Occupational health, a growing concern in companies

The issue of health at work is increasingly taken into account by the HR departments of companies, responding to a strong aspiration of employees. In this sense, certain groups are seen as true pioneers in this area, setting ambitious goals and supporting their employees in a global health approach. You differentiate yourself from your competitors and enhance your employer brand.

When health is good, everything is good, and the world of work is no exception to the popular saying. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the topic of occupational health has benefited from renewed interest, while French employees have experienced profound changes in the way they work in the last two years: risk of contamination in the office or at home. working hours, telecommuting, greater porosity between family life and professional life, sometimes social isolation, etc. So many phenomena that, although not all of them are new, have increased as a result of the health crisis and to which companies must find answers: “Beyond the risks related to the job itself, companies are very aware that they must now take charge of the comprehensive health of their employees”believes Nicolas Baudelot, co-founder of Medicalib, which offers prevention solutions to companies.

Occupational health, a priority for HR services…

Within the company, this awareness is particularly evident in human resources functions or, in large groups, in CSR departments. “Companies have begun to reflect on the actions to be implemented in terms of health so that their employees continue to be productive and promote the development of the company,” continues Nicolás Baudelot, according to whom “companies have understood that health at work has an impact on personal life and vice versa. They know they have a role to play in protecting their employees from these dangers, because occupational medicine lacks the resources to fully fulfill its mission of prevention. The idea is to simplify the lives of its employees, lighten their mental load, so that they can dedicate themselves fully to their task during their working day”. A win-win deal, in short.

… and for employees and candidates

Therefore, it is not surprising that the issue of occupational health has also appeared, for several months, as a component to which employees attach increasing importance. Determined to become fully involved in their health and in their physical and mental health, the latter show increasing interest in awareness-raising or training actions on the risks that weigh on their own health. Health thus tends to prevail as an attraction factor that can make the difference between recruiters: “just as mutuals can be a differentiating element between companies in the eyes of a candidate, confirms Nicolás Baudelot, who -ci is now interested in the actions of their potential future employer in terms of quality of life at work”.

One year after the start of the health crisis, health, physical, but also and above all psychological, already seemed to be a major concern for French employees. A survey carried out by the IFOP institute revealed that around four out of ten employees said they were more concerned about their health than before the epidemic., women and people who work 100% from home say they are more concerned about their physical (42% and 48% respectively) and psychological (50% and 53%) health than the average. In addition, the majority of the employees surveyed validated the idea that their good physical or psychological health influenced the perception of their professional situation as well as their productivity at work. Logically, employees are especially interested in possible health support offers within their company: thus, 62% of them said they were interested in work ergonomics programs, 60% in physical well-being, 59% % for health check-ups and 53% for detection of serious illnesses or risk factors.

Employer brand component of companies

The truth is that, although it corresponds to a strong demand from employees, this offer of support from companies is still quite scarce, with the notable exception of some large pioneering groups. For example, EDF which, in 2021, renewed its health and safety policy with an action plan based on “shared vigilance”: “Daring to challenge, knowing how to challenge and accepting to be challenged are essential steps in creating a common safety culture”, says Christophe Carval, Group Human Resources Director, whose stated goal is to “eradicate fatal accidents”. A proactive policy implemented at the local level, in all the group’s sites, and complemented with actions on the right and duty to say “stop” in case of emergency. And, in the future, EDF wishes to extend its actions to the prevention of cardiovascular risks and addictions. “In addition to our responsibility as an employer, we must promote and deploy the principle of global health at work and beyond”, explains Christophe Carval.

Noted several years ago for its management methods, the retail chain Lidl has just adopted a new employer firm aimed at recovering its image. Titled “caring”this new human resources policy makes preserving the health of employees an absolute priority: equipment to relieve the work of team members, adaptation of work processes, consideration of psychosocial risks with training for managers based on the indicators of the INRS grid (National Institute for Research and Safety), etc.

To help them take workplace health more into account, these large groups can also count on start-ups such as Moka.care, a pioneer in France in the field of employee mental health : in close collaboration with the HR departments of companies such as L’Oréal or ManoMano, Moka.care helps its employees take care of themselves and defuse situations that can lead to a crisis: burn-out, long stoppages, etc. Or when an effective prevention policy can, together with salary or material benefits, become, according to Nicolas Baudelot, “a strong argument in favor of (the) employer brand”.

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