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16 Sep 2021

Return on investment: how to connect outcomes with your wellbeing spend

As with any business cost or outlay, companies want to see a return on their investment (ROI). This includes their employee benefits and wellbeing programmes.

When implementing an employee wellbeing strategy, businesses naturally want to know just how much impact and value these programmes will have.

So, how can you measure ROI for your wellbeing spend? Well, think of it like this – the money spent on any wellbeing programme is an investment not only in your employees’ health and wellbeing, but your business at large.

The real cost of employee wellbeing

The Centre for Mental Health found in 2017 that mental health problems in the UK workforce cost employers almost £35 billion in sickness absence; reduced productivity; and in replacing staff who leave their jobs because of their mental health. With this in mind, your wellbeing spend will always be far less than the cost of absenteeism.

What’s more, if employees are stressed at work and feel their wellbeing has been affected, they’re unlikely to remain with that employer. And the cost of having to replace an employee? According to Acas, the average cost to replace just one employee exceeds £30,000. Put in this context, your wellbeing spend can be seen as a tool in employee retention.

There’s no greater return on investment than having happy, healthy and engaged employees. After all, wellness programmes have been shown to reduce absenteeism, lower employee stress, promote and encourage healthier lifestyles, and help employees achieve a greater sense of work-life balance. Positively or negatively, each of these things affects a company’s bottom line.

Whose responsibility is it?

Countless studies over the years have revealed that work is the most significant source of stress for most people. Then along came Covid-19 and stress reached new heights, impacting the wellbeing of millions of people across the world.

Last year, we asked 58,000 employees throughout Europe what the biggest causes of stress are in their everyday. Nearly half (47%) of UK respondents named work as their most significant source of stress, followed by work-life balance (34%) and health (26%).

Work-life balance, of course, plays a crucial part in our overall wellbeing. But whose responsibility is it to ensure that employees maintain a good work-life balance? Our study reveals that 61% of UK employees say they strongly believe it is the employer’s responsibility. But do employees believe their employers are doing enough to help them achieve a good work-life balance?

A quarter of UK respondents say they strongly agree that their employer is doing enough, while 23% strongly disagree.

Evaluating your investment

In today’s war for talent, companies everywhere would be wise to review their benefits and wellbeing programmes to make sure that employees are making full use of them.

As an exercise, it can be helpful to assess how many of your employees have enrolled in a particular wellbeing benefit, such as a gym pass or a massage. The findings will not only enable you to see which benefits you current offer are most popular, but also what percentage of your workforce are making efforts to look after their health and wellbeing.

You can then take a position that those participating in wellbeing programmes and enrolling in benefits are providing a ROI through the adoption of healthier lifestyle choices.  

To discover more health and wellbeing findings from our study of more than 58,000 employees throughout Europe, download The Future of Work Report.

This article is provided by Benify.

View the orginial article: Employee wellness programs and how to measure your ROI

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