EXCLUSIVE: 45% want recognition for their wellbeing

Almost half of UK employees at small and medium sized enterprises (SME) said that recognition for work well done is among their top requirements for wellbeing in the workplace.

Financial services provider Legal and General looked at what workplace wellbeing really means to 1,055 SME employees in its Wellbeing at Work Barometer report. In terms of what they thought would improve it, 44% agreed that the provision of more flexible working options would have a positive impact.

The survey found that while feeling mentally well was the top wellbeing priority for 61% of employees, 74% of women rated it as important, compared to 54% of men. Over three-quarters (76%) of those aged 55 and over said it was vital, along with 67% of those aged 35 to 54  and 49% of 18 to 34 year olds.

Younger employees’ priorities were more evenly spread, according to the findings, with almost equal weighting placed upon mental (49%), physical (42%) and financial health, with 43% citing that they have long term savings in place. Having good work acknowledged by colleagues and bosses scored 40% with younger workers, while 29% said good career development opportunities were important.

Jo Elphick, marketing director of group protection at Legal & General, explained that the survey highlighted that 48% of men said more flexible working would help their wellbeing, compared to 37% of women, indicating that men are realising the benefits flexible working can bring to them and their families.

“Of course, wellbeing means very different things to different people though. For some being in the office enables a proper division between work and home, which they prefer. That is why it is vital that employers listen to their staff, understand their wellbeing concerns and needs, and factor this into the design and communication of their benefit and wellbeing programmes,” she said.