Less than half (46%) of respondents believe employers have a duty of care to the health of their staff, down from 95% in 2009, according to research by leadership development firm Morgan Redwood.
Of the 250 respondents to its Wellbeing and business performance report 83% believe that business performance and employee wellbeing are connected.
The study also found:
- More than half (57%) of respondents think that business performance and staff wellbeing are ‘quite connected’, while 26% say the two are ‘very closely connected’.
- Just 7% believe that there is no connection between employee wellbeing and business performance.
- Respondents rank helping staff to achieve a better work-life balance in tenth place on the list of human resourcing (HR) priorities, with 6% citing it as a key aspect of their HR strategy.
- Employee wellbeing ranks in twelfth place, with less than 6% naming it as a key priority.
- Respondents list attracting better talent to the organisation, lowering staff turnover and reducing staff costs as the top three priorities, respectively.
Janice Haddon (pictured), managing director of Morgan Redwood, said: “The latest findings really do indicate a startling shift in employer opinion. A swing from 95% to 46% is a huge difference. What has caused such a sea change?
“In 2014, the CIPD [Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development] reported that 40% of employers are seeing a rise in stress-related absence and reported mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, so the fact that [organisations] are less inclined to see wellbeing as within their remit of responsibility is perplexing.
“Perhaps employers are putting recruitment ahead of the need to tend to existing employee needs, which means they’ve taken their eye off the wellbeing ball. Businesses need to remember that looking after employees is just as important as striving for new business and growth.
“Burnt out, poorly treated employees will end up becoming detrimental in the long run, so employers need to ensure they allocate sufficient resource to cater to the full spectrum of employee needs.”