Work-life balance is top well-being concern for Irish employers - survey

Work-Life Balance Is Top Well-Being Concern For Irish Employers - Survey
Work-life balance is the number one well-being issue Irish employers are concerned about followed closely by mental health and burnout, according to a new survey from Aon.
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James Cox

Work-life balance is the number one well-being issue Irish employers are concerned about followed closely by mental health and burnout, according to a new survey from Aon.

The ‘2021 Global Wellbeing Survey’, carried out on behalf of Aon by Ipsos, highlighted the top well-being risks impacting company performance.

It found that 70 per cent of employers in Ireland identified work-life balance as the top well-being risk currently facing their employees. 66 per cent identified mental health as a concern, 45 per cent the current working environment and 39 per cent employee burnout.

With well-being supports proving vital in helping employees to navigate the challenges posed by the pandemic and the rapid shift to remote working, the survey reveals that Irish companies are ahead of their international competitors in embracing employee well-being. 96 per cent of businesses in Ireland have at least one employee well-being initiative in place compared to 86 per cent of firms in Europe.

Employee well-being initiatives


Despite the vast majority having an employee well-being initiative in place, only one in two firms have a comprehensive employee wellbeing strategy in place. The survey found that investment is the number one challenge for firms either looking to create an employee well-being strategy or expanding an existing programme.

This is compounded by the fact that 56 per cent of businesses reported a lack of leadership focus as being the principal obstacle to prioritising wellbeing within their organisations.

The latest survey by Aon also finds that companies that improve employee well-being by four per cent see a one per cent increase in company profit and a one per cent decrease in employee turnover.

This comes as 47 per cent of Irish businesses have identified attracting and retaining talent as the main factor negatively impacting their business compared to 31 per cent who pointed towards adapting to changing customer needs due to Covid-19.

Ian Thornton, managing director — Health and Benefits, Aon in Ireland, said: “The health and well-being of employees has been the number one priority of business leaders as they navigated the pandemic. With the fundamental shift in where, how and when work gets done in recent months and the prevalence of a multigenerational workforce, employee well-being is more important than ever before. It is therefore not surprising that our latest survey finds more than 9 in 10 businesses have rolled out a well-being initiative.

Business culture

“But well-being is so much more than an individual programme. It requires leadership support and buy-in to create a well-being strategy and business culture that can positively impact employees and company performance.

“Over the coming months, business leaders will need to ensure there is no disconnect between the requirements of employees and the wellbeing supports available to them. As hybrid working becomes a way of life for many, companies will need to support the rapidly changing needs of employees — not just physical wellbeing, but increasingly, emotional wellbeing including addressing work-life balance and burnout challenges, as well as financial wellbeing.”

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