Employees shape up
Unilever’s global health and well-being programme is getting international recognition from health professionals for the extent of its care for employees.
Nutrition, lifestyle and exercise
The programme offers employees an assessment in nutrition, lifestyle and exercise, from which a personalised health programme is developed.
So far, 35,000 employees across 30 countries have enrolled in the programme – now there’s a strong push for more countries to become involved. The programme was initially developed for Unilever’s senior leaders in 2001 and was such a success that it has since been rolled out across the business.
The American Psychiatric Foundation and the World Economic Forum in Asia are profiling the scheme as an example of industry best practice. It has also been recognised by the Institute of Health & Productivity.
Meanwhile academics at Lancaster University, UK, have proved the link between programmes such as this and improving employee health, engagement and performance.
What it involves
The scheme offers a unique opportunity for employees. Unlike going to a gym, it addresses all aspects of an individual’s lifestyle, beyond exercise.
After an initial health risk assessment which looks at everything from managing everyday stresses to alcohol consumption and smoking, a blood chemistry test measures various aspects of health, including cholesterol levels.
With all this information, a health professional takes the employee through a personal nutritional and physiological assessment. From that a personalised improvement programme is developed for the employee to follow. After the first six months, participants are reassessed to monitor improvement.
An online mental resilience tool is also available to all participants, to help them explore all aspects of their health and overall performance. This is managed by an external provider to guarantee employee privacy.