Royal Mail offers health training to staffApril 2008
The UK’s largest postal company is to give its 180,000 employees access to health assessments and lifestyle coaching.
In an effort to improve their wellbeing, Royal Mail Group employees will be able to use an online health checking and assessment service and then see advisers, who will draw up nutrition, stress reduction and exercise plans for them.
The company, which includes Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide and the Post Office, is now recruiting the health trainers.
The services have been developed with advice from the UK health ministry, which hopes it will lead to similar programmes at other businesses. Absence through ill health and stress costs the UK economy an estimated £13.4billion ($27bn) a year, according to official figures.
Royal Mail Group has long been plagued by absenteeism and has recently placed far greater emphasis on tackling what it says are the underlying ‘biological, social and psychological causes’.
It has already introduced a group-wide programme to improve access to occupational health support, raise awareness of risks such as smoking or back pain, and train managers in industrial relations. As a result, absenteeism has fallen from seven to five per cent in three years. Steve Boorman, Royal Mail Group’s corporate responsibility director, said the approach had cut costs, improved productivity and raised morale.
In the past the group has tried a number of ways to combat absenteeism, among them entering employees with a good attendance record into prize draws to win cars or holiday vouchers.
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