2 Men in conversation - workplace health promotion


Organizational Health Promotion

is defined as a range of systematic interventions in companies to reduce health-related stresses and strengthen employees’ resources in order to maintain their health and thus their ability to work in the long term.

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Organizational Health Promotion

Organizational health promotion (OHP) is a part of organizational health management. It is aimed specifically at employees: Targeted measures such as sports programs or preventive courses are designed to motivate them to actively do something for their own health. This keeps the company’s staff productive for longer, increases their sense of well-being and is even rewarded with a tax benefit. Here you can find out what health promotion and sickness prevention can do for you and how to develop a suitable concept for your company.

  • Increasing team productivity and satisfaction
  • Promoting health
  • Improving employer branding
  • Teams and managers benefit equally

Why is workplace health promotion important?

A woman is ready for her sports break in the spirit of workplace health promotion

The stresses and strains of working life are on the rise due to a variety of factors. Digital networking and constant accessibility are making it increasingly difficult for us to switch off. The retirement age is increasing, which means that many people are staying in their jobs longer than before. As a result, health promotion in old age and preventive measures are becoming more and more important. After all, employees need to feel good in order to identify with their workplace and perform excellently.

What does workplace health promotion include?

In contrast to the superordinate organizational health management, health promotion and prevention is primarily about the employees. Whilst the necessary structures and processes are established in management, you develop very specific, practical measures here, i.e. you proceed methodically rather than strategically. Of course, your considerations should be based on what has been developed by the health management team.

Advantages and goals of health promotion in the company

Organizational health promotion by the employer has advantages for both sides: the company and the employees. For the company, benefits include the following:

  • productivity and quality of work are increased
  • performance is maintained in the long term
  • employees are more motivated
  • costs due to absenteeism are reduced
  • a teambuilding effect
  • stronger employee retention
  • improved employer branding and general image
  • a more positive corporate culture

And this is how employees benefit from health-promoting measures:

  • prevention of medical conditions
  • free or discounted offers such as fitness rooms, sports classes, healthy nutrition or health checks
  • motivation to do something for their own health
  • improved quality of life and better work-life balance
  • more relaxed handling of stresses and strains
  • greater employee satisfaction
  • a positive corporate culture and an employer they can identify with

Measures for health promotion in the company

Woman stretching at her desk - workplace health promotion

Prevention and health promotion can look very different depending on the industry and company. In any case, it involves positively influencing the employees’ behavior, minimizing stresses and strains in working life, and providing specific  health-promoting offers. Here are some examples of occupational health promotion measures:

  • Designing a working environment that promotes health – for example, through ergonomic furniture, rest areas and fitness rooms
  • Preventing stress-related strain and physical illnesses that are common in your industry
  • Conducting training to raise awareness of health-promoting behaviors
  • Providing specific back physiotherapy, yoga, fitness, meditation and more
  • Optimizing daily work routines and break management
  • Home office and flexible working hours
  • Introducing an annual health day with exercise opportunities, lectures and training courses

Four steps to organizational health promotion with a concept

If you want to develop a successful concept for health promotion in your company, it is important to think holistically. This means that you should include the entire workforce and all departments in your considerations. Occupational health promotion should be taken into account in all important decisions. To ensure the high quality of corporate health promotion, it is best to proceed systematically according to this four-step model:

  1. Situation analysis: First, take stock of the situation. What is already going really well in the company? Which health-promoting measures are already being implemented by the employer? Where do you still have a need for action? Additionally,  take a look at absenteeism due to illness and get direct feedback from employees.
  2. Planning measures: The analysis of the current situation results in company-specific goals for workplace health promotion, which you should formulate as clearly as possible. Then you can select suitable measures to achieve these goals.
  3. Implementing measures: In the next step, you introduce the measures into the daily work routine. This includes communication with the employees. Advertise offers such as the health day or special training courses well in advance to ensure wide participation.
  4. Evaluating the results: Every measure should include an evaluation of the results. Regularly check how the respective offers are received and accepted. A good way to do this is to ask employees directly. Depending on how successful the health promotion measures are, you can develop them further, replace them or introduce additional ones. Then the four-step cycle starts all over again.

Is organizational health promotion tax-exempt?

Woman in the home office - workplace health promotion

Measures to promote health in the workplace also pay off financially: companies that support their employees’ health are granted a tax benefit. Each year, they can invest 600 euros tax-exempt per employee in health-promoting measures. This includes, for example:

  • certified prevention courses such as exercise programs or awareness events that serve the employees’ individual behavior-oriented prevention
  • non-certified prevention courses that are part of workplace health promotion and are not offered as a certified service by the statutory health insurance fund
  • other measures for promoting a healthy work and lifestyle if they serve the purpose of workplace health promotion are, for example, addiction prevention, stress and resource management or nutrition programs

This benefit is regulated in § 3 number 34 of the German Income Tax Act (EStG). However, you should check in advance whether the respective measure is eligible for this regulation. You are also entitled to support and guidance from the statutory health insurance funds under Section 20b (3) of the German Social Code, Book V (SGB V).

Digital health promotion

Today, digital solutions are also among the health-promoting measures that employers can offer their staff. Platforms such as Humanoo offer your employees easy access, via smartphone, to a wide range of coaching, challenges and rewards. As the person responsible for workplace health promotion, you can keep track of everything. We evaluate all the data for you and compile reports on the success of the implemented measures. Find out now how Humanoo works!