Three in four firms have an employee wellbeing strategy

Flexible working is among the most commonly used wellbeing benefits, along with line manager training, carer support, home working and occupational health.
Flexible working is among the most commonly used wellbeing benefits, along with line manager training, carer support, home working and occupational health.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of UK companies say they now either have or are implementing a wellbeing strategy during 2017, research has suggested.

But the study by actuarial firm Barnett Waddingham has concluded that, despite this, 60% of organisations report their employee wellbeing to be either “moderate” or “very low”.

Employers therefore needed to ask themselves if they were providing the benefits and interventions that are most effective for their staff, it suggested.

The top five most widely offered benefits (rated by effectiveness) were: flexible working or home working; carer support; health assessments; line manager training; and cancer screening.

However, those most commonly used by employees were: flexible working; line manager training; carer support; home working; and occupational health.

A good example of this sort of lack of coordination was the fact that only 23% of companies polled offered cancer screening to employees, despite it being rated as a top-five benefit for effectiveness, Barnett Waddingham argued.

By comparison, 73% of employers offered a cycle-to-work scheme, even though it was not considered a top-10 effective benefit.

Laura Matthews, wellbeing consultant at Barnett Waddingham, said: “Wellbeing strategies need to take into account the wants and needs of the employees to be effective for an organisation.

“Implementing a wellbeing strategy does not necessarily need to be a costly exercise.

“It could be as simple as analysing what you currently have, bringing it together holistically and ensuring it is effectively communicated,” she added.

Separately, a poll by employee benefits portal Mybenefitsatwork has argued that nine out of 10 HR leaders believe they face “challenges” when communicating their benefits packages to employees.

One Response to Three in four firms have an employee wellbeing strategy

  1. Nick Bloy 6 Jul 2017 at 11:38 am #

    All of these initiatives are a great start. Giving workers greater flexibility to get their jobs done is a powerful way to give them a sense of control which is crucial for good mental health. Encouraging employees to cycle to work is also fantastic for boosting wellbeing (both physical and mental).

    However, as a former HR Business Partner in the City of London and the founder of a leading wellbeing consultancy, far too many companies still aren’t aware of how to optimise employee wellbeing. Whether we are happy, focussed and productive depends on our mental state and that requires people to be taught about why they think and do the things that they do.

    Whilst the above survey concludes that 71% of businesses have or will have a wellbeing strategy in place in 2017, I would question their efficacy, given the type of interventions being talked about. Efficient perhaps, but unlikely to be truly effective until they look to tackle the root cause of people’s poor levels of wellbeing.

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