Employers not monitoring mental or physical health

Wide gaps between the wellbeing strategies operated by employers persist, with two thirds of companies not monitoring workplace health, according to new research.

The research, carried out by Opinion Matters for Unum amongst 400 businesses, found 66 per cent of employers do not have processes in place to monitor the mental health of employees, with 69 per cent not monitoring physical health.

The research also found that just 23 per cent of senior employees fully embrace employee wellbeing, despite these same individuals being responsible for investment in and improvement to the support and benefits on offer to staff.

Unum has created a free online tool to help businesses understand the quality of their wellbeing provision, which takes under 10 minutes to complete. By entering details about their company size and workplace environment and the support and strategies currently in place, participants receive an MOT-style analysis of how their wellbeing strategy matches up to the needs of their employees, along with practical advice on the areas they can improve.

Unum HR director Linda Levesque says: “Workplace wellbeing is quickly climbing the agenda as businesses realise the real value it can make both to employee engagement and the bottom line. However, while many businesses have taken proactive steps to improve the support on offer to staff, they need to take a more holistic approach.

“Just 15 per cent of employers communicate their wellbeing strategy to staff at least once a month, and even fewer – 11 per cent – provide compulsory training to managers on their company’s wellbeing strategy and benefits. So while they may have brought in a great new scheme to help improve employee health, unless they communicate this to staff and train line managers on how and when to offer it, they are not making the most of the associated benefits.”