The second edition of the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Well-being at Work report is just a week away – only seven sleeps to go! This will be the ninth year we have worked with the CIPD to bring you the latest insights into health and wellbeing in the workplace, and the 19th report published by the CIPD in this area.

The analysis in the report is based on replies from over 1,000 organisations across the UK, representing 3.2 million employees. It’s a must-have in every HR professional’s toolkit for understanding health and wellbeing in their organisation.

You can sign up here to receive your free copy of the report as soon as it launches. But to keep you going until then, here are our three favourite insights from last year’s report that HR can take action on now.

1. 55% agree that employee wellbeing is on senior leaders’ agendas

Leaders’ support is crucial for most big projects in a business. Without leadership buy-in, your carefully crafted wellbeing strategy or benefits offering, will struggle to get off the ground. And the CIPD’s research shows that there’s certainly more work to be done to get leaders invested in employee wellbeing. Leaders should be your ultimate wellbeing champions, leading by example.

If you’re putting together your organisation’s wellbeing strategy, get your senior leaders involved now and keep them informed every step of the way. Be sure to ask for their support and input, invite them to planning meetings and involve them in launching your plan, or new initiative to the rest of the business.

If your organisation is already forging ahead with employee wellbeing, then get your leaders in front of the workforce. Seeing leaders walking the talk can help employees see that it’s not ‘another HR thing,’ but that the whole organisation cares about their wellbeing.

2. Almost a quarter say line managers are not bought in to the importance of wellbeing

Where senior leadership support is crucial, line managers are the linchpins. They’re the people on the ground, closest to the health and wellbeing issues affecting employees. Responsible for managing absence, they are often the first port of call when an employee is unwell, or struggling with a health concern. Conversely, line managers can also have a significant impact on employee mental health; management style is a top-three cause of stress at work for a third of organisations.

For these reasons, it’s critical for businesses to help line managers strengthen their capability to deal with health and wellbeing issues in the workplace. Of course we don’t mean line managers should become GPs and counsellors. But they must be aware of your internal health and wellbeing policies and procedures, and know where they can signpost employees to for help.

And they may need extra support themselves. There should always be resources, such as an employee assistance programme (EAP), which line managers can access for advice and guidance on supporting their teams.

3. 69% identified budgetary constraints as a top-three factor influencing decisions to purchase wellbeing benefits

An organisation’s greatest asset is always its people. They are your biggest source of business advantage and differentiation. And performance of your people is inextricably linked to health and wellbeing; if employees feel well, they will perform well at work. But being able to demonstrate this can be challenging if you don’t have the data to back up your story.

Evaluating an existing benefit and relating it back to the investment in it as a pilot data analysis could help. It’s also important to understand leadership priorities. Whether it’s reducing sick days, holding on to your best talent, or making your business more attractive to prospective employees, showing how your wellbeing strategy can support these aspirations, will help leaders see that investment in health and wellbeing is worth it.

Building a compelling case is the next step. Ideally, this would include data to boost your argument, but must contain SMART objectives, a market review (if you’re looking for benefits), and how you will implement and measure the success of your new initiative. We’ve put together a helpful guide on how to do it here.

2019 and beyond

We hope you’re just as excited as we are to see this year’s report. It will be interesting to see how the findings we have shared here, have changed, and how organisations and HR teams are continuing to strive for better health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Make sure you sign up now to receive your report direct to your inbox.

All figures taken from the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Well-being at Work 2018 report.

Simplyhealth Team

Simplyhealth Team

Simplyhealth helps companies, and their talent, perform well.

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