Wellbeing emerges as a strategic priority
Driven by the always-on nature of digital business and 24/7 working styles, studies now show that more than 40 percent of all workers face high stress in their jobs, negatively affecting their productivity, health and family stability. According to Deloitte’s millennial survey, a majority of surveyed millennials in 19 out of 30 countries report that they not expect to be ‘happier’ than their parents.
The corporate wellness marketplace began decades ago with a highly specific focus on employee physical health and safety. The definition of wellness has expanded dramatically to include a range of programs aimed at not only protecting employee health, but actively boosting performance as well as social and emotional well-being. Programs and tools for financial wellness, mental health, and healthy diet and exercise, mindfulness, sleep, and stress management, as well as changes to culture and leadership behaviours to support these efforts.
Leadership’s understanding of the critical role of these programs in defining an organization has grown. For example two thirds of organizations now state that well-being programs are a critical part of their employment brand and culture.Yet despite increased corporate attention and investment in wellbeing, the Deloitte research indicates that companies must do a better job connecting well-being programs with employee expectations. In many areas there is a gap between what employees value and what companies offer.
In the view of Deloitte expanding well-being programs to encompass what employees want and value is now essential for organizations to treat their people responsibly – as well as to boost their social capital and project and attractive employment brand.
Well-being benefits are particularly important to younger employees, Millenials, who now make up more than half of the workforce in many countries, spend almost twice as much on ‘self-care’ as baby boomers do.
There is a growing evidence to support the idea that well-being drives performance. Research shows that the costs of lost productivity are 2.3 times higher than medical and pharmacy costs. A study of Dow Chemical Company found that ‘presentism’ costs reached an averache of $6,721 per employee per year. No wonder, then, that the focus on well-being now extends to helping employees perform well at work, not just to avoid absences.
CEOs and CHRO’s are getting the message. Just as productivity, citizenship, and inclusion have risen in importance, so has the importance of wellbeing moved up on the agenda.
(Summary of Deloitte Insights ‘The Rise of the Social Enterprise’ 2018 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends)