There is a clear relationship between the health of employees and their productivity. Experts state that the healthier their life habits are, the better their productivity. That’s why companies such as Banco Santander, which are committed to becoming model places to work, launch programs and initiatives aimed at boosting increasingly healthy spaces.

According to Daniel Strode, from Global HR of Banco Santander, “The health of our employees is the health of our company”. And that’s true because, according to the International Labor Organization, inadequate nutrition could imply a decrease of productivity of up to 20%.

An unhealthy lifestyle, including unbalanced nutrition, can directly affect the productivity of the employees, according to the experts and data. This way, the study “Healthy Nutrition in the Workplace” elaborated by ISS Iberia, reveals that 87% of Spanish companies consider health and well- being at work to be important aspects to improve the productivity of their employees and to attract and retain talent. This report is the first multidisciplinary study elaborated in Spain about the importance of health and nutrition in working spaces and their impact on the professional productivity.

Therefore, within its commitment to becoming good examples of places of to work, companies boost many initiatives aimed at making the employees experience feelings of pride and belonging. Among these programs, it highlights those related to boosting a healthy and good lifestyle, although according to the above-mentioned study, 71.3% of companies consider how companies and workers don’t have enough knowledge and awareness of the impact of food on the productivity of employees.

Banco Santander: an example of a healthy Company

Companies are increasingly aware that the implementation of healthy lifestyle habits, from food to sport spaces, contribute to improving productivity and reduce absenteeism. Employees too. In this way, the study “Healthy Nutrition at the Workspace” highlights that 85% of workers are interested in receiving information from the company about how to keep healthy eating habits at the workplace. So, over the past years, the priorities about food, physical activity and body care have changed. We care for ourselves more than ever.

Banco Santander is one of these companies that places the health of employees among its priorities. It does it through BeHealthy, the program of Salud&Bienestar (Health & Well-being) that intends to turn the entity presided over Ana Botín into the healthiest organization over the world. Not only because it improves productivity, but “our purpose is being chosen as the best company to work on the basis of our goal, culture and responsible way of achieving main goals, and we believe that this is the right, fair and responsible way”, Daniel Strode, Global Human Resources Director of Banco Santander, said.

This program was started in 2016 to strengthen the commitment of the Group to well-being and to turn it into one of the key elements of the experience of employees at global level… because, as Strode says: “Our culture, our way of working, at which we call ‘The Santander Way’, is our ‘How’. Obviously, this ‘How’ includes well-being and health”.

BeHealthy includes four pillars: Know yours numbers, Eat, Be Balanced and Move.

EAT is the axis of the program through which it intends to raise awareness about the benefits of a healthy eating habits. There are many initiatives started by the Group across the countries where it operates: in Spain, for example, the amount of salt at the workplace has been reduced; the vending machines have been modified to include more than 70% healthy drinks and snacks; in the Ciudad Grupo Santander, it has added whole-wheat cereals from an ecological and sustainable origin in all the dining areas; it has reduced the use of flour in the elaborations and it has created a 100% BeHealthy food, among other initiatives.

In Chile, a “healthy terrace” was installed at the upper floor of the corporate building, where employees can enjoy healthy juices and food, as well as take part in cooking lessons to promote the learning of these skills. At a global level, the group carries out through Intranet a nutritional assessment aimed at the employees.

Experts highlight that, in order for these policies to be effective, they must go beyond food and take into account factors such as physical spaces, information and assessment services and the promotion of physical exercise. Something that Banco Santander clearly knows, as MOVE is the other most successful pillar among employees of the program BeHealthy. The initiatives include the creation of a running club, a trekking club and a football club in Openbank, yoga classes at the office, group sessions of physical exercise run by personal trainers, and the promotion of challenges through LinkedIn, such as #BeHealthyChallenge or #10pushupchallenge. Also, in seven out of the countries where it operates, the Group has an agreement with Gympass for employees to go to different gyms and well-being centers with established prices.