Buck, a leading consulting, administration, and technology services firm specialising in pensions and employee benefits, has today revealed that only 26% of UK businesses have a wellbeing programme in place, compared to an average of 42% in the rest of the world. This represents a significant opportunity for UK organizations to establish wellbeing initiatives.
The findings were made as part of Buck’s Working Well: A Global Survey of Workforce Wellbeing Strategies, an annual report designed to understand the current state of wellbeing across the world.
Despite the UK’s low scoring, an overwhelming majority of businesses understood the positive impact that wellbeing programmes can have on an employee’s ability to manage stress (97%), depression/anxiety (97%), and work/life issues (97%). An equally high number of respondents (94%) revealed that businesses also see improving employee engagement and morale as a core reason for implementing wellbeing strategies.
Even so, it is clear that UK companies are still delaying action when it comes to establishing these initiatives. The research showed that only 29% of respondents are planning to implement stress management or resilience building programmes within the next 12 months, compared with nearly twice that number (57%) who expect this process to take two to three years.
The research also showed that many businesses seem to be overlooking the importance of their employees’ financial wellbeing. The majority of UK businesses (60%) did not know if financial stress was having a negative impact on their employees. And while 30% did recognise the negative impact of financial stress, not a single UK respondent was actively measuring this factor in their staff.
Anne-Marie Ayre, Head of Health & Productivity at Buck in the UK, comments:
“Nearly all of the businesses we surveyed have a clear understanding of the benefits that wellbeing initiatives can bring — but they need to put these ideas into practice. Businesses that establish a wellbeing programme for their staff not only experience increased employee engagement, but also benefit from higher staff retention and productivity.
“In order to achieve these goals, however, companies need to provide something that is truly innovative and beneficial to the employee experience. This pioneering attitude towards employee wellbeing is essential if businesses want to get the most out of their team and thrive in the future.”