The most important facts and tips on health promotion Employee health: What you need to know

What does employee health mean? What effect do the health and motivation of your employees have on the success of your business? How do you, as an employer, reduce absenteeism? The most important facts and tips on promoting employee health: This is how you improve the health, motivation and performance of your employees and create a long-term healthy corporate culture.

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Healthy employees are essential

Healthy employees and a good working environment are the basis for your company’s success. But what do you do if an employee is absent due to burnout or an employee wants to work but constantly complains about severe back pain? From preventive health services to support during illness: We offer you suitable solutions that help make your everyday life easier, keep your employees healthier and therefore make your business more successful.

How does your employees' mental health affect your business?

Current figures show that Swiss employees are subject to psychological stress in their everyday working lives: 

  • Three out of ten people in gainful employment (29.6%) suffer from work-related stress, i.e. they have more pressure than they can cope with (available coping capabilities).
  • And almost one third of people in gainful employment (28.7%) are emotionally exhausted and therefore run a higher risk of burnout. 
  • This results in high productivity losses - work-related stress costs employers in Switzerland CHF 7.6 billion per year. 

The cost of stress in the work environment is often underestimated. Those affected by stress may develop depression and other psychological symptoms, are less productive, or are absent from work for an indefinite period of time. Absenteeism and presenteeism (working despite illness) also cost companies dear (approx. CHF 600 to CHF 1,000 per day).

What are the potential consequences of stress? Lower productivity, greater risk of accident and increased staff turnover. The latter may mean that a company has to devote more time and spend more money on recruitment, but it may also mean that it loses customers. At the same time, absenteeism places a strain on team structures and therefore other employees.

Mental health in the workplace

How can a company promote its employees' mental health in a way that takes account of its business and social responsibility? We show you what action you can take and support you in the process.

Prevention is the key

Ms. Meier no longer goes to the canteen or uses the coffee machines. Mr. Müller often stares into space at his desk for minutes on end: many line managers and employees are aware if employees are emotionally distressed. 

Changes in behavior and appearance can be signs of mental stress. For example, if, over a period of weeks, an employee ...

  • ... works slower than before
  • ... keeps making mistakes
  • ... often does not concentrate or is irritable
  • ... seems sad, lethargic or changed
  • ... often arrives too late or not at all
  • ... works overtime without having an extra workload

If this is the case, you should act immediately. Because the earlier you take action to relieve the pressure, the greater the chance of avoiding an employee taking sick leave. In this checklist, you'll find a guide on how to talk to an employee about their mental wellbeing and options to alleviate stress. 

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    Course for managers

    AXA has teamed up with the Swiss Pro Menta Sana foundation to develop a mental health first-aid course for managers. In the three and a half-hour course, you'll learn how to identify early the signs of mental illnesses and practice carrying out first-aid conversations with employees.

    Find out more
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    Conversation tips

    The "how are you" page gives you tips on conversations and how to proceed if you're worried about an employee.

    Continue to "how are you"

If an employee takes sick leave

If the employee takes long-term sick leave, AXA offers professional help through care managers. This is because rapid action is needed here - the longer the period of incapacity, the less likely it becomes that the person will be able to successfully resume work over the long term.

Our specialists contact the sick person and support them in the process. The aim is to formulate a solution together that minimizes time off work and avoids further absences. A person who is unfit for work should be reintroduced into the work process as quickly as possible and on a sustainable basis. This not only helps employers, as in many instances, early reintegration into the workplace also helps employees' mental wellbeing. 

What does employee health mean?

The term "employee health" is closely linked to corporate health management (CHM). CHM is the systematic optimization of relevant factors for health at work. By adapting structures and processes at work, CHM creates favorable conditions for the health of your workers, thereby contributing to the company's success.

Health Promotion Switzerland divides CHM into three pillars:

  • Occupational health and safety (pillar 1) combines the prevention measures required under the Labor Act, the Accident Insurance Act (AIA), the Chemicals Act, the Participation Act etc.
  • Health promotion in the workplace (pillar 2) aims to reduce stress and strengthen resources with behavioral measures and changes to operating conditions
  • Dealing with absenteeism and measures to support returning to the workplace is represented by pillar 3.

An effective CHM brings together all implemented mandatory (pillar 1) and optional (pillars 2 and 3) measures to support the health and safety of the workforce.

Which offers on employee health are available from AXA?

Due to the wide-ranging benefits, every employer should have a positive influence on employee health. In doing so, you should make sure that you respect your employees' personal rights. You can rely on professional support from AXA when it comes to corporate health promotion. Whether physical or mental wellbeing - from formulating preventive measures to choosing the right insurance and comprehensive health management. We are by your side with competent support and advice. Together we will ensure that your employees stay healthy, motivated and effective.

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    WeCare: Corporate Health Management

    Whether preventive measures for better employee health or rapid assistance in an emergency: you can rest assured that with WeCare, your employees’ wellbeing is always in good hands.

    More about WeCare

Why is employee health so important?

Employee health has a crucial impact on the success of your business: Healthy employees are deemed to be happier, more motivated and more likely to deliver top performance. Whether physical or mental health - increased wellbeing promotes a good working environment and your attractiveness as an employer. Healthy employees also minimize absenteeism and the related costs. This means that every franc invested in corporate health management is paid back three times over. Other facts on the benefits of corporate health promotion:

Increased productivity: Motivated employees are 22% more productive than unmotivated ones

Fewer absences: Following accident or illness, employees are off work six days a year on average

Lower costs: Stress-related absences cost companies up to CHF 6,000 per person and year.

How do you reduce staff absenteeism?

More satisfaction, fewer absences: With employee surveys and health platforms, you can measure the satisfaction of your employees, increase their wellbeing, and minimize absences. Enabling your employees to have a stable work-life balance means that you as an employer also gain more trust and achieve better performance.

Lower absence rates

Benefits of established corporate health management include a reduction in absenteeism and psycho-social risks such as stress. Health-promoting prevention measures form the basis for this. The aim of prevention: to prevent sickness-related absences and boost employee motivation and productivity.

To WeCare: AXA’s Corporate Health Management

Lower absenteeism and professional absence management

Care managers can provide valuable support in cases of long-term incapacity to work. The primary goal: Quick help for long-term reintegration of the sick employee into the company. Thanks to Care Management, companies reduce absence costs based on long absences. Absence management offers a basis for planning and implementing targeted measures. Moreover, it is also the basic prerequisite for consistent and individual support and assistance for critically ill employees. You gain relevant cost savings thanks to the introduction of professional absence and claims management.

To Care Management


Conclusion: Guaranteed to be healthier

Admittedly, there is no guarantee of success of health measures. But if you conduct a serious analysis of the current situation, know your resources, set realistic goals, and take action accordingly, you will create the optimum conditions for successful health promotion at the workplace and a high-performance work environment. With AXA’s health offers for SMEs, you are doing the right thing for all your employees. Take advantage of the expert know-how of AXA health managers in areas of stress and burnout prevention, ergonomics, accident prevention and care management.

What you need to know about employee health

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