9 December 2021

5 Truths About Wellness in the Workplace

Workplace wellness has come a long way since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a survey by Forbes revealing that 68% of senior HR leaders now consider employee wellbeing and mental health as a top priority. 

But we know, wellness and wellbeing can often be downplayed as ‘buzz terms’, so it’s not always clear what it means for people in the workplace. McCann Worldgroup’s Truth about Wellness 2021 study sheds some light. Surveying more than 48,600 people in 26 countries, McCann Worldgroup looked at over 10 years of global data and shared 5 Truths about wellness. 

Keep reading to find out what we feel these truths mean for the workplace.  

Truth 1: Mental health is emerging as the #1 future health concern  

What this means for the workplace

According to MIND, 1 in 4 people in England experience mental health issues each year, while the WHO reports mental disorders responsible for 30-40% of chronic sick leave. Businesses simply can’t afford to ignore the impact poor mental health has on engagement and productivity. 

Try this: Make positive mental health a key pillar in your wellbeing plan, and use consistent comms to ensure employees know all about the support your business provides. 

Truth 2: 80% of the world’s population now say their definition of wellness has changed  

What this means for the workplace

Would your leaders define wellness in the same way as your employees? Times have changed, so businesses need to reassess what they have in place regarding support and how they talk about wellness. 

Try this: To stay on top of employee wellbeing, regularly survey your people to find out what they expect from you as an employer. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of a survey.

Truth 3: 86% say creating a well and healthy world is the biggest challenge of the 21st century  

What this means for the workplace

Despite the global focus on employee wellbeing, it can be easy to fall into tactical thinking. But supporting employee wellbeing isn’t about quick fixes; it’s about long-term strategies.

Try this: Rather than thinking of wellbeing as a standalone issue, embed it throughout your people strategy. Read about wellbeing being a cultural behavioural shift in employee engagement. 

Truth 4: 54% of people globally say they’ve felt more unwell since the start of the pandemic  

What this means for the workplace 

 While there are many fantastic examples of companies supporting their people through the pandemic, there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all approach. Your people and business are unique – there is no ‘normal’.

Try this: Take a look at our post-Covid article on wellbeing to help shape your thinking. 

Truth 5: 87% of people globally agree that every brand and business in the world need to think about people’s health and wellness 

What this means for the workplace

This stat has massive implications for recruiting and keeping your best people. An APA poll reported in Time magazine found that ‘62% of people ages 20 to 37 were comfortable discussing their mental health at work, compared with about half as many people ages 54 to 72’. Employees increasingly want to know that their employers will be there to help if they start to struggle. 

Try this: Encourage employees of every generation to talk more about mental health, and promote the support you have on offer.

What’s your plan to support employee wellbeing?

If employee wellbeing is as important to you as it is to us, we’d love to hear from you. From an initial (confidential) chat about any specific issues to introducing effective ways to change using behavioural science, we’re here to help.  

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