According to research by Pearson, more than 8 in 10 UK workers now expect their employer to address their health and wellbeing needs. For many, the pandemic highlighted the value of workplace wellbeing support, and a quarter of UK workers now say they use their employer’s wellbeing provision every month¹.
While offering support for employees’ health and wellbeing is generally seen as ‘the right thing to do’, it can still be difficult for HR and Wellbeing Managers to make the case for investment — especially in times of cost saving and cutbacks.
As with any new initiative, it’s important to gather evidence to build a business case. To demonstrate the value of wellbeing in your business, you can look to research on the link between employee health and productivity, absence rates, retention and other key business metrics.
Once you’ve won that initial buy in, it’s important to spend the money wisely and measure the impact of your spend to help you advocate for further investment as your business grows and your people’s needs change.
Why do businesses invest in wellbeing?
Businesses invest in wellbeing for a variety of reasons. As well as the clear benefit of improving health outcomes for their employees, common reasons to invest include:
- Reducing absences
Last year mental health absences alone cost UK businesses £18bn, yet this is an area where support can be most effective.
- Improving the employee experience
70% of UK workers say they find their workplace wellbeing support useful¹, so it’s a great way to give employees a benefit they value.
- Attracting talent
Employee benefits are the third most important factor for job seekers, behind only pay and flexible working¹, so wellbeing can help make your job ads more appealing to candidates.
- Reducing employee turnover
Businesses will spend an average of £6,400 in recruitment costs to replace an employee if they leave due to lack of support.
- Increasing productivity
Recent research by the University of Sheffield shows a strong positive relationship between mental health and productivity.
Gathering your evidence
As you can see, there’s a growing body of research into the business benefits of employee wellbeing, and this can be used as evidence to support your business case.
Costs are a key consideration in any new business initiative and wellbeing is no exception. This includes the cost of wellbeing initiatives themselves but also the resource required to deliver them, so it’s important to gather your own evidence to support your decisions.
Collecting your own data is an essential step, and this will help you get stakeholder buy-in as well as giving you a baseline to measure against in the future.
Less than half of employees (43%) are aware of their employer measuring employee wellbeing and having a strategy to improve it¹. This is a missed opportunity, as gathering data and feedback helps you be confident that your strategy is providing real value — and helps you stand out as an employer who cares.
Being able to demonstrate exactly what your people are asking for will help you target your spend where it has the most impact and prove that your strategy is working. Collecting this data also helps you:
- Prioritise the support people really need.
- Be flexible to adapt to their feedback.
- Align this feedback with your organisational vision and business objectives.
- More accurately report on the impact of wellbeing and progress against your targets.
- Empower your people to have their say by using data from a variety of sources, such as workshops, focus groups and informal chats.
Learn how to build a wellbeing strategy for your business with our free CPD course
Do you want to advocate for wellbeing investment in your company but aren’t sure how to get buy-in from senior leaders? Our new CPD-accredited Wellbeing Strategy Course can help.
In just one hour, we break down how employee wellbeing can deliver value for your business with videos from our in-house experts, infographics, case studies, and actionable templates for you to take away.
¹ The Westfield Health Workplace Wellbeing Survey asked over 2,000 UK employees about their experiences with wellbeing initiatives to find out what support they value most.