Supporting Wellness & Attracting Talent
4th July 2023
How Supporting Wellness at Work Can Help You Attract Talent
Do employer wellness programmes really make a difference to employee recruitment and retention? And if so, how should you make wellbeing part of your recruitment? Here’s the ZD take.
Wellbeing isn’t a nice-to-have in the workplace. It’s an essential part of creating productive (and present) workers. It’s also essential to your recruitment and retention plans. Workers expect a lot from their employers, but one of the things they value most is an employer who cares about them. The more attention you pay to your people’s physical, mental and financial wellbeing, the more likely you are to find your workers want to stay with you.
At least, that’s what we’re told.
The problem is, we tend to be told that by… *checks notes* ah yes, wellbeing practitioners. That doesn’t mean what they are telling us is wrong, but it’s easy to imagine that, as they have more than a little ‘skin in the game’, they were hardly likely to talk down the recruitment benefits of wellbeing.
It’s also the case that recent data tend to be skewed. The pandemic isn’t too far in the rear-view mirror, and that was a period when wellbeing was top of virtually everyone’s list, in one respect or another.
For this post, then, we’ve aimed to get beyond the wellbeing practitioners and beyond Covid, to find the truth behind this simple question: can supporting wellness at work help you attract and retain talent?
Does wellbeing at work make a difference?
Wellbeing does matter to a large majority of workers. In Gympass’ large survey of workers around the world, 83% of respondents said that wellbeing was as important as salary in deciding whether to join a company. 77% said they would consider leaving a company that didn’t place an emphasis on wellbeing.
According to this study into mental wellbeing, 88% of professionals felt having mental health strategies in place was important when choosing a role.
Forbes quoted numerous studies when it found that:
- 87% of employees consider health and wellness packages when choosing an employer
- 67% of employees working for companies that have wellness programmes like their jobs more than workers in companies that don’t have those programmes
- 67% of employees working for companies with wellness programmes are extremely or very likely to recommend their employer to others
- Over 53% of Gen Z-ers and 58% of millennials believe company wellness programmes are important or extremely important when considering a career move
Most of the studies quoted took place before or after Covid was an issue.
Wellbeing and recruitment – the employer gap
What’s interesting is how wide the gap is between the prominence of wellbeing in candidates’ minds, and the focus employers give it. Despite the overwhelming evidence supporting wellness as a vital recruitment and retention tool, Fortune reports that half of workers have some level of dissatisfaction with their workplace wellbeing. 25% are completely unhappy.
An IBM survey (admittedly from Covid time) found workers were generally satisfied with the support they received from their employers, but fewer than 20% said their employers were ‘excellent’ at any element of wellbeing (physical, mental or financial), which surely gives employers a clear goal to aim for.
Forbes found only 40% of employers prioritise wellness in their organisations.
Things are even worse in terms of applying wellbeing to recruitment. Forbes (again) found just 25% of employers leverage their wellbeing programmes to support their recruitment exercises. This study found 81% of professionals would look for information about mental wellbeing strategies on company websites, yet only 12% of companies publish such information on their sites and only 3% of companies publish information about mental wellbeing policies in their job ads.
Wellbeing may matter to candidates. If anything, according to this survey, expectations around worker happiness are increasing. Yet employers don’t yet seem to have realised just how much it matters.
How to make wellbeing part of your recruitment and retention
How should employers leverage wellbeing as part of their recruitment strategy?
- Walk the walk: It’s not enough to talk a good game about wellbeing without backing it up with action. Candidates are savvy enough to look at your Glassdoor review to find out whether a) you really are committed to your workers’ wellbeing and b) that wellness is a core part of your business, not an afterthought.
- Raise the profile of wellbeing internally: True story – we recently spoke with a client’s recruitment assistant who only discovered that her organisation offered free fitness trackers to staff when she read it in an ad we sent to her to proof.
Make wellbeing prominent within the workplace, in terms of management focus, IT portals, intranet etc, and you’ll a) give your wellness programme a greater opportunity to make an impact on existing workers, supporting retention; and b) create more advocates for the business which can benefit recruitment.
- Spread the word: As we’ve already seen, employers can often take a minimalist approach to talking about their wellness programmes. If yours is consigned to a backwater of the website, with the occasional headline stolen Champion your programme through social media. If appropriate, encourage your people to shout about the wellbeing support they value the most. for your recruitment ads, it’s time to be more proactive about communicating the benefits.
Want to make wellbeing a greater feature of your recruitment exercises. Talk to us about making it happen
< Back to list