Source: Wanner GmbH

On the occasion of the anniversary: 20 years of BGM – and now?

Fruit basket, back school, smoking cessation, etc. are now familiar to almost every employee of a small, medium-sized or large company. Since 1998, i.e. already 20 years ago, BGM should be implemented in companies. It is supposed to contribute to the improvement of work organisation, job satisfaction, employee health and the entire company structure. Have the wishes and visions become reality? Only about 4 % of employees in companies with less than 500 employees and a maximum turnover of € 50 million perceive BGM as a constructive additional service with “profit”.
(*Survey from February 2016 by alfons breu consulting in a representative survey of 126 companies)

What is the reason for this?

Every respondent will certainly consider health as the highest good and also know what is healthy or unhealthy. Every respondent will also know that health and good work or job satisfaction belong together and that they influence each other. Why, then, does BGM have such a low priority among employees?

  1. In what way are the offers communicated?
  2. How are the employees integrated into the design/selection of the measures?
  3. Who are the right partners?
  4. How and where do the successes of the measures become apparent?
  5. Are the measures sufficiently “adapted” to the needs of the individual employees?
  6. How do you keep the employees “in line”?
  7. What time and financial effort must/should be made?
  8. What is the best way to develop BGM further and to integrate it into the corporate culture in the long term?
  9. Are health management measures sensible, cost-efficient and sustainable?

The points mentioned above illustrate how complex the topic of “occupational health management” is. It shows how many “sources of error” there are in the introduction, implementation and continuous development. Also, a lot of scorched earth has been left behind in the past years by unqualified consultants and offers. Cooperation with the responsible state bodies is also sometimes not easy and effective. These include statutory health insurance funds and employers’ liability insurance associations.

Is that supposed to scare you off?

NO, on the contrary – it should inspire and spur you on. BGM is an effective, organisationally and strategically important building block for a future-oriented and successful company. It cares about its employees and wants to achieve not only satisfaction but also loyalty to the company.

But BGM is not to be taken lightly!

Serious efforts within the framework of meaningful BGM do not scratch the surface – see fruit basket, back school, smoking cessation etc.
Serious BGM means not clinging to entrenched structures. It means changing procedures and processes, actively engaging with staff, entering into dialogue and providing ongoing support for the change process. This requires a great deal of personal commitment and willingness to change on the part of all those responsible. In addition, the task is to move away from old thought patterns and leadership styles and to demonstrate the ability to criticise and deal with conflict.

We are far from finished with BGM!

How do we want to meet the challenges of the present and the coming years? These relate to the shortage of skilled workers, the massive increase in older (50+) workers, digitalisation and social changes in the company environment.

The comparatively few companies that are successfully practising BGM on their own initiative in the medium and long term are pioneers and can pass on a lot of experience. The organisations and associations that are involved should be highlighted. They have been trying for a long time to motivate, support and accompany companies in the introduction of BGM. But that is still not enough. We must continue to turn the wheel together and also involve small companies. Creative ideas and supposedly “crazy” suggestions as measures within the framework of occupational health management cannot be crazy enough. The main thing is that they are effective and convince the employees to take part in the journey to healthier working… for the LONG TERM!

Take the first or the next step – it’s worth it!