Why wellbeing needs to be top of C-suite agenda

Many organisations are still struggling with low levels of employee wellbeing, impacting their engagement, performance, and productivity. And management is taking notice.

The latest Wellbeing at Work Survey from Deloitte quizzed 3,150 C-suite executives, managers, and employees across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Its findings revealed that employee wellbeing remains a barrier to optimal engagement, performance, and productivity across multiple sectors.

Poor life balance

The survey gave workers the opportunity to rate their wellbeing across multiple pillars. Less than two-thirds described their physical and mental wellness as ‘excellent’ (63%) or ‘good’ (58%). An even lower percentage rated their social (45%) and financial (35%) wellness as positive, emphasising the importance of thoroughly holistic employee wellness solutions.

Stagnant or deteriorating wellness

With most workers stating that their wellbeing either remained the same or worsened last year, this should be particularly concerning for leaders. Many workers stated that they frequently experience negative emotions, with more than half saying they ‘always’ or ‘often’ feel exhausted (52%) and stressed (49%), while others reported feeling overwhelmed (43%), irritable (34%), lonely (33%), depressed (32%), and angry (27%).

Obstacles to wellbeing

As for the obstacles to wellbeing, for 80%, a heavy workload, stress, and long working hours topped the list. 74% of those surveyed stated that they struggle to disconnect from work, with only 52% reporting that they ‘always’ or ‘often’ use all their vacation time. Other challenges include difficulty making time for activities outside of work. Only 48% said they move/exercise every day, only 47% take micro-breaks during the workday, only 45% get at least seven hours of sleep, and only 42% report enough time to spend with family and friends.

The biggest takeaway on this wellbeing survey

A significant percentage of employees said their job negatively affects their physical (33%), mental (40%), and social (21%) wellbeing. On the positive side, the survey found that motivation to achieve optimal wellbeing is not in short supply, with 84% of those surveyed stating that improving their wellbeing is their top priority, and 74% stating that it is more important to them than advancing their career. In fact, 60% of employees, 64% of managers, and 75% of upper management said they would consider quitting their current roles for a job that would better support their wellbeing.

These findings illustrate how organisations must consider the whole person, and not just the worker. This is why wellbeing needs to be on every executive dashboard. By taking responsibility for the health of their employees, employers not only boost morale and performance, but can also help create positive societal change by developing a community of thriving individuals and families.

The latest Deloitte findings provide a massive opportunity for organisations… Instead of workplaces being an obstacle to wellness, they can instead play a fundamental role in employees’ health and levels of fulfilment flourishing. Adopting holistic wellbeing programs contributes to the overall success of an organisation by improving engagement, increasing productivity, and providing employees with a shared purpose.

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