Employers have been encouraged to discuss health issues with employeesEmployers would be well-advised to consider providing lifestyle and health tips to ensure that members of staff are in better physical shape to handle the demands of the workplace, it has been suggested.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), acknowledged that hectoring workers to change the way they live their lives is unlikely to succeed, but suggested a softer approach could work.

"If employers can provide support to help people to live healthier lifestyles, and that includes stopping smoking, then it is in their interest to do that," he explained. "I think employees also appreciate that, as long as it is a choice."

Mr Willmott added that businesses should be sure to set out a "clear policy" on smoking and make sure that newly-hired employees are well aware of the company's stance on the matter.

Bosses concerned about the impact post-recession unrest has had on the condition of their workforce could benefit from attending the Employee Wellbeing Forum 2010 in London next month.

Posted by Ross George