Arogya World recognizes top healthy workplaces in India

The awardee companies had shared information on employee health in annual reports and to their board. Good examples of tobacco cessation and healthy living programs, mental health programs and community health efforts were reported


New Delhi: The seven pioneering companies in India have been recognized by Arogya World as the first Platinum Healthy Workplaces for tracking workplace health metrics. This is the first year of Arogya World’s quantitative workplace health metrics effort, and these awards represent the highest level of the non-profit’s ongoing Healthy Workplace program.

The 2016 Platinum Awardees include the Reliance Industries Limited, Reliance Industries Limited – Hoshiarpur Manufacturing Division, Wipro Limited, Reliance Infrastructure – Mumbai Transmission Business, SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd and Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Limited (Unit: Madura Clothing), and Johnson and Johnson Private Limited, India.

In addition, three Platinum applicants were recognized with certificates of merit MTR Foods, Tata Chemicals Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Mumbai Refinery.

Congratulating all the Platinum Healthy Workplaces, Dr Geeta Bharadwaj, Head of Healthy Workplace program, Arogya World India Trust, said, “We are so pleased these pioneering companies responded to our challenge, painstakingly tracked health metrics in their workplaces, and sent us the data requested. By initiating a culture of metrics, all these companies have made a great start. We thank them for their trust in us and commend them for their remarkable commitment to improving the health of their employees and communities.”

“With NCDs on the rise in India and five of the top ten causes of death as per the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) data being attributed to it, it is imperative to tackle the NCD risk factors so that the same can be prevented. The healthy work places event being organized by the Arogya World is a step in the right direction. I congratulate the award winners and hope that more and more such companies come forward to institutionalize the fight against NCDs.”, said Dr Vivekanand Jha, an Independent Expert and also the Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health India

Arogya World worked with Dr Ilene Klein, a workplace health expert, and her collaborators, Dr Sharon Frazee and Dr Mark Cullen, on the development of the questionnaires and data analysis.

“The data from the first batch of Platinum applicants in India are indeed impressive,” said Dr Ilene Klein. “My colleagues and I found it deeply satisfying to analyze the data and unearth the stories within. We are confident this significant initiative can not only provide meaningful assessment of the business benefits from workplace health investments, in the months and years ahead, but also further the mission of Arogya World to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in India.”

Key Metrics: Across the seven Platinum companies, ranging in size from 251 – 258,938 employees (totalling nearly 420,000 employees), evidence of health improvement was seen over the last three years:

1. Tobacco use decreased (ranging from 0.2% to 15%). And collectively, in the Platinum companies, nearly 25,000 people quit using tobacco.

2. Alcohol use also reduced, with maximum reduction of 6% noted in one company. Nearly 9,000 reduced alcohol use.

3. An increase in exercise was evident. In one company, an impressive 55% increase was logged. More than 53,000 people (about 1 in 8 employees) increased exercise.

4. Employees lost weight in most of these companies – a maximum of 6% was reported in 1 company. A total of 5000 people lost weight across the Platinum companies.

Tobacco use, alcohol misuse, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diets have been shown to cause non- communicable diseases (NCDs)– cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease, and certain cancers that account for more than 60% of premature deaths globally, many before the age of 60 – and are associated with significant human cost and implications for a company’s bottom line.

“Platinum award applicants demonstrated not only a depth of understanding for the benefit of a healthy workforce, but also sensitivity to the needs of their unique population and work culture,” said Dr Sharon Frazee, a recognized researcher with expertise in health outcomes research. “The health and wellness programs for their workforce, their families, and within their communities are innovative and demonstrate very promising results.”

Arogya World assembled recognized global experts – Dr Ray Fabius, Wolf Kirsten, Eliot Davila and Dr Carol Wildhagen – as part of a Platinum Advisory Committee to help with data interpretation. Three Arogya World team members were actively involved in this work –Dr Geeta Bharadwaj, Usha Chander and Dr Nalini Saligram. Support for the Platinum project, in this, the program’s first year, was provided by the Cigna Foundation.

Arogya World celebrated the remarkable achievements of the new Platinum winners at its Healthy Workplace conference and award ceremony recently in Delhi. Arogya World counts 79 companies spanning approximately 2 million employees as Healthy Workplaces. (Add link to HW press release). The 2016 Platinum Healthy Workplace awards were given by Dr Nikhil Tandon, Padma Shree Awardee, Professor and Head, Department of Endocrinology and

Metabolism, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who delivered the keynote address. Platinum Award Methodology – Arogya World’s Bronze, Silver, Gold Healthy Workplaces are assessed on a qualitative basis for their adherence to a set of Criteria with a formal site visit Assessment. The Gold level Healthy Workplace achievement is a necessary pre-requisite for companies to be invited by Arogya World to participate in the Platinum exercise, a quantitative health metrics effort.

The invitation-only Platinum effort scores for the company’s leadership and commitment to workplace health, and asks for data and metrics on employee engagement and satisfaction, turnover, etc. The program also scores for participation and outcomes from workplace health programs including NCD prevention programs, mental health programs and community health programs. Costs where applicable and year-on- year trends are also requested. These criteria distinguish Arogya World’s Platinum Award as a visionary, leading and comprehensive assessment of the important roles that companies in India are playing to improve the health of their employees and their communities.

Companies reported they shared information on employee health in annual reports and/or to their board. Good examples of tobacco cessation and healthy living programs, mental health programs and community health efforts were reported. Three of the Platinum applicants demonstrated low and/or declining voluntary turnover rates. They also all clearly defined productivity and how they would measure it. All applicants will receive a detailed report on what they could do to improve their productivity going forward.