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Employees needs neglected: 60% feel employer should be doing more to help with workforce wellbeing

  • 60% of professionals think employers should be doing more to preserve employee wellbeing
  • 55% professionals now expect more from employers in this space
  • 76% of managers feel employees are more outspoken than 3 years ago
  • 44% of companies feel their efforts go unnoticed by staff
  • 86% of professionals state that their personal wellbeing has become a ‘top priority’ for them.

 

International recruitment firm, Robert Walters, conducted a new poll on over 1,700 professionals. The findings suggest that professionals in the U.S. are increasingly feeling a shortfall in the support provided by their employers for workplace wellbeing – despite 81% of employees stating the importance of mental health support when seeking job opportunities.

Mae Mendoza, Senior Manager, Head of Robert Walters Austin comments: “In recent years, we have observed a shift in responsibility. The question is no longer ‘what can I do for a company?’ Instead, professionals are starting to ask ‘how can my company help me?’”

“The rise in awareness in terms of employee wellbeing has not only caused employees to become more outspoken in terms of their own expectations in the workplace – but also shifted the spotlight onto employers, increasing expectations around what the leaders of companies should be doing to help their employees. Whilst budgets may be tight, 2024 is evidently not the year to turn a blind eye to money being spent on employee wellbeing.”

Efforts Go Unnoticed?

According to research from Mercer, nearly half (48%) of US employers' plan to invest more in benefits to improve physical and mental health in 2024, despite a turbulent economy and concerns around inflation.

Despite this only 15% of professionals feel that workplace wellbeing has become a priority for their employers – according to a recent Robert Walters poll. 

In fact, an overwhelming two-fifths (44%) of employers stated that their employees barely noticed the new interventions they’ve introduced to boost employee wellness.

Companies ‘Wellbeing Washing’

Pressure mounts as companies are increasingly being accused of ‘wellbeing washing’ – the act of outwardly showcasing support for wellbeing awareness and mental health causes (such as via social media posts or celebrating awareness days) whilst not actively working to improve the wellbeing of their own workforce all year-round.

In fact, Claro Wellbeing found that despite 7 in 10 workplaces ‘celebrating’ mental health awareness days – less than half of these companies actually offer adequate mental health support.

Employees Demanding Change

A resounding 55% of professionals stated they now expect more (e.g. benefits, working culture, empathetic leadership & ESG contributions) from their employers compared to 18 months ago – with less than a fifth stating otherwise.

Interestingly, when asked, over half (76%) of managers thought their employees had become more outspoken in the workplace over the last three years.

Findings from the poll also revealed that over half (51%) of managers feel that employees are becoming more vocal when it comes to demanding instant change – with a further quarter (89%) claiming that employees are taking matters into their own hands so that they are in the driving seat.

When asked how employees were ‘taking matters into their own hands’ in order to manage their own wellbeing in relation to work, some of the most popular methods were:

·         Setting own work hours (36%)

·         Choosing which days to come to the office (28%)

·         Pushing back on workload (25%)

Mae adds: “For professionals in an increasingly hybrid world, having autonomy in deciding the days they are in the office & setting their own work hours can help them avoid burnout – which right now, is enemy number one in terms of productivity and satisfaction levels.

“While we are definitely seeing more of a push to return to the office, caution must be taken as to whether this is a positive or negative move for employees mental health and work-life balance.”

When asked, 4 in 5 employees (85%) stated that wellbeing has become a priority for them – however, three-fifths noted not believing it had become one for their employers.

Mae comments: “Upscaling wellbeing interventions can be as easy and inexpensive as flexible work arrangements, improving access to mental health resources, setting up mental health employee resource groups (ERGs), offering paid sabbaticals, or even adding plants or introducing more natural light into the workplace.”

For Media Enquires:

Laura O’Flynn
Marketing Manager
E: laura.oflynn@robertwalters.com

 

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