Report finds effects of wellbeing strategies are not being measured

Too few UK companies measure the impact of their workplace wellness strategies on business and employees, a report has argued.

The report from consultancy Buck Consultants, Working well: A global survey of health promotion and workplace wellness strategies, has suggested that although employers by and large know what they want from their workplace wellness strategy, just one in 10 actively monitors and measures specific outcomes against their original objectives.

Increasing employee morale and engagement (73%), improving staff productivity and reducing presenteeism (69%) and reducing absenteeism (66%) were the three top goals listed by UK businesses from their programmes.

Half of employers said that their company had a health promotion or wellness strategy and almost three-quarters added that this had been in place for more than two years. Nearly half – 45% – offered incentives to employees to take part in company wellness initiatives, up from 24% in 2010.

Yet many companies were failing to follow this investment through. Three-quarters of those that did not measure the impact of their wellness strategies blamed limited resources.

Fraser Smart, managing director for Europe at Buck Consultants, said: “Many employers are making ‘faith-based purchases’, where they are investing in wellness because they think it is the right thing to do, without knowing whether or not it is having a positive impact on employee health.

“A wellness strategy should be treated in the same way as any other business strategy where commitment, measurement, evaluation and review are the keys to success. If employers don’t measure the outcomes, how do they know whether it’s working and how can they strive to improve?”

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