Sri Lanka and Japan in bid to boost employee health and well-being

ECONOMYNEXT – Japan and Sri Lanka are collaborating on an award scheme to boost employee well-being and health practices that organizers say will bring multiple returns to companies ranging from drawing more talent to higher productivity.
Sri Lanka’s Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) and the Japan External Trade Organization is launching the Sri Lanka Corporate Health & Productivity Awards in 2019, to recognize business practices that promote employee physical and mental well-being.

“People are the greatest asset in any organization," COYLE Chairman Dinuk Hettiarachchi said.

 "A healthy, happy and committed workforce will always play a crucial role in the success of an organization,.

The Sri Lankan awards are an adaptation of a similar event held in Japan.

JETRO Standards and Regulations Division Director Kei Kawano said in Japan that the awards have helped create a system of innovative healthcare practices within companies.

In Japan, the winners of awards winners attract more applicants for jobs and enjoy lower borrowing costs from financial institutions.

Hettiarachchi said that in Sri Lanka, companies who win might be able to negotiate lower prices for their employee insurance plans in the long run, if they can prove better health levels of their employees.

Kawano said that according to research, one US dollar spent on employee health and wellbeing gives a return of 3 US dollars.

Tama University Visiting Professor Yoshi Ichikawa, who is attached to Hitachi Ltd, said longer term net returns came from lower healthcare spending by companies, as well as through increased creativity and productivity among employees.

The Sri Lankan awards have been structured on the PAS 3002 standards Ichikawa developed.





Companies will be judged on 21 criteria, he said.

Hettiarachchi said that the applications for the awards will remain open from August to September 2018. The awards ceremony will take place in February 2019.

Companies can apply in one of four categories, depending on their size (number of employees) Hettiarachchi said.

“This is the first year. Some companies may not have all of the healthcare processes. So even if you can score on only 10 criteria, please apply,” Hettiarachchi said.

He said that both private and public sector entities can apply for the awards. (COLOMBO, 8 August, 2018)

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