Debbie Lovewell-Tuck: Holistic wellbeing rises up the agenda

As our inaugural Wellbeing Week, in association with Aon, draws to a end, it’s time to reflect on the trends and issues currently shaping this area of the benefits market.

There can be no denying that wellbeing has become big business. How many of you own a cook book or follow a plan from Body Coach or Deliciously Ella, or follow one of a growing number of health and wellbeing bloggers on social media?

Over the past few years, wellbeing has well and truly entered the public consciousness unlike ever before. While much of this is undoubtedly due to the increased accessibility of information, it is also due, in part, to increased understanding and recognition of the benefits of focusing on wellbeing.

This can be seen at a corporate, as well as individual, level. When I started writing about wellbeing 14 years ago, it was very much seen as a non-essential, softer area of benefits. Instead, employers’ focus was much more on tangible healthcare benefits, such as private medical insurance, which really came into their own once an employee was ill or injured.

Now, I’m very glad to be able to say that times have changed, with many organisations focusing on employee wellbeing as part of an integrated health and wellbeing strategy. What is meant by wellbeing has also evolved. It no longer simply refers to physical wellbeing, but also encompasses emotional, mental and financial wellbeing. The pillars are often so inextricably linked that it can be difficult to focus on one in isolation.

Of course, this is not without its challenges. When it comes to mental health and emotional wellbeing, in particular, many employees may still be reluctant to turn to their employer for support so work may be needed to overcome perceived stigma and prejudices. Employers that are recognised to be advocates of holistic wellbeing, however, will reap the rewards when it comes to staff recruitment, retention, productivity and engagement, among others.

So, wherever you are with wellbeing in your organisation, Wellbeing Week was designed to help you take this to the next level through exclusive insights and opinions uncovering best practice in the workplace. These included:

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell