Globally, organizations tend to regard wellness in the workplace as an HR issue of little business importance. Less than half of all employees worldwide work for organizations that actively promote health and well-being.
Workforces today are threatened by ageing and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cancer, cardiovascular and chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes and mental ill-health. In parallel, demand for human capital is rising as economies grow and mature, and significant talent gaps of up to 45 million employees in Western Europe alone are forecast for 2030. These two trends form a vicious circle of dwindling workforce capacity and productivity.
NCDs are forecast to cost US$ 47 trillion over the next 20 years. Against this backdrop, preserving the health and productivity of the workforce is of paramount importance. In 2010, being absent from the job (absenteeism) or underperforming while working (presenteeism) caused productivity losses worth US$ 8.5 trillion due to mental ill-health and US$ 8.3 trillion due to cardiovascular disease. These numbers are expected to double by 2030.
In September 2011, the United Nations’ Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of NCDs called on the private sector to lead the movement whereby workplace wellness initiatives can be part of the solution to the health challenges the world faces. Reaching over 50% of the world population, employers can improve productivity and contribute to the economy while attracting and retaining talent, and promoting health and well-being for all.
The Workplace Wellness Alliance aimed to:
- Provide a forum for knowledge and best practice sharing, and support innovations in workplace wellness through online tools
- Standardize a set of common metrics to help companies compare themselves to their peers
- Foster knowledge of the economics of workplace wellness, including how to optimize the return on investment
- Leverage the workplace as an entry point for prevention and health at a community level
To continue to meet the increasing challenges of this global context, the Alliance needed to evolve to better serve its members and their employees. For this reason, it transitioned to the Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM) as of January 2013, thereby continuing to develop as a powerful contributor to workplace wellness, helping organizations to harness the power of metrics, establishing a global standard for comparison across companies, and encouraging investment in workplace wellness as a means of improving return on investment and the overall growth and success of a company and its employees.
Read more about the Alliance here
See a full list of Alliance members.
Workplace Wellness App