Employers have good intentions around health and wellbeing - but many don't implement a strategy


There is a large, and worrying ‘implementation gap’ when it comes to translating good intentions about providing employee health and wellbeing schemes and the reality of actually paying for it, finds the CIPD.

In a new report - 'Growing the health and well-being agenda: From first steps to full potential' – it finds that despite rising business awareness of the benefits of supporting wellbeing in the workplace, less than 8% of businesses actually have a standalone wellbeing strategy that supports a wider organisational strategy.

Not only does it describe 61% of businesses as being ‘reactive rather than proactive’ in their approach to wellbeing, it finds wellbeing is taken in account to only a very little extent, with ‘not at all’ (57% of the time) being the majority of cases.

Commenting on the research, Sir Cary Cooper, CIPD president said: “In the fast changing world of work, wellbeing has never been more important.'

He added: 'Organisations need to take better care of their people and recognise how the demands of work can affect their physical and mental health, as well as their ability to perform well at work.”

The research finds two-fifths of employees (38%), say they are under excessive pressure at work at least once a week, while 43% say long hours is the norm for their organisation to a 'great' or 'moderate extent'.

Rachel Suff, CIPD policy adviser, said: “The cost of inaction is staggering, yet the gains that can be made from a proactive and holistic approach to well-being are equally impressive. To put wellbeing firmly on the business agenda, we need to change conversations around the business case for it from being ‘cost avoidance’ to ‘shared value creation’. We should also highlight what organisations stand to gain, rather than what they stand to lose.”

She added: “By taking a proactive and holistic approach to well-being, organisations can help both their people and the business reach their full potential.”