KeepWell Programme Manager, Ibec
As 2023 approaches and uncertainty remains, a renewed focus on employee wellbeing is needed to protect the resilience of our people.
The past two years have been fraught with unprecedented levels of uncertainty as the business community grappled with the challenges posed by Covid-19. While we have been largely successful in overcoming the pandemic, the coming years will once again prove extremely challenging for the country as economic headwinds continue to change.
The adverse impact that this prolonged period of disruption and uncertainty has had on the general psyche of the global workforce is unquestionable. Research from Gallup (2022) highlights that only 33% of employees are thriving in their overall wellbeing, while only 21% are engaged at work. They note that while engagement levels had been rising pre-pandemic, the impact of several years of disruption and distress had stalled this positive progress.
Businesses are already taking the first steps towards underpinning support for their staff’s wellbeing. Positively, Ibec’s latest wellbeing barometer research (2022) found that businesses are working towards a more embedded approach to workplace wellbeing, with 42% of organisations agreeing that wellbeing is embedded in the core values and culture of their organisations.
The adverse impact that this prolonged period of disruption and uncertainty has had on the general psyche of the global workforce is unquestionable.
Businesses are also putting clear objectives behind their wellbeing strategies, the top five most important objectives being:
- Improving employee engagement (84%)
- Reducing employee stress (82%)
- Improving work-life balance (81%)
- Improving the health of the workforce (81%)
- Improving employee retention (80%)
Talent retention is a top priority
Coupled with this, is a jobs market underpinned by an ever-increasing competition for talent. Ibec’s HR Update research (2022) shows that talent retention is the top priority for the majority of companies in Ireland. Organisations that embed a culture of wellbeing and support the mental and physical wellness of their workforce are the same ones that are more effective at ensuring the attraction and retention of employees. As such, wellbeing programmes are in increasing demand as they reflect corporate support for individual mental wellbeing and acknowledgement of the need for an appropriate level of work-life balance.
Benchmarking is key
It’s important to ensure that wellbeing interventions, along with other social initiatives including diversity and inclusion goals, are measured and tracked. Ibec is supporting companies to benchmark the progress of their wellbeing strategies through our KeepWell programme, allowing wellbeing journeys to be tracked, continuously improved upon and ultimately embedded within organisations.