Covid forces business leaders to realize the value of well-being
Lack of focus on leadership is the biggest obstacle to improving employee well-being in Irish companies, according to an Aon survey.
While almost all Irish companies surveyed support at least one employee wellness initiative, only one in two companies have a fully developed strategy in place.
The weakest engagement of business leaders was the most cited reason for the lack of an integrated approach.
The survey, which is part of Aon’s annual Global Wellbeing Survey, included interviews with 81 Irish companies – conducted during the pandemic – and was statistically weighted to provide a representative sample.
The overwhelming respondents ranked work-life balance (70%) and mental health (66%) at the top of their priority lists, acknowledging in a year of dramatic disruption in the workplace that their employees were under extraordinary pressure.
“During the pandemic, we have seen a fundamental shift in the way work is done and employers are starting to recognize that well-being is more important than ever,” said Aon Employee Benefits CEO Ian Thornton.
“But well-being is more than just an initiative. It needs buy-in and support from management. “
While 96% of Irish businesses have some form of wellness initiative, such as a workshop, event or campaign, only 56% have a long term action plan with goals and resources to achieve them.
The most cited reason for the shortfall, at 56%, was company leadership that focused on other issues before wellbeing.
“A lot of companies just don’t invest in wellness – it’s obvious,” Thornton said. “There has been a missing link between investment and return, but the key is to link action to return on investment.” Aon found that a 4% increase in well-being resulted in a 1% growth in profits.