Employee WellnessTalent Retention


Increased attrition rates in the UK are showing leaders that if support for mental health isn’t given, employees are willing to leave for an organisation that prioritses well-being. 

By Zee Johnson 

Recently, many organisations have experienced hits to their retention rates, especially in the UK—but why? Recent Koa Health research points the finger at a lack of support for employee well-being, particularly their mental health.  

The survey found that 40% of turnover in the UK is due to stress and 35% of employees have strongly considered switching employers because of it. A second survey from Kronos showed that 95% of HR leaders say high levels of stress and burnout undoubtedly have a negative effect on retention rates. Another 46% cite it as the reasoning behind half of their annual employee turnover rate. 

Koa Health’s report also revealed that the UK and Western Europe are currently experiencing extremely low engagement rates (11%). The world average sits at 20%, down from 22% one year ago. 

Factors like stress and burnout greatly contribute to compromised mental health for employees, which can lead to difficulty thinking clearly, difficulty making decisions, hypersensitivity, and more. It also makes employees nearly three times as likely to leave their current employer.  

Now, many organisations are hopping on the well-being bandwagon in an effort to rectify weakened retention levels. They are doing this by strengthening their offerings and adding perks like fitness memberships, wellness trainings, rest and relaxation tools, and more. In Tower Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes Survey, over half of employers surveyed said they have already or plan to implement stress reducing initiatives for their workers. 

Here are some other ways organisations can support their employees’ well-being whilst also supporting strong retention rates. 

  • Lead by example. Managers and executives should begin the conversation on mental health. By doing this, they are showing employees that dialogue on mental health and well-being is welcomed, expected, and accepted. 
  • Secure resources. Having tools and systems readily available before an employee needs them is critical. Resources like easy-to-access telehealth tools are a great and cost-effective way for employees to feel supported in improving their mental health. 
  • Make work a safe haven. Employees should feel comfortable enough at work to share their feelings and struggles, both personal and professional. Communication lines must be open for employees to know that they can always connect with leaders when needed. And leaders should make it clear that the company prioritises mental health by implementing a mental health at work plan.  
  • Get feedback. Collecting regular feedback can help leaders keep an eye on if and when support is needed. Things like surveys and one-on-ones are great ways to scope an employee’s mental state and stress levels. Only then can leaders effectively determine what actions are to be taken.  

As of 2021, mental health issues cost UK companies £43 billion and if the trend holds up, could cost the global economy $16 trillion USD by 2030, the report says. 

Tags: EMEA July 2022, EMEA News, Employee Well-being, Talent Retention

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