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How effective are wellness initiatives for team members and employers?

Study revealed disparity of health and wellness understandings from businesses.
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How effective are wellness initiatives for team members and employers?

How effective are wellness initiatives for team members and employers?

11 March 2021

A global employee health study revealed disparity of health and wellness understanding a business provides to employees.

The survey found a disconnect between the benefits employers provide and the expectations, awareness and experiences of its employees. The culture embedded within an organisation was also found to impact the effectiveness of the wellness programs. Let’s explore what these findings can equate to.

Lift the profile on health and wellbeing

According to the study, 70% of employers believe they provide good access to health and wellness benefits and support, however only 23% of employees agree. This gap not only highlights the perception varies greatly between employers and employees, but it can negatively impact productivity and employee retention. It can also inhibit an employer’s ability to source the best talent. Likewise, a one-size fits all approach to wellbeing does not address individual needs of employees.  

Mental health support – a worry

Support for programs to improve mental health in the workplace is getting more traction, but there is still much room for improvement. Globally, 82% of workers are concerned that mental health issues could impact their ability to work. Stress, anxiety and depression are common mental health issues that can result in absenteeism. Managers should adopt a collaborate approach and introduce strategies to deal with stress. In turbulent times, employees who feel fortunate to be in employment may be worried about their job security. This can lead to working longer hours – going the extra yard to prove their worth and then dipping into annual leave to recuperate with a ‘mental health day’.

Attitudes on sickies

While employers have a responsibility to encourage employees to take adequate sick leave when needed, prevention is always the best remedy. For illnesses that can be prevented, organisations which offer effective health and wellbeing programs may find less sick leave is required. On the other hand, organisations with unhealthy work environments breathe a culture where employees are made to feel they can’t take sick leave, although entitled to.

This perception when combined with other unhealthy work environments such as having an aggressive manager or setting an expectation of working long hours, can impact employee’s wellbeing and elevate stress.

Stress – make it less

Although workplace stress is not a new concept, greater access to communication tools and enabling technology means employees are logging into work, checking and responding to emails outside of their ‘normal’ work day. This effectively means employees are working longer hours – blurring the line between work and home-life, experiencing less work-life balance and therefore feeling the pressure.

Stress can impact physical health and long-term impacts including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. To better understand the triggers of stress, conduct regular surveys, analyse the data and provide tools for stress management.

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