Employees who feel cared for are 27% more likely to stay with their current employer for over five years, compared to those who feel adequately or poorly looked after, research finds.
According to the research by ICM and commissioned by Unum, workplace wellbeing is an issue "employers simply cannot afford to ignore", with almost a third (30%) of workers saying they would consider leaving their job if they did not feel cared for by their employer.
Just over a quarter (26%) of workers said poor workplace wellbeing would make them less likely to stay with an employer long-term, while 21% said this would make them less motivated and productive.
While two-thirds of respondents (66%) thought they were well looked after by their employer, more than a third (34%) felt they were only adequately or poorly cared for, and more than a fifth (22%) thought levels had got worse over the last three years.
Unum chief executive Peter O'Donnell pointed out the costs to employers should they choose to ignore workplace wellbeing.
"This research shows that workplace wellbeing has a very real business impact for companies in terms of loyalty and retention. And with research we commissioned earlier this year showing staff turnover costs on average £30,614 per employee, this is an issue employers simply cannot afford to ignore," he said.
"People stay with companies that demonstrate they value - and care for - their employees. One of the most tangible ways to do this is to provide a best practice employee benefits package, including long-term benefits like income protection which supports staff financially if they fall ill. Employers should look at their entire benefits offering to help them improve wellbeing and keep their best people."
The significant majority of respondents recognised the value of workplace benefits, with just under two-thirds (65%) saying that a good benefits package was important to them, and 62% specifically highlighting financially support through ill health.
Further factors had an impact on how wellbeing was skewed within the workplace, with different generations having particularly varying priorities. While younger workers aged 18-34 placed far greater importance on career progression, inspiring leadership and feeling part of a team, the desire for support during ill-health and old age was understandably stronger as workers aged.
Dissatisfied staff were also more likely to be motivated by salary, as those employees who felt only adequately or poorly looked after placed less emphasis on softer elements such as recognition but higher importance on salary in lieu of feeling well looked after.
O'Donnell added: "It's important to understand that employees - whether we're talking about their gender, generation or which sector they work in - have very different needs and expectations of their employer when it comes to wellbeing. Only by understanding the needs of their own employees and tailoring employee benefits accordingly can an employer drive maximum loyalty."