How Health and Wellbeing Support can Boost Employee Retention

Workers across the UK are facing the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis on top of life’s usual stresses, so it’s unsurprising that a recent survey revealed that health and wellbeing in the workplace is one of the key reasons people stay with an employer.

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What do we mean by health and wellbeing?

In the same way that we look after our own mental and physical health in our personal lives, companies have taken an increasingly proactive role in doing their bit to support employee health since the pandemic too1.

HR managers can implement internal policies designed to promote the health and wellbeing of the workforce on an ongoing basis, rather than just as a reaction to an individual reporting a specific problem.

For example, additional training for higher management can ensure line managers are equipped to offer emotional and practical support to struggling team members. Employee benefits can include discounted gym membership or access to services aligned with a healthy lifestyle, and companies can do their bit to ensure that all employees have nourishing snacks available when they’re in the office.

Promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace can take all sorts of forms, depending on the employees and the company, but demonstrating to employees that their physical and mental health is a priority to the management goes a long way in the current climate.

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How does it impact employee retention?

Towergate Health & Protection surveyed 500 HR decision makers from UK firms to find out the impact attention to health and wellbeing can have on employee retention. Of those surveyed, 42% said that their main reason for sticking with their current company was the support for the staff’s health and wellbeing2. Also, 31% said that support for their health and wellbeing was a key factor in choosing to work for their employer in the first place3.

Debra Clark, Head of Specialist Consulting, Towergate Health & Protection, says: “The research supports our anecdotal evidence of the wider reaches of health and wellbeing support, and why it is so important that employers have a clear and well-communicated strategy. The wider the health and wellbeing support offered, the better the array of talent it will attract and retain.”

1 in 5 of the employers surveyed admitted that failure to offer a decent amount of health and wellbeing support made it more difficult to recruit and retain staff.

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How the right support can improve staff retention

For businesses looking to increase their staff retention, the survey suggests that health and wellbeing support should be a main area of focus for HR managers. 42% of the employers surveyed said that promoting the general health of employees has increased the most in importance for attracting and holding onto staff.

26% of those surveyed felt that support for mental health has increased in importance the most, and all participants agreed that a varied policy that helps to protect all aspects of employee wellbeing is now important for business strategies. The results reflect the current need for employers to demonstrate an awareness of employees’ holistic needs, and show a willingness to help support them in every way they can.  

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Establishing a health and wellbeing policy

It’s one thing to put policies in place to help support employees, but ensuring they know how to access the help they need and that it is readily available is just as important. Once a programme that works for your business is in situ, ensure it is communicated clearly and in detail to all employees, with clear signposting to help them access the support they need.

Bear in mind that a robust health and wellbeing programme for employees should promote emotional, physical, financial and social health in order to have a positive impact on recruitment and staff retention.

The survey indicates that attention to all four pillars of health and wellbeing must be addressed by HR managers in order to attract and help keep current staff.

Debra Clark says: “Employees’ needs and demands have shifted dramatically since before the pandemic struck. We have all had a realignment of priorities, and employers need to match these if they are to attract and retain the best staff, which is only going to become more important.”

Sources:

  1. https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/article/1814557/tackle-nine-biggest-workplace-mental-health-challenges
  2. Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Towergate Health & Protection. Sample: 500 UK HR decision makers. Field dates: 28 January to 7 February 2022.
  3. Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Towergate Health & Protection. Sample: 500 UK HR decision makers. Field dates: 28 January to 7 February 2022.

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Health insurance from Towergate

Visit our health insurance webpage or call 0800 389 7723 for more information.