A Bury-based firm is adding wellness days to the employee benefits packages it offers to clients after health checks on its own staff helped cut sickness absence by a third.
Directors, managers, administrators and consultants at Wealthcare each underwent a 15-minute health check in late 2015.
The programme covered blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index, waist measurement, height and weight, followed by a lifestyle review and health guide.
Following the tests, staff made a number of changes to their lifestyles and absenteeism at Wealthcare due to sickness fell by a third in 2016.
Some staff cut out saturated fats or reduced the amount of red meat and dairy foods they ate, while others took up exercise, switched to no added sugar drinks, substituted sweet snacks for fruit or stopped having sugar in their coffee or tea.
One employee slimmed from 15st to 12st over a six-month period and is now running half-marathons.
Meanwhile the Bury-based company has replaced cakes and pastries with fruit at its office meetings.
Joint managing director Stephen Cainer said the advice given to staff led to them making practical improvements, such as better nutrition and physical fitness.
“It created a culture where employees chose to live a healthier lifestyle, and this seems to have kept sickness at bay,” he said.
“We take an active interest in the welfare of our workforce and believe that employees are at their most productive and creative when they are in an environment which supports their health and well-being. It makes an essential contribution to business success.
“By investing in this type of programme, health issues among staff can be detected early and employees can work more efficiently and effectively by improving their lifestyle behaviour.
“We wanted to test the service, as it was something we were looking at marketing to clients.
“As a result, we’ve been able to demonstrate first-hand to clients our own positive experience, while our staff have a clearer understanding of the product and how easy it is to use.
“Employee wellness days now form a new service for our clients in 2017.”
Stephen said Wealthcare would continue to hold annual health checks for its staff.
“We have had very positive feedback from the staff who had the tests and this has led to much greater awareness of how small changes can make a really big difference,” he said.