We need to make sure employee health and wellbeing remains a business priority

Rachel Suff, Senior Policy Advisor at the CIPD outlines how you can help us explore the state of employee wellbeing in the UK after an unprecedented year.

We need your helpHelp us ensure employee health and wellbeing remains a business priority by completing the CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing at Work survey 2021.

It’s so uplifting to know that over the coming weeks and months effective vaccines will be rolled out to protect people from COVID-19. This year has been a tremendously challenging one for most of us, and many people’s resilience has been severely strained.

One consequence of the pandemic has seen employee health and wellbeing jump to the very top of the business agenda in a way we couldn’t have imagined a year ago. That’s because it’s now a crucial business continuity issue, and pivotal to corporate survival in some cases.

While we hope 2021 will see a return to a more ‘normal’ way of life, both in our personal lives and at work, there are important lessons to be learnt from how organisations have responded to COVID-19 that we need to build on. The potential for greater flexible working, and the benefits that come up with it, is one of these opportunities to take forward for the future. Another is the chance to ensure employee health and wellbeing remains a strategic priority for every employer.

It shouldn’t have taken a global pandemic to realise that good health and wellbeing goes hand in hand with higher levels of engagement and productivity. As such it should be viewed as integral to organisational success and not just a ‘nice to have’. CIPD research shows that organisations which take employee wellbeing seriously and invest in the people management capability to support it reap the benefits. On top of thisemployers have a moral responsibility to look after the wellbeing of their workforce. Work can and should be a force for good, and it gives organisations the opportunity thelp individuals and communities thrive.

COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on how integrated all aspects of our health are – it is not only jeopardising people’s mental and physical health, but also the social connections and peer support that can be so beneficial to wellbeing. The CIPD/Simplyhealth Health and Wellbeing at Work survey 2021 will examine all of these aspects, as well as taking a deeper look into the state of financial wellbeing; this is another dimension that needs a sharp focus by employers given the looming economic crisis and large-scale rise in unemployment.

We’ve been carrying out this survey for more than 20 years at the CIPD, and there’s no other study like it in the UK that provides such scope for benchmarking trends in employee sickness absence and health. Last year’s survey covered 4.5 million employees, a significant proportion of the UK labour market. As such this data gave us an unparalleled view on the world of work through the eyes of people professionals. It enables us to not only help shape our practical advice and guidance for HR, but also to inform and influence government policy.

The survey is easy to complete and should take no more than 15 minutes – it will also give you the chance to win a Google Nest Hub Max!

Thank you in advance for your time!  


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