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Iod Confirms That Business Who Cares Wins

Monday, 26 January 2009

As companies across the region look to cut 'unnecessary' expenditure to help weather the recession, the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Yorkshire asks whether now could actually be the time for businesses to invest more in their workforce.

At the "Who Cares Wins" event, held last week at Leeds City Museum, Professor Adam Carey, head of nutrition at the British Olympic Association and Professor Alan White, the world's first Professor of Men's Health, demonstrated why companies should be as concerned about the health of their workforce as the balance sheet.

Professor White highlighted the potential health crisis faced by the region, particularly with regard to the health of the male workforce, with 43 percent in Yorkshire and the Humber reporting longstanding illness, compared with an average of 33 percent across England.

Professor Adam Carey presented attendees with some sobering statistics about the health of the working population and the effect that this has on a company's productivity: for example absenteeism currently costs the UK economy £3.5 billion a year, yet three quarters of these absences are avoidable.

Professor Carey also provided hard data which proved that good employee health is good for business, with companies implementing well-being programmes reporting a 45 percent decrease in sickness absence, an 18 percent decrease in staff turnover and an 8 percent increase in productivity. 

Claire Morley-Jones, chairman of the IoD in West Yorkshire comments: "Most of us have some idea that being overweight or drinking and eating too much of the wrong things has an impact on our health but I don't think that many people consider the effect it has on work performance.

 "This well-attended event highlighted the serious and often underestimated issues that an unhealthy workforce creates. It also clearly demonstrated the substantial benefits that investing in your employees' well-being can bring to the overall health of the company."

Adds Jane Riley, associate director of Public Health for Yorkshire and the Humber: "The Yorkshire and Humber region has some of the poorest health statistics, many of which are linked to our busy and pressured lifestyles which are likely to become increasingly stressful as a result of the economic downturn.  By encouraging business leaders in our region to invest in the health of their workforce, we hope to reverse these alarming trends." 



Notes to editors

The IoD (Institute of Directors) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with upwards of 52,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas.  Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum - from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors.  Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies. 

The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities (including eleven UK regional centres [three in London, Reading, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Edinburgh and Belfast] and one each in Paris and Brussels), conferences, networking events, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services and a comprehensive Information Centre.  The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors - Chartered Director - as well as running specific board-level and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.

In addition, the IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to government and key opinion-formers at the highest levels.  These include ministers, constituency MPs, Select Committee members and senior civil servants. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. 

For further information, visit our website: www.iod.com