INDIAN EMPLOYERS FOCUS ON HEALTH PROGRAMMES



Indian employers are increasingly focusing on health and productivity programmes, which has a direct bearing on the company's financial success, and 3 in every 4 employers expect the focus on their initiatives to grow in the next two years, a report says. Leading the Asia Pacific markets, 44 per cent of the Indian companies plan to put in place a health and wellbeing strategy within the next couple of years, while 48 per cent already have one in place. About 72 per cent of Indian employers, i.e. three in four, believe the focus on such initiatives is likely to grow stronger two years down the line. Globally, companies with the most effective health programmes are more productive and generate 34 per cent higher revenue per employee and such companies enjoy more than 20 percentage points higher market premium. Moreover, the number of leaves taken by employees of these companies goes down for each employee per year. Similarly, employee participation in lifestyle behaviour coaching programmes is higher by 20 percentage points for such companies. "These companies are naturally able to build and sustain better well-being over time and achieve even greater benefits in terms of reduced healthcare costs as well as greater productivity and performance," Anuradha Sriram, Director Benefits, Towers Watson, India said. Around 44 per cent of Indian employers claim to offer health risk assessments, more than 2 in every 5 (42 per cent) of Indian employers in 2013 having instituted work-site diet or exercise activities, almost one in three (32 per cent) have instituted stress or resilience management programmes. According to the Staying@Work Survey Report, conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson, Indian employers' focus on health and productivity programmes is growing and is the highest in the Asia Pacific region. Indian employers are reluctant to offer financial incentives for doing such programmes. While 8 per cent of employers in Asia Pacific offer cash as a financial incentive to encourage programme participation, in India the number drops to 2 per cent. The Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey was fielded across countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia and had a total of 892 participating companies. In Asia, the survey had 372 respondents from China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

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