[WhitePaper Findings] The Workplace Wellbeing Landscape in Ireland

Last year the team at PepTalk in conjunction with our good friends in Sigmar, undertook some research to produce a white paper on the state of wellbeing in the Irish workplace for 2017-2018. We worked with and took the feedback of 185 of Ireland's most senior executives, including Directors and Heads of HR [shout out to everyone for their willingness to share their perspectives and take time out from their busy work-lives - you guys rock].

The following are the top line results :

In terms of why organisations are focused on Wellbeing in the workplace - engagement is overwhelmingly the #1 impact that C-Suite & HR Leaders want to see from their Wellbeing Program in their organisation.

Almost 60% of respondents run some form of a health & Wellbeing Programme.

However when you dive deeper into that 60%, only 14% would describe their program as ‘Robust-Ongoing’.

A further 22% of respondents do not provide any wellbeing benefits or a wellbeing program.

In the opinion of respondents the biggest wellbeing issue being faced by employees was :

  • Lack of activity/physical fitness (17%)

  • Work-Life Balance (25%)

  • Lack of motivation/engagement (16%)

When it comes to the practicality of running workplace wellbeing programs, money is the reoccurring theme that emerges across industry.

Only 19% of respondents having a dedicated budget

81% either who have no budget or having to request or reallocate money from another budget

The #1 Barrier to providing an effective WB program is financial resources/budget (20%)

Followed by Competing priorities (16%), Time (13%), Senior Management Support (13%) and no dedicated owner (10%)

When we explored the interest levels of employees around workplace wellbeing :

  • 70% of respondents say their employees are looking for/motivated to participate in WB program

  • 26% were unsure of their employees motivation for wellbeing programs (neither positive or negative)

  • 4% saying they don’t feel their employees are interested or want a program

Staggering 86% of respondents believe that employers of the future will run wellbeing programmes as a base level benefit to compete for and attract talent.

When it comes to senior leaderships support for Wellbeing Programs there were some revealing perceptions:

  • 59% of respondents feel it is mission critical to have senior management support for workplace wellbeing

  • Overall 96% of respondents felt that it is important to have senior management support/buy-in order to run a successful program

  • 53% of respondents described the level of senior management engagement as ranged from ‘somewhat engaged but likely to fall off the radar’ to ‘not at all engaged’

  • While only 12% felt they had highly engaged senior management

So that this tells us that senior leaders support is key but that is not always translated into the day-to-day experience in organisations (or is at least perceived not to).

In summary :

What is really interesting about these results are that wellbeing is being leveraged primarily to drive employee engagement or derivatives of it, and is clearly on the radar of most organisations these days. Employees are motivated to take part in workplace wellbeing initiatives, yet only 14% of companies say their program is robust and on-going (so has a chance to bring about meaningful change is part of the culture of the organisation). Finally, there are some very real challenges faced in terms of delivering sustainable and impactful wellbeing programs - budget, ownership, and senior leader buy in.

Three learnings we call take from this research is help us navigate the big potential challenges are :

  1. Find an approach to truly engage senior leaders (hint, we learned this best achieved by leveraging outcomes that are on their dashboards)

  2. Develop an approach to wellbeing that is sustainable, robust and ongoing so it permeates and becomes part of ‘how-we-work/culture’ of the organisation

  3. Ascertain a budget and who ‘owns’ the execution of any programmatic elements including consider partners/providers

We would love to hear your learnings. How has your organisation managed to create a culture of well-being?

Any tips or advice?

Let's make work better …

At PepTalk, engagement is at the heart of all our wellbeing platform. Our platform is about energy, passion and fun while being grounded in key business outcomes. To find out more about this area and our wider PepTalk offering book a demonstration at www.peptalk.ie or email james@peptalk.ie

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