The untapped potential of employee wellbeing strategies in the UK

A recent study shows that less than half (44%) of UK employers have an employee wellbeing strategy in place, and a fifth do not intend to implement one within the next year and a half.

These are startling statistics, especially when you consider the recent increase in barriers between employer and employees, remote working during the pandemic.
Everyone is well aware of the surge of mental health issues brought on by this separation between co-workers, loved ones and family members. What matters now is the actions organisations choose to take in engaging and supporting their employees at this unusual time.
Mark Witte at Aon, who conducted the aforementioned study, writes “The fact that less than half of the employers we surveyed have a comprehensive wellbeing strategy in place is one of the key observations from this year’s survey. There is no shortage of investment in health and benefits generally, nor is there a lack of focus on specific support; however, overall, wellbeing activity all too often lacks strategic focus”.
With more and more commercial evidence suggesting that a wellbeing strategy not only supports and creates happier employees but also contributes to an organisation’s balance sheet, it’s surprising that this area seems largely untapped.
In the same study, we see that only 9% of employers are actively measuring the return on investment from their wellbeing activity, despite it being an essential way to analyse and tailor them to their employees’ needs. Furthermore, 32% stated that measuring ROI is not important.
This could potentially be explained by employers having a hard time justifying the investment of something not as traditionally revenue-generative as other business activity, such as marketing, for example.
However, with great employee wellbeing comes a reduced cost of absence and employee turnover, and with employees performing better work when they feel their best, you don’t have to look far to see the business case for employee wellbeing.
So, of the businesses that have a wellbeing strategy implemented, what are they getting up to? In the UK Benefits and Trend Survey of 2021, we can also see that 55% of surveyed employers are using employee engagement surveys to drive their wellbeing programmes, and 41% have a financial wellbeing strategy in place.
With all of this in mind, if you’re looking to get started in creating a wellbeing strategy or to develop your existing plan, we have a ton of resources to get you going:
Watch our latest webinar, which focuses on building an employee wellbeing strategy from scratch
Find out more about financial wellbeing, with our webinar “How to provide financial and mental health support in the workplace”
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