A practical guide to employee health screening

For any organisation, the wellbeing and health of its employees should be a top priority. And, in most cases, it is increasingly becoming so! 44% of UK companies have a wellbeing strategy (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2020), showing how employees being cared for is vital for a productive and motivated work environment.

For businesses, having a well-thought-out employee wellness plan has many positive outcomes. It is not only the legal duty of care that motivates companies to look after their employees but the bottom-line improvements of motivation and healthy engagement.

Many different strategies can be incorporated into an employee wellness plan, one that has gained increasing traction is Employee Health Screening programmes. Health screenings are growing in popularity and success – 72% of people taking health assessments say they will be making positive lifestyle changes.

So, how are employee health screenings distributed out across the workforce? What do they offer? And are the distributions to senior employees the reason for their popularity?

 

What is employee health screening?

Employee Health Screening programmes are in-depth health checks and tests to measure an employee’s overall health. They identify health risks amongst staff, helping to prevent and find treatment early.

By implementing these health screening programmes, employees are less likely to take sickness absence and, in turn, will be more motivated to work for the company that cares for them.

 

What are the different levels of employee health screening?

Staff can be offered different levels of health screening programmes, dependant on which route employers take with their wellness strategy.

Basic employee health screening programmes are generally more light touch and include measures such as blood pressure, heart rate, height & weight, body mass index, cholesterol, diabetes, hydration percentage, body fat percentage and glucose.

The basic level of health screening can typically cost between £30 – £40 per employee.

Beyond this, employers can adopt a more detailed and comprehensive employee health screening programme. The cost of these full health screenings can range from £150 – £790.

Below are some examples of what is included in a full employee health screening programme (on top of what is included in the basic):

  • Urine analysis
  • Full biochemistry profile
  • Liver & kidney function
  • Nutritional status
  • Spinal assessment
  • Lung function test
  • Physiological resilience
  • Resting ECG
  • Cardiovascular risk assessment
  • Dynamic cardiovascular test
  • Chest x-ray
  • Breast examination
  • Prostate cancer blood test
  • Mammography
  • Metabolic analysis
  • Cervical smear
  • Thyroid function
  • Testicular examination

Businesses often only offer full health screenings as a high-level employee benefit for executive and senior staff, with the basic being provided to all other employee levels.

 

Reasons why companies offer the top employee health screening to higher positioned staff

As outlined above, one of the key reasons why businesses can’t offer full employee health screening to all staff is the cost. But more so than ever before, those in executive roles expect comprehensive health screening as part of their package.

But beyond the basic “wants” of the individuals, HR functions are realising the value in providing this level of screening to their senior staff.

  1. Executives are valuable to the company, experiencing stress and pressure leading to a prioritisation of work over wellbeing. Alongside this added pressure, the average age of staff with an executive position is 54 years old, therefore at a higher risk of developing serious health issues.
  2. Reduces absences – taking care of senior employees has a knock-on effect on the mental wellbeing and the everyday running of the rest of the company as it reduces anxiety around physical health issues and promotes an honest environment.
  3. Increases productivity – showing that employees are valued leads to an improvement in happiness and productivity, with employees wanting to attain higher benefits.
  4. Lower turnover rate – employees are more likely to stay at the company if they feel valued.
  5. Attracting more employees – produces a higher recruitment rate as wellbeing benefits are a priority selling point for many people following the repercussions of COVID and an increasing emphasis on self-care.
  6. Healthcare costs – screenings act as a cheaper benefit enabling employers to add to their wellness strategies.

How does employee health screening benefit the rest of the workforce? 

Although businesses often provide top-level health screening just to directors or executive roles, the implementation of health screenings has far-reaching impacts and benefits for the rest of the company. Companies can provide basic levels of health screenings to other employees, creating a widespread environment of health and wellbeing.

Listed are a few examples of the benefits of companies implementing employee health screening:

  • Helps to build trust, reinforcing the company’s commitment to employees by showing concern and care – improves staff retention, boosts productivity, improves engagement.
  • Reduces absenteeism – with 140 million days of work being lost every year to sickness absence, if employers can identify a serious health problem early, it can be prevented or helped sooner, reducing the time needed off work.
  • Promotes health awareness / healthy habits – an opportunity for employees to reflect on their lifestyle in a safe and honest environment, empowering staff to make proactive choices.
  • Prevention through early detection – identifying chronic health conditions which promotes a healthy workforce.
  • Short, convenient, can take place at work.
  • Helps employers learn what type of wellness initiatives their staff want.
  • Boosts productivity and motivation.

 

Health, wellbeing and Engage

Incorporating employee health screening into the workforce helps organisations decide which health programmes that they should be offering. For example, if many employees show signs of poor dietary habits, then the company could offer nutritional cooking classes as an added benefit!

Of course, providing employee health screenings is not enough. These programmes can contribute towards a developed health and wellbeing plan, working alongside other benefits that employees need. Having a fully developed wellbeing strategy can be so powerful for a company and their staff, where having access to health resources can ensure a lifestyle of wellness. Find out more here on what else can be involved in a wellbeing plan.

(Top 5 benefits of corporate wellness programs)

Contact us at Engage Health Group for our free no-obligation advice and discover the importance of wellbeing at work.