A survey of 500 HR directors and risk managers has found just 37% of UK employers understand the impact of their employee’s health issues.
The research, carried out by Aon in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) revealed that UK employers are also less likely to have a defined health strategy. Only 30% of respondents confirmed their company had a policy, compared to 40% in other regions.
Despite this, the research indicates that UK businesses are more conscious of the importance of an organised health plan.
Matthew Lawrence, chief broking officer, Health & Benefits UK and EMEA for Aon said: “Several influences are stating to drive home to employers the importance of addressing health and wellbeing. Our survey shows 93% of UK employers agree that they are responsible for influencing employee health and changing behaviours – an increase of over 15% on the 2015 figure.”
Aon’s survey showed that despite the good intentions of employers, their actions do not match with their health concerns. 63% believe that managing stress and mental health is their key responsibility, but only 41% have an emotional or psychological programme in place.
More employers have physical programmes to support employee wellbeing (57%), despite only 51% considering it to be a high health and wellbeing priority.
Lawrence commented: “Unfortunately, poorly thought-out strategies waste expenditure if they aren’t underpinned by data.
“Using the data sets available to build a foundation level of risk profiling means informed and targeted decisions can be made around the future wellbeing strategy – and how the provision of benefits and health related services can be intergrated effectively in the future. Once a programme is in place, other factors like communication and personalisation will also be key to effective delivery.