Mercer has announced that it is to sponsor the inaugural Workplace Wellbeing Awards 2016 run by the Nutrition & Health Foundation (NHF), organisers of Ireland’s National Workplace Wellbeing Day.
The awards recognise employers of all sizes across the public and private sector who excel at promoting workplace wellbeing within their organisations. Organisations can enter online at nhfireland.ie/wellbeing before 29 March 2016 and winners will be announced at a ceremony during the NHF Workplace Wellbeing Day seminar on 8 April in Croke Park. Workplace Wellbeing Day aims to improve employee health by promoting better physical activity and nutrition in the workplace.
Alan Quinlan, Principal at Mercer, will join Irish Sports Council CEO John Tracey and CIPD Director Mary Connaughton on the awards judging panel.
Niall O’Callaghan, Partner at Mercer, stated: “Our own recent research1 supports the fact that across all life stages and ages, employees’ personal worries about their health and wellbeing are having a dramatic effect on how they operate at work. The provision of a wellbeing programme is one of a number of ways in which employers can help to reduce this stress and worry.”
Mercer has seen first-hand the benefits of offering employees a wellness programme. Its Lifestyle Challenge, launched mid-recession in 2010 and initially focused on fitness, diet and stress management, has evolved into a comprehensive, 12-week Wellness Programme. Events include cookery demos; health screening and testing; modules on mindfulness, reflexology and physiotherapy; and classes on meditation, parenting, physio Pilates, food allergies, IBS prevention and management, and dressing for success. Personalities including rugby player Gordon D’Arcy, personal trainer Karl Henry and fashion stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick have provided added inspiration. Employee participation stood at over 60 per cent in 2015.
O’Callaghan added: “Employers who proactively seek to provide support and resources to help staff manage their health and wellbeing will see dividends in terms of improved productivity and morale, and lower staff turnover. They will also be better placed to recruit and retain the most talented staff in a competitive labour market as the economy recovers.”
One such resource is Mercer’s own wellness tool, Mercer Harmonise®. The personalised digital platform enables employees to understand, engage with and take control of their health, wealth and benefit needs – all in one place. Reflecting the growing trend towards work-life integration, Mercer Harmonise® is available on smartphone, tablet and desktop, providing employees with access wherever they are.
The health module of Mercer Harmonise® links to activity trackers and digital doctors, helping employees to monitor and take control of their health and wellness. Using Mercer Harmonise® individuals can also set targets, adjust their savings, compare themselves with their peer group, select their benefits and access a selection of additional voluntary benefits. Interactive tools and personalised nudges help them make proactive decisions guided by Mercer’s insights and underpinned by high-quality products and services.
1 The research involved a survey of over 1,500 employees in Ireland and the UK commissioned by Mercer from RED C. Results found that 82% of employees faced increased stress at work. 59% were concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job, 55% about providing for family if affected by illness or death, and 54% about paying household bills. The stress and anxiety caused by these concerns was contributing to reduced concentration (64%), reduced job satisfaction (59%) and lower productivity (44%). The research also showed the average cost of lost productivity attributable to employee stress to be 7.8% of payroll.
The Nutrition & Health Foundation’s Workplace Wellbeing Awards recognise employers across the public and private sector from all over Ireland who excel at promoting workplace wellbeing within their organisations. Closing date for entries to the awards, which are sponsored by Mercer, is 29 March 2016. Further details and entry forms are available at nhfireland.ie/wellbeing.
Workplace Wellbeing Day is an initiative of Food and Drink Industry Ireland, part of Ibec, and is organised by the Nutrition & Health Foundation, a multi-stakeholder group that brings industry, government and health professionals together in a collaborative approach to reducing obesity in Ireland. In 2015, hundreds of employers organised special events for their staff, ranging from cookery demonstrations and health talks to lunchtime walks and exercise classes. This year’s Workplace Wellbeing Day, which aims to improve employee health through promoting better physical activity and nutrition in the workplace, takes place on 8 April 2016. Employers are asked to put a special focus on wellbeing on the day through promoting existing and new initiatives available in their workplace as well as hosting special events for staff, such as the The Lunchtime Mile, a one mile cycle, jog, run or walk for employees in the vicinity of their workplace. Further details of how companies can get involved are available at nhfireland.ie/wellbeing.
Mercer is a global leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth, and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s more than 20,000 employees are based in 42 countries and the firm operates in more than 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital. With over 55,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $12 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.