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Why having a wellbeing strategy is more important than ever

By Unmind | |3 minute read

Australian business leaders are in a unique position to tackle mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

As you are well aware the topic of mental health and wellbeing at work has exploded in the last three years. Employee demands for wellbeing support have skyrocketed, as organisations have scrambled to meet them. New workplace health solutions – with varying levels of scientific quality – have cropped up everywhere, promising to reduce mental ill-health-related absenteeism and presenteeism and boost business performance. 

While the mental health and wellbeing industry has seen considerable strides in recent years, there is still room for improvement.

The World Health Organisation estimates mental ill-health currently costs the global economy $1tn a year, while economic challenges are squeezing businesses and employee burnout and resignation is on the rise.

To understand how businesses are tackling this trillion-dollar challenge, Unmind – the workplace wellbeing platform – surveyed 350 senior HR decision-makers in large organisations across the UK, adding to a wider poll of 850 companies around the world. The findings are an eye-opening story of innovation amid crisis. 

For the ANZ research, Unmind discovered: 

  • 95% of employees expect work to be good for mental health, yet only 63% of companies have a wellbeing strategy with clear goals in place. 
  • 96% of HR decision-makers say that scientific rigour and an evidence base are important, or very important, factors when selecting a wellbeing solution, whereas only 5% of wellbeing apps are backed by credible science. 
  • Over 9 in 10 (91%) agree that financial wellbeing is a growing priority for their business in 2023, as over 8 in 10 (83%) believe financial stress is impacting their employees’ ability to perform at work.
  • 67% of HR leaders say that managing psychosocial risk factors is a growing priority for their organisation, yet only 65% feel able to identify and control psychosocial risk factors.
  • 56% of HR leaders say employee expectations for wellbeing support have increased in the last year, while 64% agree that sustainable performance requires sustainable employee welfare.
  • Three quarters (75%) stated that measuring employee wellbeing is a priority for their business in 2023, yet just 64% are able to measure and understand their workforce’s wellbeing.

The findings signal a unique opportunity for Australian business leaders to implement a wellbeing strategy that is proactive, rather than reactive. 

“Too often, wellbeing strategies – at work, and in public health – spring into action only once the person is already in crisis,” said Dr Nick Taylor, Unmind’s co-founder and CEO.

“Meanwhile, many of the tools available to the workplace lack the scientific grounding needed to deliver ethical and effective care.

“Few people have a greater opportunity to make a difference than leaders of large companies.”

To help businesses level up their workplace wellbeing strategies in 2023, Unmind has produced the 2023 Workplace Mental Health Trends report analysing the research, and offering practical tips for tackling the most pressing issue facing businesses today.

To access the 2023 Workplace Mental Health Trends report, click here.

To schedule a call with a member of the Unmind team, click here.

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