We asked over 250 UK HR professionals what their top priorities are (and the good news is that cost-cutting came near the bottom of the list!).
Employee wellbeing is the most urgent concern for almost half (49%) of HR professionals, and just as well: a 2007 NHS survey on adult psychiatric morbidity in England revealed one in four adults experience mental health problems every year, and it’s incumbent on businesses to support them. If you implement the right wellbeing initiatives with your team, you can boost their productivity and increase their tenure by an additional six months.
‘Wellbeing can’t be an arbitrary tick-box exercise. Businesses must be proactive about responding to their employees’ desires and needs – they don’t have unlimited budgets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t introduce important changes to their benefits packages.’
HR Strategist and Talent Manager, London media company
‘You won’t harness what wellbeing can offer if you don’t embed it in your broader culture. That means you have to think beyond commissioning line manager and mental health first aid training.’
Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health
‘It’s vitally important that you invest in a health and wellbeing strategy and that the strategy is at the core of your values. I’m in no doubt that if you do invest in a health and wellbeing strategy, you will absolutely see the benefits.’
Director of Corporate, Healthcare company
The next most commonly-cited concern for the HR community is employee engagement: an issue for some 45% of those surveyed. This is directly related to wellbeing – when companies provide an intellectually and creatively fertile environment, they’re more likely to be engaged with their work. Productivity (39%) and diversity (38%) are also closely related to wellbeing and engagement; the former as a byproduct, the latter as an indirect contributor.
And though both outranked cybersecurity (35%), The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) registered as the third most pressing concern, with 44% of HR professionals worried about this far-ranging piece of information security legislation. Only time will tell if GDPR motivates the HR community to shore up its defences.