Could a better understanding of benefits packages help to boost productivity?
Employers need to do more to inform staff about benefits and care packages, a new report has claimed.
Insurance brokerage and risk management consultancy Gallagher has told employers to raise their value offering to new hires. Their advise aims to boost both retention and output among businesses.
The Gallagher 2019 Organisational Wellbeing & Talent Insights Report presses the importance of the supporting role that business may neglect. Examining new approaches to communication, compensations and benefits, the study reveals that internal care can be as significant as branding.
Nick Burns, the CEO of Gallagher’s Employee Benefits Consulting Division UK, said: “It’s long been accepted that the brand experience an organisation creates is vital to attracting new business. A shift that many don’t yet recognise is how it looks, feels and acts on the inside is now just as important.”
The data provided offers a strong case. Gallagher states that “employee disengagement” from work is self-reported at 85 per cent, globally. It means that only 15 per cent of staff are likely to be motivated by their current tasks.
So, while 15 per cent of staff are likely to remain for the sole reason that they enjoy their job, more must be done to boost retention. By coincidence, the UK turnover rate is also 15 per cent. It means that 70 per cent of UK workers are not fully engaged with their role, but not actively looking to leave.
Employee wellbeing is about more than just money
This in itself should be enough to incentivise business leaders. But why prioritise employee wellbeing plans over, say, pay rises?
There is evidence, Gallagher argues, that employee wellness plans outperform pay increases in many sectors.
77 per cent of UK workers seek pay increases; 89 per cent put flexibility at the heart of job satisfaction.
• READ MORE: How one UK company aims to boost productivity by reducing workers’ hours.
It should therefore be little surprise that as many as 72 per cent of CEOs aim to improve wellness packages as a key retention tool. A new wave of “lifestyle services”, such as Wrkit promise to provide enterprise with innovative ways of boosting employee wellbeing.
How Big Data revealed the secrets of employee wellbeing
Also under the microscope of the report is the phenomenon of ‘presenteeism’ – or working through illness. Unsurprisingly, Brits are among the worst offenders when it comes to turning up to the office with an illness.
But the Gallagher report now attaches a true value to the costs of presenteeism. Their data shows that on average £4,000 a year is lost to business due to staff turning up while sick.
But why is this? On the surface, it seems counter-intuitive to believe that letting a worker stay at home could save money. But passive effects – like slower output, more mistakes being made, and passing on infections to colleagues – all have real-world costs.
It shows that bad decision-making and short-sighted company policy can have genuinely negative consequences for a business. All that has changed is that now – thanks to Big Data – we are finally able to quantify the costs of a poorly-implemented company wellness policy.