Does wellbeing make a difference to the bottom line? (Series 1)

Yes it does – but there’s plenty of room for improvement in substantiating this.

The cost of people suffering from poor mental wellbeing is clear: Research published in 2017 by the Centre for Mental Health put the cost to UK businesses at £34.9bn (made up of £21.2bn in reduced productivity; £10.6bn in sickness absence and £3.1bn in staff turnover). Another recent study suggested that a 1 per cent increase in the happiness of every employee could add an extra £24bn to the UK economy every year.

What is harder to identify, however, is the positive impact the different types of initiatives have on improving mental wellbeing and the ROI benefits for companies who utilise them. This could be because they’re not being measured properly or worse still that we’re not doing them very well. Currently 61% of employees say wellbeing programs don’t fit their needs. Implementing them as a tick-box exercise, spread thinly and generically across the entire workforce, it’s unreasonable to expect a tangible difference in performance and virtually impossible to attribute it to the said wellbeing initiative.

 

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