Employers step up workers’ wellness investment
Dubai, August 20, 2014
Seventy-eight percent of the world’s employers are strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health, to boost individual engagement and organisational performance, according to a new study.
The new survey of employers worldwide revealed that about 43 per cent created a brand identity for their employee wellness programme, 52 per cent offered health insurance premium reductions and 65 per cent believed that wellness programmes are extremely or very important to attract and retain workers.
The ‘Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies’ survey, conducted by Buck Consultants at Xerox, with lead sponsorship by Cigna and the Global Healthy Workplace Awards, found that employers’ views of wellness have evolved over the last seven years.
Dave Ratcliffe, principal, Buck Consultants at Xerox, said: “When we began this survey in 2007, employers were focused on basic health promotion activities. Today, our sixth survey shows an evolution in employer thinking to a much more holistic and measurable approach.
“Workers’ wellness is now viewed as a state of well-being across the spectrum of health, wealth, and career. Wellness is part of the employee value proposition. Social media, gamification, mobile technology, automated coaching, and personalised communication are all part of the mix.”
The participation rates indicated that employers are still struggling to find effective approaches to motivate workers. And there is a significant gap between employers’ stated desire to create a culture of health and their current progress in achieving this goal.
The survey findings showed that 52 per cent of employers worldwide are measuring the outcomes from their wellness programmes – up from 36 per cent in 2012.
Sheldon Kenton, senior vice president, Cigna Global Employer Sales, said: “The globalisation of employers’ wellness programmes among multinational companies has risen significantly over the last seven years, from 34 per cent in 2008 to 56 per cent in 2014.
“This has occurred even though it is challenging for employers to create a global wellness strategy because of differing cultures, laws and practices around the world.”
Buck’s global wellness study also found that HR polices related to flexible work arrangements and paid time off ranked as the number one component of wellness programs globally, with employee assistance programmes ranking number two, driven by their prevalence in the US, Canada, Africa and Australia.
Too much stress, too little exercise and a poor diet remained the top wellness-related areas of focus for employers, it said.
Buck Consultants at Xerox conducted the survey in association with Cigna, Wolf Kirsten International Health Consulting and the Global Healthy Workplace Awards. - TradeArabia News Service