Employers are failing to provide a healthy workplace for employees.
Almost a third (31%) of UK employers equate ‘healthy working’ with eating healthily at work, according to the What does ‘healthy working’ mean? Ipsos Mori research commissioned by Investors in People. This revealed that 24% of employers say their organisation does not act to improve the health and wellbeing of their workforce because they don’t understand the best way to help. A further 17% believe it would be too expensive.
Just under a third (30%), meanwhile, said they think healthy working is either a wasted investment; a waste of time; nothing to do with them; or that it doesn’t mean anything.
One in five employees (20%) said their employer pays lip service to the health and wellbeing of employees at work or has no interest in promoting it.
Despite the poor understanding of employees’ health and wellbeing needs, both employers and employees see the benefit that healthy working can deliver. Nearly half of those questioned (45%) felt that if their organisation took steps which had a positive impact on their personal health and wellbeing at work, it would improve their job satisfaction, while 37% thought it would boost their motivation and 31% said it would improve their productivity and performance.†
Respondents said that symptoms of an unhealthy workplace include low staff morale (52%); high turnover of staff (51%); absenteeism (49%) and high stress (44%).
Simon Jones, acting chief executive at Investors in People UK, said: “Despite recognition of the benefits that a healthy workplace can deliver, some employers simply don’t seem to understand that it is about more than just gym membership and fresh fruit.
“Our research shows that employees actually want better support and development structures to create a healthier environment – and managers should take heed. The bottom line is that an unhealthy; unhappy workforce will also be uncommitted and unproductive. If employers don’t address this, they will see a negative impact both on individuals and the performance of the business.”