Disengaged employees and poor health costs UK £6bn

Employees with poor health and a lack of motivation cost the UK £6 billion last year, according to research by Bupa and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Its study of 5,000 workers found that more than a third (37%) of teams are experiencing stress and pressure because of ill health and staff absence.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents think that their health is at risk because of the demands of work and are concerned that they will burn out.

However, 60% of respondents do not expect their employer to do anything to help them to be less stressed, healthier, more physically fit, feel more balanced or have a better work-life balance.

Just over half (54%) of respondents in the north west of England are likely to have seen a rise in stress, anxiety and depression, while 33% of employees in the east of England dread going to work on a Monday morning.

The research also found:

  • 29% of respondents are unable to concentrate at work due to poor health.
  • 41% of respondents said wellbeing is all talk but no action in their organisation.
  • 33% of respondents felt their line manager is out of their depth when it comes to supporting health and wellbeing.
  • 42% of manager respondents said their organisation does not provide training or tools needed to ensure the wellbeing of their team.

Patrick Watt (pictured), corporate director at Bupa, said: “This is a wake-up call for employers. This research shows that many employees are not engaged or motivated, which has a big impact on an organisation’s performance and productivity.

“However, the good news for employers is that, by making even small changes to how they look after and value their employees, there are huge gains on offer for Britain’s organisations.

“Initiatives that boost employee engagement are essentially linked to employee wellbeing and can produce a willingness to go the extra mile.

”By rewarding extra effort from employees, and building an organisation around health and wellbeing, organisations can harness the discretionary effort of their workforce to supercharge their growth.”