for health and wellbeing programmes has gone up by 25 per cent in the last year.

More than half of those polled said they have a specific budget in place, or plan to create one within the next three years.

Of course, many readers will be looking at these figures and thinking many of these measures are prohibitively expensive.

But it's worth pointing out that it's possible to demonstrate a commitment to keeping your staff fit and healthy without breaking the bank.

For instance, offering free supplies of fruit is an affordable but meaningful gesture that discourages unhealthy snacking at the same time.

Alternatively, creating a recreational space on your premises is a visible statement that you're not interested in working people to the ground - and believe it's right they take the time to switch off and recharge their batteries.

Any or all of the above methods helps to establish you as a responsible employer that takes its obligations to members of staff seriously and will go the extra mile.

With recruiters competing for the best people at every level, it's these subtle differences that can ultimately determine who wins in the battle for talent.

Could looking after your staff's health and wellbeing put you in pole position?

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the Fresh Food, Fresh Produce, Horticulture, Agriculture and Garden & Leisure sectors but could do with a little advice, feel free to email us on or call 01780 480530 and have a chat about your CV and career with one of our sector specialists.