What's priority in the world of HR?

In this week’s blog we examine May’s 'HR Practices in Ireland Survey 2019' by the CIPD, to highlight how wellbeing can impact multiple strategic priorities for HR professionals

Credit : The super talented @SlimJim for this epic gif

A multi-tasking solution for HR priorities :

  • Boosting engagement and connection

  • Attracting and retaining staff

  • Managing performance

  • Making progress on the use of data, analytics and technology

  • Meeting key organisational goals with limited resources

  • Working towards better diversity and inclusion

  • Looking after employee wellbeing, especially mental health

  • Leadership and management development

  • Culture change

🤔 What if one of the most exciting, necessary and meaningful of this list of HR priorities was also a solution towards all the others?

If you’re an HR professional, these are likely some or all of the problems or targets you’re focused on for the next 24 months. In fact, the HR Practices in Ireland Survey 2019, published by CIPD in May, tells us exactly that.

Credit : CIPD for graphs/images

Credit : CIPD for graphs/images

So does our experience in PepTalk. The wellbeing pioneers who lead our clients’ HR teams tell us that these are their priority objectives on a daily basis and we partner with them to deliver wellbeing programmes and to use our wellbeing technology to make an impact where it matters. We’ve selected a hotlist of areas where we see wellbeing contributing to progress for the HR agenda.

5 Ways Wellbeing Can Impact HR Priorities

1. Managing leaders, managing performance

According to the CIPD survey, engagement by line managers with those on their teams is seen as a critical component in increasing overall engagement. At PepTalk, we support leaders and managers in using the organisation’s wellbeing programme as a tool to connect with their team in a meaningful way. Weekly or monthly team meetings that have a wellbeing slot on the agenda can drive greater human connection among teams, often simply because the topic opens up conversations that are different to those that commonly arise in the workplace. It brings a new dynamic to the manager-employee relationship and has a positive impact on team performance.

On the flip-side, over 25% of survey respondents identified ineffective management/leadership style as a contributing factor to stress in the workplace and strongly link stress and mental health issues with absenteeism in their organisation. It won’t come as a surprise to any HR professional that all these topics - wellbeing, engagement, performance, absenteeism, leadership - are inextricably linked.

2. Not just technology but positive technology #Tech4Good

Use of smartphones in a work environment is necessary and invaluable for many organisations. The CIPD survey results show that their prevalence has mixed results for employee wellbeing. Boost the good side of digital connectivity by reaching your employee with benefits and practical tools through wellbeing technology, while also positioning HR as a digitally progressive team within the organisation.

Credit : CIPD for graphs/images

3. Attraction / Retention

Unsurprisingly, HR professionals are reporting growth in employee turnover and continued skills shortages. IBEC research on the Irish market has consistently told a tale of the significant role that promoting employee wellbeing can play in an organisation’s talent management strategy. Their 2018 survey reported that 60% of employees were more likely to stay longer with employers who show an interest in their health and wellbeing and that over 50% would consider leaving an employer who is not interested.

36% of the CIPD survey respondents reported that they are hiring more graduates as part of the talent pipeline growth strategy. This demographic’s concern for a sustainable work-life balance and genuine, fun wellbeing at work is naturally driving the benefits and ways of working agenda when it comes to attraction and retention. Interestingly 64% of jobseekers said they would be more likely to apply for a role 'if' the hiring company promoted it's workplace wellbeing program in the job advertisement

4. Wellbeing tech = wider metrics

A wellbeing technology solution can be a way to bridge the gap on HR’s need and use of metrics and people analytics. CIPD’s research exposed people analytics and technology as the number one concern when HR professionals were asked about their development needs.

🚀 Check out Karl’s blog from a fortnight about on how the explosion of data and the advent of AI can reshape the future HR landscape.

Of course, the use of wellbeing technology by employees allows us to better understand their needs and impact positively with targeted interventions, coaching and support. But, more than that, wellbeing tools are increasingly being used to gather real-time feedback on a range of topics - from engagement to effective communication methods.

5. Adding value through employer brand

One of the key ways HR add value to their organisation is by building employer brand - a whopping 91% agree that this is a key strategic contribution of their team and over half identify employer brand as a way in which they are seeking to grow the talent pipeline.

Here at PepTalk HQ, we were surprised at the low number of respondents (29%) who identified improved employer brand as an outcome of their wellbeing initiatives. This may point to a lack of follow through on the internal and external promotion of wellbeing programmes to achieve that key goal of attracting and retaining talent. Including wellbeing in employer brand material and ensuring the programme is visible on the organisation’s website and social media platforms (the mediums identified in the survey as key for sourcing talent) is a no-brainer in maximising the return on your investment in wellbeing.

It’s not all about easy wins, but it is about making progress towards key organisational targets with speed and efficiency. In a world where HR’s role has changed and continues to do so at an incredible rate to maintain pace with the evolving world of work, finding a multi-tasking solution is not just welcome, but absolutely necessary. Wellbeing programmes are by no means a panacea, but any initiative that impacts multiple areas on HR’s imperative and strategic agenda is worthy of in-depth review and allocation of resources.

Link to the full survey report:


Ailis McSweeney

chief of client success @ peptalk

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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