Our survey found that health and wellbeing continues to rise up the UK corporate agenda with over two-thirds of organisations planning to increase support for their health and wellbeing programmes in the next two years. However, the results of our survey show that the motivations for doing so are not clear.

A third of organisations report a lack of evidence on financial returns as a significant obstacle to improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce, but surprisingly, there is very little direct focus on quantifying the value and return on investment associated with these programmes. Few companies track programme outcomes and measure these against targets, whilst even fewer seek to link to improved worker behaviours and employee productivity. In such circumstances, how can companies truly understand the payback on their programmes and how sustainable they are likely to be?

Organisations who report that they have been able to create an internal culture of health are more likely to regard linking health to productivity as essential to their health strategy and to measure employee outcomes associated with their programmes. As a result, they are more likely to understand the return on investment associated with their programmes, and where they observe quantifiable returns they are more likely to report appreciable positive return on investment associated with their programmes.

Towers Watson surveyed 74 leading organisations in the UK during 2012 regarding their health and wellbeing programmes and their future plans in this area. These organisations employed a total of 785,000 employees in the UK across a broad spread of industry sectors.

The survey examines the changing landscape in health and wellbeing in the UK workplace including:

  • How companies are managing and communicating their programmes.
  • What value they get from the programmes.
  • How they impact upon worker effectiveness and productivity.