Why it matters
Nestlé’s purpose of ‘enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future’ begins with each and every one of us. Our aim is to inspire our employees to make informed decisions about their health and safety.
What we are doing
In 2019, we developed and deployed Caring Leadership in Safety to improve safety effectiveness. Access to Nestlé’s Know Your Numbers program (KYNP) reached 73% of employees, and we participated in several key external forums and networks on health. Read more about it in our 2019 progress report.
Our employee health culture
We believe that our culture has an influence on the health and well-being of our people. A positive environment, in which employees feel that they are treated with respect and fairness and where they have support from leaders, can greatly influence engagement and productivity. We currently have mechanisms in place to assess how these elements can positively offset the impact of excessive pressures and stress.
We have been evaluating our absenteeism rate, which increased slightly from 1.57% in 2018 to 2.16% in 2019. Going beyond that, we also assess our presenteeism – productivity loss at work as represented by limitations from health problems that interfere with specific aspects of job performance – which has an even more detrimental effect on productivity. In 2019, our presenteeism rate was 4.4%1.
At Nestlé, we define presenteeism as the reduced productivity that can occur when employees come to work when ill and, as a result, are not fully engaged or perform at lower levels than usual.
A number of expert-led webinars, which enriched the group’s knowledge of health, were held in 2019. Twenty-two webinars involving 594 participants took place and included topics such as health strategy, KYNP, #HealthyLives, illness reporting, and stress and resilience.
Our holistic approach to employees’ health
The Know Your Numbers program (KYNP) is designed to allow employees to understand their health risks and enables us to measure the key health risks of our employee population, which helps us better understand our employees’ health profile and the impact of health on productivity, and to build strategic, targeted and evidence-based interventions. This is critical toward building a sustainable organization and delivering superior market performance.
Protecting employees’ confidentiality
Monitoring the health of employees inevitably means collecting sensitive and confidential data. It is important that the data remains fully confidential and there are no issues around data privacy. Most companies use an anonymized data approach when data is encrypted, but this still means that information could be accessed if the server is breached. Nestlé does not want to run this risk so, for KYNP, our employee health data is stored in two different places and is completely anonymous. Each user creates their own username, which cannot be traced back to an individual, and if login details are lost, a completely new profile must be created. We believe this is the best way to collect valuable information while preserving the complete confidentiality of all participants.
Helping achieve healthier lives
#HealthyLives is our global training program to enhance the health awareness of our employees, encouraging participants to make healthy changes in their lifestyles. Launched in 2019 in English and Spanish, the interactive program takes a holistic approach, covering multiple dimensions of personal health, such as physical activity, sleep, mental health and nutrition. Participants are incentivized through activity days, and the program features a series of 13 short videos and brochures, focusing on key risks and encouraging simple and easy changes to avoid them. Supporting communication materials help further increase awareness, and markets also share best practice. By the end of 2019, #HealthyLives was available to all Nestlé employees.
This is one of the focus areas of the Nestlé Framework for Employee Health and a module of our global training program, #HealthyLives. Our aim is to make an impact on the diets of our employees and their families by offering locally relevant education on nutrition and hydration and by providing healthy food and drink options at work. In 2019, 96% of our canteens provided a healthy meal option to our employees. Also, 74% of our markets offer free or subsidized fruits to our employees.
Stress and resilience
Mental ill health is one of the three most reported work-related illnesses globally. Emerging trends as seen through KYNP also identify stress as a key risk among employees. Through the Nestlé Guidance on Stress and Resilience, we are progressively developing our Stress and Resilience program, including customized training and tools for different target groups. The program covers all employees, human resource business partners (HRBPs), leaders and senior leaders. In 2019, #HealthyLives was launched, including a full module on mental health. Training on stress and resilience has been provided to 69% of our HRBPs. Our Employee Assistance Program was available in 62% of our markets, and access to a relaxation/nap room was available in 55% of our markets. With this, we aim to enable employees to better manage overall pressures, at work and in their private lives, and enhance their personal resilience.
Our Framework for Employee Health
We understand that a healthier workplace is a happier, more productive one, so the health of our employees is an important part of living our purpose. The Nestlé Framework for Employee Health supports employee health through three pillars:
Work-related illnesses and fatalities
Our focus continues on building capabilities for reporting work-related illnesses by strengthening our tracking mechanisms. For 2019, musculoskeletal diseases accounted for 58% of recordable illnesses, followed by mental ill health with 17% and digestive system disorders with 12%. We believe that improving the ergonomics of our workplaces and continuing to invest in our Stress and Resilience program are key to addressing these.
Our efforts to reduce the injuries of our employees and contractors are continuous, and resulted in an improvement of our recordable injury rate (per million hours worked), which was 1.5 in 2019 versus 1.6 in the previous year. Our main focus now is related to those risks resulting in severe injuries, namely machinery, driving, collapse of materials and equipment.
Despite our best efforts, we are saddened to report that in 2019, four employees and one contractor lost their lives while working for Nestlé. We carry out a detailed investigation for every fatality, involving a cross-functional team and local senior management. The results are reviewed at Group level to ensure that the whole company learns from the incident. We remain committed to achieving our goal of zero work-related injuries and illnesses, despite the size of our company and the scope of our operations.
1 Covering 31 069 employees. Self-reported number by employees that completed the Work Limitations Questionnaire, as part of the global Know Your Numbers program