96% of employers feel responsible for improving employee health behaviours


The majority (96%) of employer respondents agree or strongly agree that they are responsible for improving employee health behaviours, according to research by Aon Employee Benefits.

Its UK health survey: September 2017, which surveyed 200 UK employers, also found that 77% of respondents are looking to improve on their existing health and wellbeing programmes in the next 12 months.

The research also found:

  • 96% of respondents see a direct correlation between employee health and performance.
  • 43% of respondents are looking to evolve their emotional health offering, and a further 43% view mental health as the top current concern on their agenda. This is compared to physical health (33%) and lifestyle behaviours (33%) featuring as top agenda concerns.
  • 53% of respondents are looking to improve the support available to employees through financial wellbeing initiatives.
  • 43% of respondents cite an ageing workforce as their number one future concern.
  • 95% of respondents are concerned about the current and future issues of mental health.
  • 41% of respondents connect their insured employee benefits, such as medical and disability insurances, to their health and wellbeing strategy.
  • 25% of respondents use data analytics to understand and improve their health and wellbeing strategy, and 41% have a clear view of the impact, including cost impact, of the health issues in their organisation.
  • 24% of respondents feel their health and benefits communications to employees is insufficient or ineffective.
  • 88% of respondents use email to communicate their health and wellbeing programme to staff, compared to 75% who use posters, booklets and flyers, and 59% who utilise on-site wellbeing days.
  • 71% of respondents state a limited budget as one of the most important barriers they currently run into or anticipate to run into when implementing a health-related programme.

Mark Witte (pictured), head of healthcare and risk consulting at Aon Employee Benefits, said: “Employers have never paid so much attention to employee health. This is understandable when the vast majority recognise its impact on [organisation] performance. But a combination of social and economic issues has made it even more relevant than it was before. Issues include escalating healthcare costs, a continued shift away from the state for the health and welfare burden, increased awareness of the impact of underlying poor health behaviours, increasingly diverse and multigenerational workforces, and escalating debt and emotional pressures.”