A staggering 90 percent of employers feel wellbeing cultures can be improved, according to new research by Gympass and People Management Insights.

Also, 84.7 percent admitted their wellbeing culture was ‘average’ or ‘below average’.

Fewer than 20 percent of employees are enrolled on physical wellbeing offerings.

Also, nearly 50 percent of employers cited an increase in Mental Health Champions as a key change in their wellbeing strategy since the pandemic.

Having a rigorous workplace wellbeing strategy has been vital to any successful business for decades, but since the pandemic, the health and wellness of the workforce has been under the microscope to a greater degree.

However, the research found that only 10 percent of employers feel their workplace culture is ‘excellent’.

So, how can this be improved?


Proactive or reactive?

The research revealed that employers are being more reactive than proactive when it comes to corporate wellbeing.

The top two strategies were providing policies in response to life events (77.6%) and offering counselling services (61.8%).

“Traditionally organisations have taken a reactive approach to wellbeing, through a ‘find-and-fix’ mentality, as we can see by these figures.

However, we cannot underestimate the fact that employers that create a culture of care will see happier employees, which in turn will lead to more engaged and productive teams.” says Workplace Wellbeing expert, Karl Simons, OBE.


Wellbeing cultures: has anything improved?

The survey found that over 50 percent of the employers increased their wellbeing spend in the last two years with nearly half of employers also having appointed Mental Health Champions in the workplace.

This indicates that businesses are becoming far more adept at offering mental health support. No doubt triggered by the impact of the pandemic, this intervention came second only to the ever-popular ‘cycle to work’ scheme, which is offered by 61.9 percent of employers.


Engagement with wellbeing offerings are low

A worrying finding was that employee engagement in wellbeing offerings was very low.

Of those who do have a workplace health and wellbeing strategy in place, fewer than 20 percent of employees are actually enrolled or actively engaged in available programmes.

Luke Bullen, Head of UK & Ireland at Gympass says, “When businesses first come to us, one of their main concerns is that they have wellbeing benefits available, but many of their employees do not know about them or utilise them. We work with businesses to give employees access to benefits they’ll actually use – like Barry’s Bootcamp classes or Calm memberships, because market research shows they value these branded offerings.

“We also feel that with the current cost-of-living crisis, employers have a golden opportunity to really add value to their employees’ day to day lifestyle, outside of the workplace. Bullen adds, “By creating workplace wellbeing packages that support them even when they’re not working, it allows employees to cut back on their own personal expenditure on things such as gym memberships, fitness classes and even counselling. In the current climate, that’s a great employee benefit to have.”





Editor at HRreview

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.