The definition of wellbeing in the workplace is broadening. Few would disagree that this is a good thing: once a loose “catch-all” term for a ragbag of unconnected and well-meaning initiatives, wellbeing today demands a more holistic approach.
The need is abundantly clear. The latest Deloitte Human Capital Trends report shows us that more than 40 per cent of all workers face high levels of stress in their jobs. This negatively impacts on productivity, health and family stability. By way of response, leading organisations now see wellbeing not just as a benefit or an obligation, but as a critical business performance issue. Less than a quarter (23%) of organisations today see wellbeing programmes as simply a way to reduce insurance costs. By contrast, nearly half (43%) believe that wellbeing reinforces their organisation’s purpose, while more than six in ten feel that it both improves employee productivity (60%) and bottom-line business results (61%).
Research among our certified Top Employers confirms how thoroughly wellbeing is being applied to drive performance. Nearly nine in ten of those we surveyed have organisation-wide programmes for wellbeing (85%) and educate their employees on what is on offer (86%), while even more make this information freely available both off- and online (91%). And they do this because the data tells them that wellbeing works as well for employers as for employees - over two-thirds (67%) regularly measure its impact and effectiveness.
Wellbeing programmes among our Top Employers also now cover a broad range of initiatives; from prevention (with EAPs, ergonomic support and stress management especially popular); to support for absent colleagues (such as keeping salary and contractual rights above the legal minimum as well as providing access to OH professionals); and a range of health programmes (including, but not limited to, subsidised gym membership, health screening and nutritional information).
The results of this strategic approach to wellbeing are already clear - improved levels of engagement, greater organisational energy and higher productivity. And this shows the way for those other organisations who want to make the journey from “well-meaning” to “wellbeing”.