Two separate studies have highlighted how employers can potentially boost productivity and reduce absence rates through benefits and health and wellbeing initiatives.
The first study by Canada Life Group Insurance found that a quarter of the 1,000 employees surveyed believe that helpful employee benefits and perks would have a significant positive impact on their productivity at work. In fact, only a higher salary and feeling valued at work by managers were cited as bigger potential productivity boosters, as indicated by 39% and 34% of respondents respectively.
Interestingly, training (16%) and targets to work towards for promotion (16%) were the least popular for positively impacting productivity at work.
More worrying for businesses is the fact almost half (45%) of employee respondents said their employer does not understand how to improve productivity. Furthermore, 16% say poor management and lack of recognition are having a negative impact on their work, which could be why just 26% of employees respect their senior leadership team.
Paul Avis, Marketing Director of Canada Life Group, said: “Whilst it is encouraging to see that employees feel they are being productive at work, the clear disconnect between business leaders and workers is alarming. It is evident that many UK businesses need to do more to support and appreciate their staff, whether through simple remedies such as better communication of their organisation’s values, or companywide initiatives like redefining employee management and engagement practices.”
Higher Absence Rates Linked To No Health & Wellbeing Initiatives
The second study by Group Risk Development (Grid) found that one-fifth (22%) of the 500 UK employer respondents believe their employee absence rates are higher than other businesses because they do not have health and wellbeing initiatives in place.
A further 20% of employers said their employee absence rates are higher because of poor employee work-life balance, while 24% cited ineffective absence management processes as the reason for their higher employee absence rates.
Just over a quarter (27%) of employers attributed their high employee absence rates to work-related stress and 14% said they were because they had no income protection in place.
On the plus side, 34% of employers think their employee absence rates are lower than other businesses due to their flexible working initiatives, while 50% say a good work-life balance contributes to their low employee absence rates. A further 16% think their lower absence rates are because of their health and wellness initiatives.
Katherine Moxham, spokesperson at Grid, said: “It’s interesting to see how many stress-related conditions or stress-inducing situations are cited as a reason for higher absence, [for example,] staff shortages, work-related stress, poor work-life balance and low morale; also, that employers recognise that not having income protection in place also contributes to higher absence. Group income protection can be a great support for vocational rehabilitation and absence management.
It’s interesting to see how many stress-related conditions or stress-inducing situations are cited as a reason for higher absence. And whatever changes businesses make to increase productivity in the workplace, it is important that staff wellbeing is at the heart of it.
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