Health and well-being at work CIPD Survey 2019

Every year, the CIPD publish the findings from their annual survey which explores trends and practices in health, well-being and absence management in UK workplaces.

Completed by more than 1,000 professionals, covering 3.2 million employees across the UK, the nineteenth Health and Well-Being at Work Survey makes for interesting reading.

You can download it yourself in the link above, but we’ve decided to highlight some of the key findings from this year’s survey.

Absence & Attendance at Work

Much like the 2017 report from the Office for National Statistics, the CIPD survey found that absence was at an all-time low (5.9 days per employee per year).

However, or perhaps because of this drop in absenteeism, presenteeism at work was found to be rife, with 83% saying that people were working when unwell.

The number of organisations doing something to discourage presenteeism has improved since last year (25%) with just under a third of those who observed presenteeism taking steps to discourage it.

While this is encouraging, it does mean that they are in the minority and two-thirds of organisations are doing nothing to discourage it.

Stress at Work

When people were absent for long periods of time, the top causes included:

37% of those responding reported an increase in stress-related absence and the top three causes were due to:

  • The volume of work (62%)
  • Management style (43%)
  • Relationships at work (30%)

It’s encouraging to see that half of the 1,000 people in the survey felt that line managers had been trained to manage stress, with common methods including flexible working options, improved work/life balance and employee assistance programmes.

Financial Well-being of Employees

Coinciding with the increase in stress-related absence was a recognition by a quarter of respondents that poor financial well-being was a significant cause of employee stress.

With just one in seven organisations taking a strategic approach to financial well-being, it’s an area that businesses need to look at more closely.

While 24% said that employees have the right reward and benefit choices to meet their financial needs, less than half regularly consult employees to assess how well their existing benefits offering is meeting their financial needs.

Mental Health in the Workplace

An increase in the number of reported common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, was seen by almost three-fifths of people.

Despite this, just one in ten organisations had a standalone mental health policy, with only 18% of responders saying that they felt managers were confident and competent to spot the early warning signs of mental ill health.

While some businesses are seeing the benefit of focusing on the mental health of their employees, the report also found that only 40% of organisations have trained their managers to support staff with mental ill health.

While this has increased since the previous year, it’s clear that a lot more work needs to be done to raise awareness and improve support in the workplace.

What can organisations do?

CIPD reported that, while the findings showed that more employers were taking people’s health seriously, the survey’s results still represented a mixed picture of how proactive organisations were when it came to employee well-being.

Looking after people’s health and well-being is clearly the right thing to do and they suggested three considerations for managing the well-being of staff:

  • Identify the main risks to people’s health and well-being and target action accordingly.
  • Be holistic and ensure that financial well-being receives adequate attention.
  • Evaluate and improve well-being initiatives.

How can Fusion help?

Building a health and well-being strategy into an organisation is more important than ever.

The specialists at Fusion can help to support this strategy, whether it involves implementing day one absence reporting, work health assessments, stress risk assessments or a whole host of other occupational health services.

If you’d like to find out how we can help you devise a health and well-being strategy for your employees, get in touch today.

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Categories: Absence ManagementHealth & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health

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