Majority of employees would leave jobs without wellbeing support, research finds

Workers also value EDI, LGBTQ+ and menopause inclusion workshops, while employers want to offer focused work-life balance training

Credit: Jay Radhakrishnan/Getty Images

The majority of employees (86 per cent) would be more likely to leave a job if it did not support their wellbeing, a study has found.

The Executive Development Network’s research also found that four fifths (83 per cent) of employees were more attracted to working at an organisation that demonstrated a “progressive company culture”.

The consultation – which included a survey of 1,000 UK employees and 300 decision makers across a range of sectors – also found that as part of an ‘enhanced benefits package’, 20 per cent of employees would value EDI training, 18 per cent LGBTQ+ inclusion training and 19 per cent workshops on understanding the impact of the menopause. 

Third of employees do not see their workplace as a community, research finds

'Quiet quitting': how should HR manage it?

Can (and should) employers use monitoring to force office attendance?

Dannielle Haig, principal business psychologist at DH Consulting, said there were multiple factors that have led to employees expecting wellbeing support, including the pandemic and subsequent global and local economic concerns.

But she suggested that the rise of wellbeing on an employee’s agenda may also be part of a generational shift: “A new generation of employees who cares more about their wellbeing and health than ever before has emerged and they aren’t afraid to ask for what they want,” said Haig.

The research also highlighted that almost half (45 per cent) of employees felt first aid for mental health would enhance their workplace benefits package, while almost two thirds (60 per cent) of employers would consider offering mental health first aid training to their workforce. 

Get more HR and employment law news like this delivered straight to your inbox every day – sign up to People Management’s PM Daily newsletter

A higher number of employers (62 per cent) expressed an interest in focused training to help create a positive work-life balance among staff.

As People Management previously reported, Conservative MP Dean Russell has proposed making it a legal requirement for businesses to offer mental health first aid training, as he believes it could “save lives”.

But in the absence of such proposals being enshrined in law, Sarah McIntosh, director of delivery at Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, said HR practices and policies needed to be evaluated frequently to ensure they were still fit for purpose, because “what worked three years ago won’t necessarily work now”.

“Good job design is critical to both productivity and wellbeing, just as significant as ensuring that your managers have the skills, tools and time to support their teams,” McIntosh added.

Andrew Berrie, head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, explained that there were many 

ways people’s mental health could be negatively affected at work, “including stress, having poor relations with your colleagues, or being treated unfairly because of your mental health problem”.

One of the biggest issues in the workplace could be the relationship between employee and line manager, he warned: “As such, line managers need to ensure they are fostering effective, professional relationships with their line reports, ensuring team members are clear of what is expected of them and support the delivery of their work.”

Meanwhile, in recent XpertHR research the majority (83 per cent) of chief HR officers admitted facing a significant talent retention problem, with the main reason for staff turnover being stress and burnout.