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Just 14 percent of Employers Provide Ongoing Wellbeing Programmes in the Workplace

From physical fitness to mental health, never before have employers been so aware of the benefits of wellbeing in the workplace.

However, according to a survey commissioned by PepTalk in association with Sigmar Recruitment to mark the Workplace Wellbeing Live event taking place on Wednesday 20 September, 2017, just 14 per cent of employers have incorporated continuous wellbeing programmes sufficient to impact the longer term health and wellbeing of employees. A further 22 percent run no form of wellbeing programme at all. 

Commenting on the results, Marina Morrissey, Manager with Sigmar Recruitment says: “I am surprised and somewhat disappointment with these results. Never before have we been so aware of the impact that both physical and mental health has on not only productivity, but also happiness in the workplace, yet a mere 14 percent of employers would appear to be actively taking the mental and physical health of their employees seriously.” 

The largest impediment to implementing such a programme is financial with significant majority of respondents citing a lack of budget as the main reason why they do not offer such a programme. 

“This is a false economy,” warns Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan of PepTalk. “A happy, healthy workforce is a productive workforce and it is well worth investing in providing some form of wellbeing support from a productivity standpoint alone. At 70 percent, the survey would suggest that there is an enormous appetite amongst workers to take part in such a programme. This motivation is something that employers need to capitalise on. 

“While output is of huge significance in any company, employers also have a moral responsibility to look after their workers. It is increasingly becoming an employee’s market and perks such as wellbeing programmes do give a company a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent. Our survey reflects this, with 86 percent of employers believing that companies will offer wellbeing programmes in the future as a means of attracting staff.”  

Morrissey is involved in designing and implementing a wellbeing programme for the 120 employees at her company. She says: “ At Sigmar, we take positive steps to encourage and protect the wellbeing of our employees. We now run lunchtime and evening classes to include yoga and mindfulness, as well as organising challenges, such as the pedometer challenge; clubs, such as the cycling or running clubs; tournaments, such as the tennis or golf tournament; and fun events such as the “Runamuck” and trampolining events. We also encourage healthy eating and provide support in the form of food logs and providing fresh fruit daily. Nobody is under any pressure to partake in any of this, but we do find that there is a large uptake.”