Singapore, with technological leadership and a strong public sector, is uniquely placed to explore more public-private partnerships to retain Singapore’s leading position as the world’s healthiest nation.
The AIA Vitality Summit 2017 gathered close to 200 C-Suite executives and representatives from government agencies to discuss “Changing behaviours for a healthier workforce”, of whom 58.5% indicated that improved employee engagement and retention was the most valuable benefit of a corporate health programme contributing to business success. This is the second AIA Vitality Summit hosted by AIA Singapore.
Delegates acquired practical advice from industry experts on how to successfully implement specific initiatives within their organisations, to motivate behavioural change in the workplace and facilitate positive lifestyle changes for a healthier, more productive and engaged workforce.
In conjunction with the Summit, AIA Singapore hosted the inaugural AIA Vitality Dialogue Session this morning where 30 subject experts and thought leaders in health and wellness explored numerous ways to promote healthy living in Singapore with a focus on “What is required for Singapore to remain the world’s healthiest nation?”
The discussion concluded with an agreement that Singapore, with technological leadership and a strong public sector, is uniquely placed to explore more public-private partnerships to retain Singapore’s leading position as the world’s healthiest nation.
Key takeaways from the Summit
Effective and sustainable corporate wellness programmes must be personalised based on an understanding of employees’ motivations. This makes it easier for employees to change behaviours by building these healthy choices into their everyday lives. This could be in the form of slow-moving treadmills in meeting rooms or placing fruits and healthy snacks at easily accessible areas.
Mr Peter Crewe, Chief Executive Officer, AIA Group Corporate Solutions said during his session, “It takes 66 days to form a habit, and the health impact will be visible within three months. All it takes is motivation for 66 days, and companies can expect to observe improved health among their employees within three months.”
Start small, because ‘being on the right track is addictive,’ shared Dr Carolyn Lam, Senior Consultant of the National Heart Centre Singapore and Professor of Duke-NUS Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Program.
An example of this is, United Test and Assembly Centre (UTAC)’s success shared by Mr Alexander Yap, Rewards Director, APAC, United Test and Assembly Center. A ground-up initiative to start a cycling group to improve the team’s health led to significant weight loss, of up to 16kg within five months as the team started cycling just round the block at first, and went farther with each trip.
See: Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Employees
Knowing your health is the first step to improving your health. More than one in three (35.3%) business leaders believe that regular health screening for staff is the most effective in improving employees’ health, found a live poll at the Summit.
Only one in four (25%) business leaders believe that their company’s health is good or excellent, and delegates expressed interest in participating in Singapore’s Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality to gain deeper insights into their organisation’s baseline wellness status.
Digital tools increasingly give us the ability to monitor our health and pre-empt health issues, one of the trends that give us great opportunity to change the way we manage our health in the future, shared Dr Steven Tucker.
Today, all parties are more empowered than ever to make the right choices for themselves. While governments have tools such as regulation, taxation and education, there are limits to these as people want the freedom to choose. So it is about empowerment; governments empowering the private sector to empower individuals, shared Dr Derek Yach, Chief Health Officer, Vitality Group.
Dr Jeremy Lim, Partner, Health and Life Sciences practice, Oliver Wyman shared a particularly impressive example of how the ‘Occupational Safety and Health Standards in the Philippines’ requires companies to allocate manpower to a Health and Safety Committee including physicians and/or nurses depending on company size.
The presence of these medical personnel encourages companies to explore different ways they can help to improve their company’s health.
Companies in Singapore are empowered to make the right choices as the Government and health industry increasingly come together to support them on their health journey. Examples include, programmes such as AIA Vitality and Singapore’s Healthiest Workplace Survey, as well as HPB HealthHub, HPB Online and the Singapore Health Award, as shared by Mr Sim Beng Khoon, Director, Health Promotion Board.
“Business leaders are beginning to recognise the importance of investing in corporate health to increase productivity, improve staff engagement and retention, reduce healthcare costs and boost profitability for the long run.”
“To this end, AIA Singapore is committed to lead the charge and empower businesses to make a real change to their employees’ health through our numerous health and wellness initiatives. We want to make a positive contribution to our community to help them live longer, healthier and better lives,” said Mr. Patrick Teow, Chief Executive Officer, AIA Singapore.
AIA Singapore’s efforts to promote health and wellness is in line with the nation’s Healthy Living Master Plan’s vision of bringing healthy living to the doorstep of every home, workplace and school.
This includes the pioneering AIA Diabetes Care critical illness plan, specially curated AIA Quality Healthcare Partners panel of medical professionals, AIA Vitality Weekly Challenge mobile app, as well as two upcoming events: The Music RunTM by AIA (6 May 2017) and FitnessFest 2017 by AIA (20-21 May 2017).
Other initiatives include KidZania Singapore’s “AIA at the Stadium”, sponsorship of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the AIA-SSSC (Singapore Spurs Supporters’ Club) Futsal Tournament and Carnival, to engage individuals and families through one of Singapore’s favourite sports, football.
Most recently, AIA appointed David Beckham as its Global Ambassador to support the company in its goal of helping people in the Asia-Pacific region live longer, healthier, better lives.
Also read: Addressing Futuristic Challenges to Total Workplace Safety and Health in Singapore