Employees are generally measured by their ability to perform tasks, their acumen and initiative. But what about their fitness? Are they healthy in mind and body?
A package of benefits to entice an individual often includes medical insurance and gym membership. Trouble is, they’re seen as perks, like getting a company car. Also, they might never be used.
What if a company measured and tracked the health and well-being of its staff to ensure they were both achieving the best possible performance?
Scottish businessman Iain Bell has spent 25 years working in the health and wellbeing sector and says companies are beginning to realise the benefits to their business and for their employees if they are in good shape.
“Absenteeism is the big one,” says Bell, “especially when a senior person driving a key project is suddenly away through illness.
“It can affect productivity and profit if top people are away because they are stressed, or suffering from a preventable illness.”
He is now developing an executive wellbeing/fitness ratio for businesses. The ‘Bell Wellness Rating’ will measure health and fitness of employees, looking at such things as nutrition, weight and levels of activity. He says it should help combat absenteeism, and under performance through tiredness and general lack of fitness.
Many companies already provide psychometric testing to give indications of character and personality strength.
Nutrition, physical fitness and ‘feeling positive’ are now emerging as the next big test and Bell says investors will eventually be looking at these actors in assessing a company.
Corporate USA is well into testing employees for cholesterol, blood pressure and other causes of poor health, stress, obesity and mental fatigue. It has been done in the UK mainly on a group basis but there is an increasing focus on individual assessment.
Bell, who runs Executive Fitness Foundation in Edinburgh, says:”Things like mindfulness are as old as the hills. Getting someone to just take a few minutes to meditate, relax their posture, clear their mind, these things can help.
“We’re now looking at genetic testing, seeing what foods are right for the individual, what sort of exercise suits them.
“The index will provide a quantifiable methodology for businesses to track the wellbeing of staff.
“This is proactive health activity. It is about getting everyone in a company involved in improving performance by being fitter.”