Employee health and wellbeing rising up corporate agenda

Employers are increasingly concerned by the impact of employee health on performance, suggests report by Aon. Both physical and mental health issues are moving further up businesses agendas.

Employee health and wellness in the workplace
Employers are increasingly concerned with the affect of health on performance, with 96 per cent of employers claiming they can see a conncetion, that is according to a report by Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon.

Health and wellbeing rising up business agenda

The survey of 200 UK organisations also shows that health and wellbeing is rising up the corporate agenda, with 96 per cent of employers either agreeing or strongly agreeing that they are responsible for improving employee health behaviours. Indeed, 77 per cent are looking to improve on their existing health and wellbeing programmes in the next 12 months. Concerns over wellbeing are particuarly high among the globally mobile populationInterestingly, although employee physical health is important to employers, they are also looking to strike a balance between what are becoming the four widely accepted core pillars of health and wellbeing – emotional, physical, social and financial. Physical and social wellbeing programmes are the most commonly adopted strategies, although Aon believes this may be partly attributable to longer standing workplace initiatives such as health & safety, occupational health or community/charitable projects forming the backbone of a strategy. Aon’s survey suggests employers will continue to develop and refine these programmes in the year ahead. 
Employee health programmes survey

Emotional and mental health: employers also considering the impact

The survey also showed that 43 per cent of employers are looking to evolve their emotional health offering to support mental health issues further; this is showing high levels of considered activity and is no doubt fuelled by the widespread media coverage on this issue in the last couple of years.Earlier this year, Relocate had a look at how mental health affects those on international assignment as stress levels continue to increase. If left unchecked, it can result in individuals returning home and the failure of the assignment or relocation.A significant number of employers (53 per cent) are looking to improve the support available to employees through financial wellbeing initiatives, recognising the importance of this maturing theme in its own right but also perhaps acknowledging the established links between financial, emotional and physical wellbeing. 
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Healthcare’s impact on job performance: awareness on the rise

Mark Witte, head of healthcare & risk consulting at Aon Employee Benefits, said, “Employers have never paid so much attention to employee health. This is understandable when the vast majority recognise its impact on company performance. But a combination of social and economic issues has made it even more relevant than it was before.“Issues include escalating healthcare costs, a continued shift away from the state for the health and welfare burden, increased awareness of the impact of underlying poor health behaviours, increasingly diverse and multigenerational workforces, and escalating debt and emotional pressures.“The concerns of employers are many, but – across the board – mental health is seen as the top current concern on their agenda (43 per cent), while physical 33 per cent and lifestyle 33 per cent behaviours follow closely behind.“The majority of employers (95 per cent) are concerned about the current and future issues of mental health. The number one future concern by a significant margin is an ageing workforce (43 per cent) and it will clearly be an area of enormous focus in the coming years.”
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EMEA health survey 

In 2016, Aon conducted its firs Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) health survey encompassing the views of over 500 employers across the region. The EMEA survey will be conducted again in 2018 with the aim of alternating this with UK specific data in 2019. In the 2016 EMEA survey, 93 per cent of employers saw a direct correlation between employee health and performance. Download a full copy of the UK Health Survey 2017Download a full copy of the EMEA Health Survey 2016For related news and features, visit our Global Health and Wellness section. Look out for the launch of 2018's Relocate Awards, entries open in January. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory