Oliver Gray: Do workplace health checks give employers value for money?


Do workplace health kiosks really create change and improve employee wellbeing? Is health screening the best use of employers’ wellbeing budget? In my experience, the answer is no to both these questions.

The number one objective for any employee wellbeing activity is to improve the health and wellbeing of staff. So employers need to look at what they spend their budget on. They need to ensure the activities they choose really do have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of staff, in the most cost-effective way to deliver a real return on investment.

Training and coaching

By far the most effective way to improve employee wellbeing is through training and coaching. Inspiring staff to make simple, positive changes to their lifestyle and habits will enable them to improve their health and wellbeing and minimise their risk of illness. It will also help improve productivity. 

This can be carried out in various ways. Some more proactive employers include health-related information on their intranet, provide short workshops and/or organise health and wellbeing days.

The workshops and wellbeing days give staff an opportunity to speak to experts on topics such as how they manage pressure, improving resilience, healthy eating, regular exercise, sleep, work-life balance and how to stop smoking.

When employers are looking at other workplace health checks, such as health screening, they really need to ask: is this the best use of my budget and will it create change in the lifestyles of our employees?

Inspire staff

A combination of education, training and coaching is needed to inspire staff to change their lifestyle. This is rarely achieved by giving them health statistics.

The two most important, relevant and accurate pieces of health screening (blood pressure and cholesterol) are better done with a GP and are therefore free for staff.

In summary, employers really need to ensure they get a return for their investment in wellbeing activities, which means an improvement in staff health, wellbeing and energy.

Oliver Gray is founder of energiseYou