EXCLUSIVE: Wellbeing benefits boost business performance

New research by Aon has categorically linked employee wellbeing benefits with increased business performance.

According to data from the global professional services firm’s 2021 Global wellbeing survey, companies that improve their employee wellbeing performance also see a 1% rise in customer satisfaction and retention.

The study further found that a 3.5% increase in wellbeing performance equated to a 1% rise in customer acquisition and customer satisfaction, while a 4% increase created a 1% growth in company profits and a 1% decrease in staff turnover.

The results will be seen by many as at last giving some much needed return-on-investment credence to those wanting to implement wellbeing programmes.

According to Dr. Avneet Kaur, EMEA wellbeing solutions leader at Aon, the results make for compelling reading. She said: “Wellbeing is so much more than programmes and individual initiatives; it is a long-term people and performance strategy, using resources to achieve resilience goals over a sustained period.”

The data showed that currently 82% of companies now say wellbeing is important to them, with 87% having a least one related initiative in place.

However, despite this, the research also revealed that globally, just 55% of companies actually had a wellbeing strategy in place – dropping to 51% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

In EMEA, Ireland, the Czech Republic and South Africa are most likely to have a wellbeing initiative in place, while Portugal, South Africa and Switzerland are most likely to have a strategy. Companies in Portugal are most likely to have fully integrated wellbeing into their business and talent strategy (26%), with Poland, South Africa and Ireland all at 24%.

Better news was the finding that in EMEA, 25% of wellbeing programmes were deemed to be performing ‘exceptionally’ or ‘above average’, with Ireland (37%), South Africa and the UK (both 34%) leading the way.

In the UK, 91% of businesses have wellbeing initiatives, while 53% have a strategy. Also in the UK, 42% said wellbeing is extremely important at their company, while another 41% said it was important.

Kaur added: “Cultures are the seedbeds that determine whether employee wellbeing programmes flourish or die, so companies should assess if their organisational culture is helping or hindering them in their wellbeing and resilience efforts.”

She added: “Leadership support and buy-in are critical factors in creating a culture and a wellbeing strategy that can positively impact workforce resilience and overall company performance.”