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Health & Wellbeing the main HR focus this year

Health and wellbeing is the top priority for HR departments in UK businesses this year, according to new research from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents said health and wellbeing would be their main focus, closely followed by ensuring compliance with health and safety procedures, which takes precedence for 18% of employers.

Recruitment and training are further down the list of priorities (12% and 11% respectively), while communicating benefits and encouraging take-up are the lowest concerns (both 6%). The full results are as follows:

What do you think will be the focus of HR policy in your business this year?

Improving the health and wellbeing of staff

19%

Ensuring compliance with health and safety procedures

18%

Recruiting quality staff

12 %

Ensuring staff comply with PPE regulations, e.g. wearing equipment when required

11 %

Improving/offering more training

11 %

Working with reputable suppliers who share our values        

8 %

Communicating our policies and benefits among staff           

6 %

Encouraging uptake of benefits

6 %

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare said: ‘We have been working with businesses for some time to demonstrate how eye care supports health and wellbeing in the workplace. It is great to see that this is to be the emphasis of HR this year.’ 

Eye care supports health and wellbeing in two ways: an optometrist may be able to help with minor ailments like headaches, tired eyes and migraines, the reduction of which is likely to increase productivity. Moreover, an eye examination can aid with the early detection and monitoring of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and many other serious health problems.

Recruiting quality staff

Although recruiting quality staff is a little lower down the priority list, having valued benefits can be a great tool for both recruitment and retention of employees. A holistic health and wellbeing offering can, therefore, create a win/win situation.

Communications and take-up

Jim Lythgow said: ‘It is a little disappointing to see the communication of benefits and encouraging take-up so far down the list. Having a good health and wellbeing offering is the starting point but it needs to be communicated. Staff need to know what benefits they are being offered and how to make use of them.’

Priorities for different sectors

Further results show that the focus changes according to industry area. Health and wellbeing is the main priority for 29% of professional services companies, whereas those in business services divide their concerns over improving health and wellbeing, and working with reputable suppliers, with each of these options stated as the priority by 21% of respondents.

In the construction industry, the priority is improving/offering more training, stated by 28%, followed by ensuring staff comply with PPE regulations, 26%. This is likely to be due to the nature of the work, as with manufacturing, where the priority is ensuring compliance with health and safety procedures, 28%.

Jim Lythgow concluded: ‘Compliance with wearing safety eyewear is a big issue but with prescription safety glasses now widely available, and ever more fashionable and comfortable designs, we hope this will become a thing of the past.’

For more information Specsavers Corporate Eyecare and its solutions for the workplace visit www.specsavers.co.uk/corporate