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Healthy employees make for a healthy business

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In recent years, employers are becoming increasingly aware that cash alone is no longer enough to attract, retain and engage talent. While the competition for talent remains fierce, employee wellbeing has become a major factor in the long-term success of a business.

The World Health Organisation has revealed the biggest risk to wellbeing in the workplace – accounting for 70% of deaths worldwide – can be boiled down to four main causes: physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking and excessive alcohol.

According to AIA Vitality’s Healthiest Workplace Survey, in 2018, 70% of employees had financial concerns, and about half of the employees surveyed reported experiencing work-related stress – resulting in the loss of 19.1 days per year for each employee.

On 16 May, AIA, which has over 60 years of employee benefits experience in Asia Pacific, served as a platinum sponsor for Human Resources’ annual conference, Employee Benefits Asia 2019.

Gathering over 150 senior HR professionals and compensation and benefits specialists, the one-day event showcased results-proven business solutions, examined the current compensation and benefits trends, and highlighted new directions through keynote presentations, case studies and panel discussions.

Elaine Lau, Chief Corporate Solutions Officer at AIA Hong Kong and Macau, reinforced the impact of wellbeing in the workplace during her keynote presentation.

“For employers, an unhealthy workforce translates to lower engagement, higher staff turnover, lower productivity and inefficient benefit utilisation,” she said.
According to AIA Vitality’s Healthiest Workplace Survey, in 2018 employees wasted an average of 70.3 working days due to health-related absenteeism and presenteeism, and this cost organisations an estimated $US2 million per year.

“By encouraging employees to make healthy choices in lifestyle behaviour, we can make a meaningful impact on employee health and wellbeing, while bringing positive effects to productivity and performance. After all, healthy employees make for a healthy business. It’s a win-win scenario as investing in employee wellness can deliver great returns for employers,” Lau said.

An all-encompassing wellness strategy includes segmenting and understanding population through analytics, developing targeted wellness solutions, sustaining employee engagement and making positive behavioural change.

AIA Analytica is a self-service platform that allows employers the flexibility to track progress, review results and gain data-driven insights of their employees’ physical, mental and financial wellbeing transformation. It covers all aspects such as claims, the vitality health baseline andworkforce wellbeing programmes.

AIA Vitality is a science-backed wellness programme that encourages individuals and organisations to make positive changes to their health through gamification and incentives.

During one of the panel discussions, Knattapisit Krutkrongchai, Chief Marketing Officer at AIA Hong Kong and Macau, emphasised the importance of short-term incentives.

“Employees like small rewards. Many health risk factors are highly modifiable by lifestyle and early intervention. Employers need to embark on this journey to show they care. When an employer goes an extra mile to offer an attractive benefits package, employees know they are being valued,” he said.

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