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Employers playing lip-service to wellbeing

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Organisations are playing lip-service to wellbeing by failing to invest in areas which they believe to have the greatest impact on wellbeing.

Only a small minority of UK employers say that investment in employee health and wellbeing is a priority for their organisation despite a near unanimous belief that there is a link between the performance of their organisation and the wellbeing of their people, according to new research from employee benefits provider Edenred.The findings are part of Edenred’s 2015 Wellbeing Barometer an annual study into employer attitudes to employee wellbeing.It found that while 97 percent of those surveyed believe in a link between employee wellbeing and organisational performance barely a quarter (26 percent) said it was a priority. The remainder described it as a ‘nice to have’ (20 percent) or ‘important but not a priority’.

A large number of organisations say they invest in some sort of wellbeing initiative (81 percent) but just under two thirds (60 percent) said they either do not know or have not taken steps to understand which specific health and wellbeing issues are problematic for their organisation.This is despite the fact that just over half of organisations (55 percent) believe it is vital to understand where employees need support before doing anything and a similar number (54 percent) agreeing it is important to have a targeted strategy which will deal with the most relevant issues.Two thirds of organisations (64 percent) said that HR policy is critical in improving employee wellbeing but only 21 percent say they currently have the right policy in place.

Andy Philpott, sales and marketing director at Edenred said:”It is clear that many organisations are currently playing lip-service to the idea of employee health and wellbeing by failing to take steps to understand the issues facing their employees and organisation.There is also a substantial gap between the support that HR practitioners believe will make a difference to health and wellbeing and what their organisations currently offer.Without a strategic approach to wellbeing, backed by investment in the right areas, the majority of organisations will fail to make any real difference to employee health through their current approach.”

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