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Edenred Germany was recently awarded for his Employees-Engagement repeatedly among the top 100 employers in the Great Place toWorkaward chosen. In an interview, Human Resources Director Petra Mühlbauer explains how health management in the Corporate works and what that has to do with employee retention.

Petra Mühlbauer is Human Resources Director of Edenred Germany. After leading position she studied in the hotel industry in Austria and Asia Psychology and educational sciences at the Fernuniversität Hagen and worked as a HR Consultant. Since 2011 she has been responsible for personnel management for Edenred Deutschland GmbH, which specializes in state-sponsored employer benefits in the form of meal vouchers and voucher cards for employee loyalty. She looks after a total of 100 employees at the Munich, Wiesbaden and Hamburg locations.

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Mühlbauer, health management and employee retention - how does it fit together?

Companies that are actively involved in the Health take care of their employees, ensure that they are happier. And of course employees also talk about it or give reviews in the Internet away. In this respect, health management is an important part of employer branding.

How does the health management for your own employees at Edenred look like?

A personal trainer comes to our company every 14 days during working hours and takes exercise breaks. This is particularly interesting for employees with sedentary jobs: the focus is on stretching and balance exercises. And the employees also get tips and Tricks to Handhow they can also use the exercises in everyday work.

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We also regularly send out a newsletter on the subject of health@ work, in which we repeat the exercises or provide information about the importance of vitamins in nutrition. In 2014, there were also two days across the Group under the motto “Ideal Meal Day”, which focused on healthy eating Workplace went.

Finally, we offer a massage service. A physiotherapist comes to the house for this. Employees who take advantage of this offer are released during working hours that Costs you have to pay for the application yourself.

Everything during working hours?

Yes, our employees can avail themselves of all offers for health care during their working hours.

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The flu epidemic was recently on everyone's lips - how do you react to such current developments?

For example, in our newsletter, we're giving more and more hygiene tips, such as washing your hands, as this is one of the main routes of infection and providing information on what you can do to strengthen your body's defenses.

All in all, it is a matter of leading the employees to self-responsibility.

In the course of the measles outbreak in Berlin, forced suicides were discussed. What do you think of such compulsory measures in the company?

Nothing. Last year, we also offered preventative examinations in cooperation with a health insurance company and various doctors. They came into the company and carried out skin screenings, lung volume examinations, visual tests or hand-held measurements. Participating employees were also able to bring along the bonus book of their health insurance.

In principle, however, it is important for us to convince the employees to take care of their own health.

How do employees react to health management?

Very positively, some report that we only got them to run regularly after, for example, we took part in a company run last year. We will do that again this year: We are also looking for a suitable charity run.

By the way, our health management has a large share of the Great Place to Work Award. The employees obviously value our commitment, even though in larger companies perhaps even more is offered.

Have you seen motivation and productivity improvements through health management?

Of course, we always carry out projects to optimize processes. Therefore, we cannot attribute increases in productivity to our health management alone. However, the employees report back to us that they have become fitter, for example, through the gymnastic exercises feel and work more motivated.

Could you reduce your health?

Yes, even if you can't say exactly why that is. In principle, however, our sick leave is reduced by 1-2 days per year Head.

2012, we have begun health management and expanded it every year.

Do you use tax benefits or are there any grants from health insurance?

We do not use subsidies from a health insurance company because we made a conscious decision not to go for a specific one Insurance to advertise.

In the case of tax concessions, we are just stretching out our sensors, which possibilities exist. For example, we do not have to pay extra taxes, because they are not seen as a salary.

What about the ergonomics of the workplaces?

We already thought about the ergonomics of the workplaces when we moved into the building. For this purpose, lamps with daylight luminaires were installed, organic swing chairs and height-adjustable desks were purchased, and our screens are adjustable with eye-friendly ”resolution.

We regularly provide information on the ergonomically correct workspace so that the employees also know the angle at which they should adjust their desk.

For departments, which make a lot of calls, there are special noise protection measures. We are currently in the process of increasing the number of green plants in order to improve the indoor climate.

In addition, we bought a massage chair, which stands in the resting room and which the employees can always use in between to relax and afterwards again fitter and motivated to go to work.

Do you have your own sports facilities?

No, but in the neighboring building is a gym. The office campus offers a swimming pool and we have a separate shower. This enables employees, for example, to cycle to work.

And the pool is used?

Yes, in the summer, some employees jump into the lunch break. After work, some of them pass by with their children to swim here.

How do you deal with the smokers in the company?

Smoking rooms are not available. Smokers go for fresh air.

From Google or Facebook they have been known to even offer employees free, healthy food - what about Edenred?

Employees will receive a tax-privileged menu check with the value of 6,00 Euro per working day. These ticket restaurant vouchers can then be redeemed at nearby restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries. Our employees are free to choose what they want to have for lunch.

We are, however, browsing the menus of the restaurants and giving tips on healthy eating. To this end, we work together with external, certified nutrition consultants.

Once a year, on October 16th, i.e. on World Food Day, a nutritionist comes to our company – one SALE that we carry out group-wide. We then try to introduce our employees to the topic in a playful way, for example with a quiz, and thus sensitize them to the ingredients and nutritional value of food, for example. We also provide instructions and guidelines for a correct BMI measurement.

We also have a communication platform called E-Lunch. Once a quarter, our managing director invites employees or teams to cook together. Joint projects are discussed and Ask the staff in the easygoing Conversation answered. Here, too, we try to serve as healthy food as possible.

At the same time, various US IT companies were also criticized because they even interfere with the family planning of their employees - keyword social freezing. Do you see a danger that companies could interfere too much in the health of their employees?

I do not see any danger. We do not write to the employees. There is, of course, a certain group dynamics, and everyone has to think about the extent to which he can be involved here.

Employers should provide advice and action when employees need it, no more and no less. Companies need to be flexible to approach employees when they ask for support. Therefore an open corporate culture is important, which promotes the coexistence.

However, I am against ready-made corporate programs that encourage employees to eat and be health conscious Behavior dictated or even monitored. Besides, that would be for sure also a Problem with German labor law.

But also in Germany the first health insurance company is now monitoring health-conscious behavior with smartwatches ...

If a company starts with the attitude, only with him Boy, dynamic, slim non-smokers should work, then I still wish the company a lot Success, but I don't believe that such a position on the market can be maintained in the long term. I wouldn't want to work for a company like that either.

For example, we have a trainee with a physical disability who is fully integrated. When we talk about trips and activities to plan, then only those in which she can also participate. Employees choose their employer very well and also talk about what is happening in the company – we are back to employer branding. It is therefore extremely important to be active here as an employer.

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