As businesses gear up for the implementation of their health and wellbeing programs in 2024, Towergate Health & Protection has unveiled crucial research shedding light on the prevalent obstacles in this realm.
The findings indicate that a substantial one-third (33%) of companies view high costs as the primary barrier to providing enhanced health and wellbeing support.
Debra Clark, Head of Wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, emphasises the urgency of prioritising employee welfare in the coming year. She cautions against short-sighted approaches that minimise health and wellbeing support to cut costs, highlighting the availability of numerous low-cost and value-for-money options.
A Challenge of Scale
For 20 percent of companies, the obstacle lies in having too few employees to justify or make health and wellbeing support cost-effective. Despite this perception, smaller companies are urged to prioritise robust support systems, considering the amplified impact of absences on a leaner workforce. It is crucial to note that health and wellbeing options cater to companies of all sizes.
Approximately 19 percent of companies cite the time spent on administering health and wellbeing support as a barrier. Clark suggests that this may be attributed to a lack of awareness, pointing out the existence of online benefits platforms that streamline the process. These platforms can efficiently consolidate offerings from various providers, simplifying what would otherwise be a time-consuming and complex task.
Balancing the Equation
When questioned about the advantages of offering health and wellbeing support to employees, a significant 37 percent of companies highlight that it increases staff loyalty. Staff retention emerges as the primary motivation for 35 percent of employers, with 34 percent citing a boost in productivity. Other benefits include increased engagement (30%), reduced absenteeism (25%), and support for recruitment (20%).
Moreover, 34 percent of respondents believe that providing health and wellbeing support is simply the right thing to do, while 26 percent find alignment with their organisational culture and values. These compelling statistics present a robust argument for the positive impact of health and wellbeing support, outweighing concerns related to time and cost.
Striking the Right Balance
Debra Clark emphasises that while there are undeniably cost and time implications associated with offering comprehensive health and wellbeing support programs, it is crucial to view these in the context of the substantial advantages that can be gained. As the business landscape evolves, investing in employee welfare emerges not only as a responsible choice but also a strategic one, contributing to increased loyalty, productivity, and overall organisational success in the long run.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.