Quiet quitting and staff turnover top the list of health and wellbeing issues

Quiet quitting symbol. Concept words Quiet quitting on wooden cubes. Businessman hand. Beautiful grey table grey background. Business quiet quitting concept. Copy space.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of employers stated that they offer more health and wellbeing support now than they did two years ago, with 42% stating they now offer ‘much more’ support. While this is a really positive move and can help to alleviate many problems faced by employees, companies are still encountering employee issues that affect their business such as quiet quitting, and staff turnover, according to the latest research1 from Towergate Health & Protection.  

Direction of Support Matters

The figures show that while health and wellbeing support has been given a significant boost by employers over the past couple of years, some of the biggest issues faced by businesses could still be eased by directing that support in the right ways.

Debra Clark, head of wellbeing for Towergate Health & Protection, says: “While health and wellbeing support has increased significantly, it is vital that it is focussed on the right areas and communicated effectively to support both the business and the employee.”

Employee-focussed problems currently faced by businesses:

35%: Quiet quitting2 (doing the bare minimum the role involves, without effort or enthusiasm)

34%: Staff turnover 

31%: Hybrid working

30%: Presenteeism (people continuing to work when they’re not really well enough to)

27%: Absence rates

24%: Early retirement

15%: N/A our business does not suffer any of these problems

2%: Don’t know / not sure

So many of the employee-related issues in the workplace, including quiet quitting, staff turnover, hybrid working, presenteeism, absence rates and early retirement are inextricably linked to wellbeing, and the right support can help alleviate them.

Tailoring Health and Wellbeing Support

Debra Clark says: “Many of the issues businesses currently face relating to employees can be eased by carefully planned and executed health and wellbeing support. But employers have to do more than just put general support in place – it needs to be aimed at helping to address the specific issues that a business is facing.”

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The Impact of Wellbeing Programs

In alignment with this, a recent article published on makeadifference.media discussed how data highlights that the UK has one of the highest rates of workplace absences globally. Wellhub (formerly Gympass), a corporate wellbeing company, released findings suggesting that wellbeing programmes could significantly reduce sick days. According to their annual Return on Wellbeing Report, 89% of HR leaders reported that these programmes reduce employee absences. Other benefits include:

  • Positive ROI: 95% observed a positive return on investment.
  • Increased Productivity: 99% noted a boost in employee productivity.
  • Lower Turnover Rates: 98% saw a decrease in employee turnover.
  • Healthcare Cost Savings: 91% experienced reduced healthcare costs.

The report indicates that investing in employee wellbeing leads to tangible business advantages, addressing the UK’s high absenteeism rates and improving workplace health. David Bellamy, in his article, emphasized the importance of robust wellbeing strategies to combat burnout and mental health issues. Despite a $52 billion growth in the corporate wellbeing market in 2022, challenges like work overload, job insecurity, and lack of work-life balance persist. Wellhub’s findings provide strong evidence that comprehensive wellbeing programmes can reduce absenteeism and offer significant benefits, highlighting the need for holistic and strategic approaches to employee wellbeing.

Targeted support

Employers should look at the specific needs of their business, to look at what support can be of most help. Staff surveys and employee forums can be extremely useful in ascertaining employees’ requirements if the right questions are asked, and risk profiling can help to further identify areas of need and focus the type and direction of support.

Particularly with so many employees now working on a hybrid basis, having a digital platform for health and wellbeing support makes it easier for employees to access support that’s relevant for them, and for employers to evaluate the utilisation, so the appropriateness of support can be continually reviewed.

Debra Clark concludes: “Just throwing money at health and wellbeing support will have very little positive impact, and very few companies can afford to do this. A strategic approach must be taken to ensure that the help they are offering not only assists the employees but supports the business with their specific issues too.”

1. Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Towergate Health & Protection among 500 HR professionals, January 2024.

2. Quiet quitting is when an employee becomes disengaged from their work and puts in only the minimum effort, without enthusiasm, just to keep their job. Employees may show less willingness to take on additional tasks and may make less participation in meetings. They may show less motivation and suffer more from absenteeism.

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