Wellbeing strategies ignored despite workforce benefits

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Two thirds of organisations have yet to adopt any sort of wellbeing programme despite the majority of firms understanding the related business benefits, research finds.

The study from Edenred and EnergiseYou revealed that while the majority of organisations (66%) make the link between employee engagement and wellbeing, only a third (33%) follow through with a wellbeing strategy.

It also found that organisations overestimate the health of their staff.

While nearly half (47%) of the 200 HR professionals surveyed said their staff's health was good or excellent, this contrasts starkly with employee research, which found the large majority (80%) of workers score just 40% with regards to their health and energy.

Other issues uncovered in the survey were the need for senior level buy-in and a lack of clarity about whether objectives were being met.

Fewer than half (46%) of organisations believed their health and wellbeing activities met their objectives while 11% said they did not and 39% did not know.

According to the report, this suggested more work could be done to ensure objectives were set and to measure the return on investment of wellbeing activities.

Three-quarters (76%) added that lack of financial investment and organisational buy-in was a barrier in achieving wellbeing objectives.

The survey showed backing from the Board or senior directors was essential for wellbeing activities to deliver a real return on investment.

Edenred sales and marketing director Andy Philpott, said: "There is a real opportunity for organisations to work harder to personalise and communicate wellbeing activities and benefits much more effectively.

"This will help strengthen the impact of the investment and deliver better return on investment. So while benefits are important so too is being able to demonstrate the impact on both employees and organisations."

EnergiseYou managing director Oliver Gray added: "Quite often benefit professionals sense that they need to do something when it comes to the health and wellbeing of their staff.

"However, our survey finds some of the challenges they face include not being able to dedicate enough time and resources to develop a wellbeing programme that will deliver a real return on investment.

"With sickness absence and stress levels rising in UK workplaces, employee health and wellbeing can no longer be left off the agenda; it needs to be prioritised. By getting backing from those at the top, HR has a huge opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff and increase the profits of the business."

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