Better reporting required on employee engagement and wellbeing

Wellness reporting could be improved by FTSE 100

There is a need for more open reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing by FTSE 100 organisations according to an inaugural report into wellness by Business in the Community. The first Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark, which analysed how FTSE 100 organisations manage their 6.3 million employees gave an average score of just 21 per cent, which said BITC was “not unexpected” at this first stage of development.  The highest scoring Workwell indicators were Diversity and Inclusion (at 50 per cent of total marks) and Health and Safety (at 44 per cent), showing how compliance drives measurement and reporting.

Stephen Howard, BITC Chief Executive commented: “We are encouraged by the examples of leadership highlighted through this process, and by the commitment shown by a third of FTSE 100 companies, who proactively took part in the survey.”

“We introduced our Corporate Responsibility Index 10 years ago and have seen how organisations have built their confidence in reporting key environmental and societal benefits through sustainability reports.

“Now we are encouraging organisations to use data effectively to demonstrate responsible people management and drive business performance improvements.  The survey for the 2014 Workwell benchmark will be launched in September this year and we will work closely with organisations to help them develop their reporting practices.”

The lowest scoring area was in the provision of Better Specialist Support – which includes provision for mental health support – where the average score was only nine per cent.  This raises concerns about organisational resilience as employees face high levels of stress in the current economic climate and the associated costs continue to rise.

It is likely that companies have more policies and programmes in operation than they currently report externally but trends, intelligence or learnings from these initiatives are not being put in the public domain.  For example, research shows that 85 per cent of UK companies offer an Employee Assistance Programme as part of their support but the benchmark score for the provision of Employee Assistance Programmes only scored six per cent.

Irwin Lee, Managing Director of Procter & Gamble UK and Chair of the Workwell Leadership Group, said: “This is a critical first step towards open reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing, and comes at a really important time.  Now more than ever our businesses need to demonstrate their resilience and this means people must be at the centre of both business and organisational strategy. We expect to see significant benefits for individuals and our overall businesses from this important work to consolidate and formalise public reporting of wellbeing and engagement levels in our organisations.”

BITC’s Workwell benchmark was developed in response to research showing a positive link between strong people management and organisational performance, with FTSE 100 companies that have robust arrangements for reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing outperforming the rest of the FTSE 100 by 10 per cent. FTSE 100 organisations were scored by Towers Watson against BITC’s Workwell criteria, with a total of 25 indicators used across the five areas of BITC’s Workwell Model: Better Work; Better Relationships; Better Specialist Support; Better Physical and Psychological Health; and Working Well.

By Sara Bean