Work-life balance top well-being concern for employers
A new survey has revealed that work-life balance is the number one well-being issue Irish employers are concerned about followed closely by mental health and burnout.
The 2021 Global Well-being Survey was carried out on behalf of Aon by global market research company IPSOS.
It found that 70% of employers in Ireland identified work-life balance as the top well-being risk currently facing their employees.
66% also identified mental health as a concern, while 45% said the current working environment was a concern and 39% said employee burnout was a worry.
However, the survey reveals that Irish companies are ahead of their international competitors in embracing employee well-being .
96% of businesses here have at least one employee well-being initiative in place compared to 86% of firms in Europe.
But only one in two firms have a comprehensive employee wellbeing strategy in place and the survey found that investment is the number one challenge for firms either looking to create an employee well-being strategy or expanding an existing programme.
This is compounded by the fact that 56% of businesses reported a lack of leadership focus as being the principal obstacle to prioritising well-being within their organisations.
87% of Irish companies surveyed agreed that the HR Director is the biggest supporter of wellbeing initiatives, followed by the CEO (76%).
Aon also said that improving employee well-being by 4% results in a 1% increase in company profit and a 1% decrease in employee turnover.
This comes as 47% of Irish businesses have identified attracting and retaining talent as the main factor negatively impacting their business compared to 31% who pointed towards adapting to changing customer needs due to Covid-19.
Ian Thornton, Managing Director of Health and Benefits at Aon in Ireland, said that the health and well-being of employees has been the number one priority of business leaders as they navigated the Covid pandemic.
“With the fundamental shift in where, how and when work gets done in recent months and the prevalence of a multigenerational workforce, employee wellbeing is more important than ever before,” Mr Thornton said.
But he said that well-being is so much more than an individual programme, adding that requires leadership support and buy-in to create a strategy and business culture that can positively impact employees and company performance.
“Over the coming months, business leaders will need to ensure there is no disconnect between the requirements of employees and the wellbeing supports available to them,” he said.
“As hybrid working becomes a way of life for many, companies will need to support the rapidly changing needs of employees – not just physical well-being, but increasingly, emotional well-being including addressing work-life balance and burnout challenges, as well as financial well-being,” he added.