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Investing in well-being

Wednesday December 30, 2015 Written by  Retain Canada
Employers are increasingly implementing well-being programs to achieve business objectives and address human resources (HR) priorities.

Worldwide, more than half of the HR professionals surveyed by Virgin Pulse say they are looking to improve employee engagement (60 per cent), productivity (53 per cent), and organizational culture (52.8 per cent) through well-being, which is no longer being seen as strictly an HR initiative, but rather a business imperative.

For the second year in a row, Virgin Pulse partnered with Human Capital Media, the research arm of Workforce magazine, to survey more than 1,000 HR professionals across levels and industries. The resulting report, State of the Industry: Employee Well-being in 2016, details how and why organizations are budgeting, implementing, measuring and improving employee well-being programs.

According to the report, senior-level executives are looking at well-being programs not so much as a cost reduction measure, but to help improve employee engagement and productivity, which were cited as key HR priorities for next year. Nearly 89 per cent of respondents at the director level and above cite improving employee productivity as the top HR priority in 2016, with engagement (87.5 per cent), and corporate culture (85.8 per cent) following closely behind. More than 97 per cent agree that employee well-being programs can positively impact the achievement of each of these broader business priorities and goals.

“In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, employees are being asked to do more at work while balancing personal priorities and responsibilities. We know these competing demands can affect engagement and culture within organizations,” said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse. “By focusing on well-being as a way to create and motivate productive, thriving workforces, leading employers will see the return on their investment in ways that meaningfully impact their business in 2016 and beyond.”

As well-being programs evolve and become a core part of business strategy for engaging, retaining, and recruiting top talent, budgets for these initiatives are growing. About two in five large companies (39.1 per cent) and more than one-quarter of small companies (28.1 per cent) report well-being budget increases over last year. These increases come as organizations increasingly view employee well-being as a driver of business success.

The survey polled 1,076 HR management professionals across a range of industries and organization sizes.
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