39% view investment in employee wellbeing as too expensive

Carl Chapman

More than a third (39%) of employer respondents feel that investing in employee wellbeing is too expensive, according to research by Barnett Waddingham.

Its Workplace wellbeing index, which surveyed 84 employers, also found that 94% of respondents view wellbeing as important to their organisation.

The research also found:

  • 31% of respondents cite the ageing workforce as the main challenge to workplace health and wellbeing, followed by changing demographics (17%), medical costs (17%), and a lack of funding for the NHS (16%).
  • Around a third (32%) of employer respondents do not engage with staff on their wellbeing.
  • Less than a third (31%) have a wellbeing strategy in place, 20% are in the process of developing a strategy and 37% of respondents are likely to implement one in the future.
  • 28% of respondents feel that the levels of wellbeing in their workforce are high or very high, and 60% rate them as moderate.
  • 5% of respondents use wellbeing technology, such as mobile apps or wearables, to support employee wellbeing.

Carl Chapman (pictured), head of workplace health at Barnett Waddingham, said: โ€œOur research suggests that wellbeing is seen as important by the vast majority of employers but there remains uncertainty in approaching it.

โ€œAs the links between high wellbeing and business performance become more established and evident, we will see a significant rise in those organisations that operate a wellbeing strategy and, as the war for talent heats up, organisations will be expected to cater to the wellbeing needs of employees in order to recruit and retain an engaged, productive and happy workforce.

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โ€œOver the medium and long-term outlook, it is likely that the growing impact of demographic change on the workplace will make it more difficult for employers not to face up to the importance of wellbeing in the workplace.”