Aon research finds UK employers have an organisational wellbeing strategy gap despite recognising its importance

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A recent survey into global wellbeing has shown that while 92 percent of UK organisations have wellbeing initiatives, only 29 percent would say that wellbeing is fully integrated into their overall business and talent strategy.

The 2022-2023 Global Wellbeing Survey was conducted with human resources and benefits leaders from more than 1,100 companies across 46 countries and multiple industries by Aon plc in collaboration with IPSOS.

Aon said its survey shows that UK organisations have a wellbeing strategy gap. However, it did find that 74% said that wellbeing has increased in importance within their organisations.

Regional differences

UK respondents differ from other regions: 60 percent of mainland European respondents and 63 percent of global respondents reported that wellbeing has increased in importance. Additionally, the strategic gap is smaller for other regions: 38 percent of mainland European companies and 41 percent of global companies said that wellbeing is fully integrated into their overall business and talent strategy.

When asked why the organisation was not prioritising wellbeing, by far the largest reason in the UK was that “leaders have other focuses” at 29 percent. The next highest reason, at 14 percent, was that respondents “haven’t thought about it”.

The survey asked respondents which important business issues could be impacted by wellbeing initiatives. The top three UK answers were employee performance and productivity (39 percent), employee satisfaction and engagement (39 percent), and loyalty and retention (35 percent).

Letitia Rowlin, principal strategic consultant for Health Solutions at Aon in the UK, said:

“A multitude of recent developments, not least the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen wellbeing become a far higher priority in UK organisations as they strive to build a more resilient workforce. Decision makers also increasingly see a link between employee wellbeing and productivity, performance and engagement. However, the UK remains behind when it comes to fully integrated strategic choices and funding. 

“For instance, when it comes to funding, 24 percent of UK organisations allocate 4 percent or more of their overall company and benefits funding to wellbeing. This is far behind other regions. Among mainland European companies, 33 percent of organisations commit this amount to wellbeing while this is true for 38 percent of global organisations.”

A fragmented approach

Letitia Rowlin continued:

“The UK also has a fragmented approach to wellbeing, with many organisations implementing wellbeing initiatives, but far fewer using a data-led approach to tackle the specific issues that are unique to their situation. Using data gives clarity and confidence to make better decisions, applies funding in a strategic way and enables measurement of results.”

Aon’s Global Wellbeing Survey shows UK employers’ top three priorities overall, which are “attracting or retaining” talent, “employee wellbeing” and “profits and financial margins”. This represents a shift in priorities from 2020, when UK employers reported their top three priorities as “meeting financial targets”, “evolving market and meeting changing needs” and “meeting customer needs”.

Letitia Rowlin said: 

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“Wellbeing has become a differentiator in the war for talent. Employees and candidates want to see that their employer cares, and employers who support employees’ wellbeing gain in improved productivity and performance.”

Explore findings of Aon’s 2022-2023 Global Wellbeing Survey here.



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