When we talk of a company’s responsibility to its community, we often first think of those in the location in which it is based. There is, however, another community much closer to home that all businesses need to consider: their employees. Businesses can tackle broader social issues not only by looking outwards but inwards too; by focusing on the individuals which run their organisations on a daily basis. That’s why at HP we not only assess how we can help society through external actions – we start at square one, our employees.
In 2011 the UK government asked businesses to get more involved in the health and wellbeing of their staff. Specifically the Department of Health called for private enterprise to help the NHS lift the burden of cancer.
HP responded by launching four cancer awareness and early detection campaigns covering some of the most common cancers in the UK: breast, prostate, skin and lung. Education sessions, cancer screening and a vast internal communications programme were implemented in partnership with Healthscreen UK.
Specialists delivered advanced screening tests going above and beyond normal programmes. As a result over 10,000 screening episodes have taken place and over 50 cancers were identified which would otherwise have gone undetected.
By putting in place the steps for the early diagnosis of common cancers and improved cancer survival, business can play a key role in protecting the health of our society. HP’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of its staff and families saves lives, increases survival rates and reduces the cost of treatment, including for the NHS.
The success of HP’s cancer detection efforts within its community is a reason for other businesses to examine their corporate well-being programmes and consider whether it is time to move from something conventional to something cutting-edge.
If similar services are implemented across more large businesses, companies can continue to help the larger fight against cancer and help increase early detection. Although offering fully-funded cancer screening is a significant investment there are many other things companies can do to raise awareness or they can offer the screening as a voluntary benefit to employees. For the employee community the decision by their employer to drive a similar campaign could truly be a life-saver.
Mark Osborn, Total Rewards Manager UK & Ireland. Mark leads Compensation and Benefits in HP in the UK and was responsible for driving this campaign through the business.