Director of Corporate
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More organisations than ever before are taking action to improve employee health and wellbeing. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the provision of wellbeing benefits.
For some organisations the decision to put health and wellbeing benefits in place is straightforward, but for others, there are several factors that influence these purchasing decisions. Our latest wellbeing research with the CIPD looked at some of the top influencing factors for UK employers, and some interesting themes emerged.
Taking the top spot (and unsurprisingly so) were budgetary constraints; 68% of respondents identified this a top three influencing factor. Benefits are often seen as nice-to-haves, but when it comes to wellbeing, their effects shouldn’t be underestimated.
What organisations should consider is the impact of not investing in employee health and wellbeing. Take sickness absence as an example. The current average absence level is 5.9 days per employee, per year. So, what does this cost a business in terms of lost days, lost productivity, but also providing cover and sick pay? Getting an understanding of these numbers can help demonstrate the bottom line impact to the business.
Wellbeing benefits can also have a positive impact on employer brand. And being competitive as an employer of choice is a key factor for over a third of respondents in our research. An attractive benefits package can set an organisation apart from its competitors, in attracting and retaining talent.
When deciding which wellbeing benefits to choose, employers need to listen to their workforce’s wants and needs. Different life stages and different priorities require flexibility. A flexible benefits option that allows employees to select benefits relevant to them, is most valuable and useful. And this adaptability can help an offering stand out from the crowd.
Finally, alignment to a health and wellbeing strategy is a main consideration for 33% of organisations. Whether it’s health promotion benefits such as free eye tests, a form of employee support like an EAP, or insurance or protection benefits like health cash plans, wellbeing benefits form an important part of many health and wellbeing strategies.
To ensure longevity and continued investment, it’s critical to link this back to the overall organisation strategy. Our research shows that 40% of organisations do this, but that leaves 60% that don’t. Aligning wellbeing objectives and initiatives to wider strategy means that wellbeing can retain the priority and focus it needs within the business.
All figures taken from the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Well-being at Work 2019 report.