What Is Wellbeing Profile (Health Risk Assessment)?

Put simply, wellbeing profiles are an organisation-wide strategy that addresses health risk factors amenable to change. For example, no organisation can change a person’s age or medical history, but it can advise people on factors such as diet and nutrition, smoking, drinking, fitness and exercise, etc. A health risk programme can also cover workplace concerns such as back pain and RSI (repetitive strain injury).

The aim is to provide employees with valuable information about their health status and help empower those at risk to make lifestyle changes. As a result, the employer gains key indicators of risk patterns throughout an organisation that could adversely affect business performance. 

Note that medical screening is a different topic. The occupational health service traditionally covers initiatives such as pre-employment health screening and mobile screening facilities (such as for TB). However, such screening services can be used as a part of a health risk assessment programme where appropriate – key measures are blood pressure and cholesterol checks carried out after personnel have completed questionnaires about their lifestyle risks.

Isn’t This A Health Promotion?

Wellbeing profiles (health risk assessment) include many ideas normally associated with workplace health promotion. Traditionally, health promotion in this setting has focused on providing education and facilities to help employees choose healthier alternatives. Activities have involved setting up health fairs, running exercise and relaxation classes, encouraging cycling to work, etc. Many people will recall the Look After Your Heart programme as a classic workplace health promotion imitative.

However, wellbeing profiles are a much more structured way of linking health promotion with business performance and have the following functions:

  • Engages the widest possible population in an organisation – not just those who may attend a health fair.
  • Provides a comprehensive health questionnaire that covers all key health and wellbeing criteria
  • Provides programmes to help people address risk factors – risk assessment is also about taking action
  • Gives management in-depth organisational profiles of areas of concern while maintaining staff confidentiality.

To paraphrase the title of an NHS publication on the topic, this is much more than ‘brown bread and aerobics’.

Opportunities And Obstacles

Workplace health risk assessment can directly address key areas of concern about costs and productivity. Accordingly, it should be on the agenda of any organisation serious about increasing shareholder (or ‘stakeholder’) value and reducing exposure to risk, such as long- and short-term sickness absence, litigation and accidents.

A key selling point is that a wellbeing profile (health risk assessment) is a straightforward and inexpensive way to provide workplace health intervention. If administered by independent consultants – crucial for getting staff buy-in – a simple questionnaire-based approach, backed up with a communications package, can rapidly produce high-quality results. Managers must, however, be prepared to act on results and provide, for example, cholesterol tests, fitness programmes, etc., to address identified patterns.

A particularly strong factor is that a health programme demonstrates a caring approach by the employer and is likely to be an important differentiator in the benefits package. With visits to GPs becoming more difficult, busy people will appreciate the extra input. It also helps promote better industrial relations. In addition, organisations can enter various regional health-at-work award schemes.

Health risk assessment can be dovetailed with complementary programmes such as stress/pressure audits and counselling-based employee assistance programmes (EAPs). It indeed can be a cornerstone of a fully-fledged EAP.

One objection is that no matter how well-designed the communications programme is, some people will not participate. However, participation rates of over 70% are typical – far more than traditional health promotion initiatives – and more than enough to develop high-quality organisational data and provide interventions that benefit all staff.

Our History 

We have been designing and implementing Wellbeing profiles since 2003.

Wellbeing profiles are a valuable tool when designing an organisational strategy as they provide a snapshot of the wellbeing within a set population and detail both health risks and intentions. They also provide valuable feedback on current services.

Our profiles take a few minutes to complete, are confidential and can be deployed across the whole organisation or targeted groups. Upon completion, a detailed organisational report is produced.

Our Wellbeing Profiles

Option 1 – The Health Assessor 

The health assessor is a comprehensive health risk appraisal programme that provides individuals with an online report. See https://www.wellbeingtracker.co.uk/login/redirect/home#filter=core

Option 2 – Bespoke Profiles

Our bespoke profiles are built to fit each organisation. We have a large question bank to draw from and will work with you to design and operate a comprehensive employee wellbeing profile.

For more information, please email info@wellbeing4business.co.uk