From education to employment

Employers struggling most with creating inclusive workplaces, new research finds

Person on laptop at desk

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has today published new research which has found that while UK employers are investing in the wellbeing of their employees, they have made least progress onconsidering how inclusive workplaces impact the wellbeing of their employees from all backgrounds. The research also found that employers are not fully prioritising the wellbeing of their employees to help achieve the organisation’s strategy and purpose.

The findings, taken from a new self-assessment tool launched by BITC to help employers understand their performance on wellbeing, highlight where employers are doing well and where they need improvement. 

Nearly sixty UK employers from a variety of sectors including retail, construction, transport and financial services have completed the tool, giving BITC new insights into action being taken to support the wellbeing of UK workforces.

The areas employers are doing the best on include:

  1. 68% of employers understand if the wellbeing interventions available to employees are working
  2. 68% of employers enable employees to manage their own health and wellbeing 
  3. 65% of employers empower line managers to be capable, confident and compassionate when supporting employees 

 The areas identified where employers need to invest and act further include:

  1. 58% of employers build lived experiences into job design 
  2. 61% of employers prioritise the wellbeing of employees to help achieve the organisation’s strategy and purpose
  3. 54% of employers consider how inclusive workplaces impact on the wellbeing of their employees from all backgrounds 

Other wellbeing areas where the tool supports employers include collaboration with different stakeholders with a vested interest in the wellbeing of employees. 

Earlier this year, BITC published new research by McKinsey Health Institute revealing that the UK economic value of improved employee wellbeing could be between £130-370 billion per year or 6-17% of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product. This is the equivalent of £4,000-£12,000 per UK employee. [3]This research showed that an absence of negative workplace behaviours, as well as inclusivity and belonging were the most important factors affecting positive employee mental health and wellbeing. BITC’s Workwell self-assessment tool helps employers to understand their starting point and actions they need to take to prioritise their employees, whilst also unlocking the potential financial return and value of doing so.

Javier Echave, CFO of Heathrow Airport and Chair of BITC’s Wellbeing Leadership Team, said:

“This pioneering tool created by BITC allows employers to establish their baseline and understand the areas of their wellbeing agenda that can be transformed further. Those employers that prioritise their people are not only doing the right thing, but they are also potentially unlocking significant and sustainable financial return for their consumers, investors and communities. The Workwell tool supports employers on how to take their wellbeing agenda to the next level and enabling their business to thrive.”

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director, Business in the Community, said: 

“Recent research found the number of sick days UK employees are taking is on the rise, highlighting the importance of employers investing in their people’s health and wellbeing. The Workwell tool helps employers navigate a challenging agenda, especially when a lot of organisations either don’t know what evidence-based wellbeing actions they are missing or for some, where to start and embark on a journey of improvement.” 

Related Articles