How to promote wellness in the workplace? Why wellbeing initiatives are a good place to start...
With millions of employees having been furloughed or working from home for over a year now, many employers will be seeking answers on how to promote wellness in the workplace. New research shows that wellbeing initiatives could be the answer.
By spending more of their benefits budgets on wellbeing initiatives, employers can boost the health of their employees and help stimulate the British economy. That’s one of the key findings of a new study by a British health and wellbeing company.
According to Westfield Health’s survey, which interviewed 1,600 employees and HR leaders, 43% of HR managers working at companies with wellbeing programmes in place described their employee productivity levels as ‘very good’. In comparison, just 18% of HR managers at organisations without them said the same.
The research also revealed that more than half (58%) of employers are using wellbeing initiatives to boost employee morale, with 46% saying they do so to increase staff performance.
A further 45% said investing in employee wellbeing boosted engagement or productivity, while 39% said it helped improve staff retention and 34% cited reduced absenteeism.
The bottom line, according to the research, is that if employers spent more on wellbeing initiatives, the combined impact could be worth an additional £61bn to the UK economy by 2025.
However, while the Westfield study found that wellbeing spend was rising, up to 320,000 businesses were not maximising these programmes to their full potential.
Furthermore, a divide exists between companies in different geographical regions, with businesses in the North of England found to spend 17% less on employee wellbeing than those in the South.
The good news is that, going forward, this gap is predicted to close. By 2025, spend per head is forecast to rise from £250 to £337 in the North and from £300 to £363 in the South.
Commenting on the research, Dave Capper CEO, Westfield Health, said the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how productivity, business success and the economy all rely on good employee health.
“We have to acknowledge this and invest in our health and wellbeing to recover and move forward. But the results of our study were striking. Wellbeing has the potential to add billions to our national economy and ease long-standing inequalities between regions. But it must be done right; for those who see it as a tick-box exercise, or a “nice-to-have”, it won’t deliver on its significant potential,” he added.
One of the biggest challenges identified by Westfield was dovetailing new wellbeing policies with existing company culture. Indeed, some 59% of HR professionals polled said they want to implement more wellbeing initiatives, but their company culture prevented it.
Commenting on the research, Professor Rob Copeland, director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Rebuilding our organisational cultures so that employees know they are safe, connected and have a shared future together is paramount for business leaders... Those that succeed in this space will enjoy the benefits of productive and effective teams.”
Are you looking for help on how to promote wellness in the workplace? Premier Choice can provide you with all the professional support and advice you need to make sure your wellbeing spend is being invested in the best way possible.