Third of global employers have formal wellness plans

Bosses favouritesLess than half of organizations worldwide actively apply the basic elements of a health management programme, with just a third having a formal strategic plan for health and wellness. This is according to Mercer’s Talent Barometer research which explores key accelerators of talent effectiveness – education, health and wellness, and career experience – and their impact on successful workforce practices. While employers are investing in talent, with 60 per cent of organizations increasing spending in this area in recent years, only 24 per cent say their current plans are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs.

“Effective workforce planning is an essential part of positioning talent as a strategic asset and maintaining a competitive business advantage,” said Julio A. Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer. “With the information and data analytics available today, employers can measure and manage their talent like never before. The question is whether the increased attention and efforts deliver the intended results. Outperformance requires a blend of innovative solutions and a fact-based approach to managing talent.“

Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey, which assesses the effectiveness of workforce practices in driving the short- and long-term success of organizations’ talent plans by region and industry, includes responses from HR and talent management executives at more than 1,260 organizations around the globe. The survey identifies a number of innovative practices that are characteristics associated with effective workforce plans.

On health and wellness, 48 per cent and 44 per cent respectively reported ensuring a healthy workplace and establishing health-related policies and procedures, but less than one-third (31 per cent) actively use a formal strategic plan for health and wellness.

“The research suggests a strong link between employers’ focus on health and wellness and employee engagement and productivity. This means that employers are missing out on one of the greatest tools available to enhance their strategic workforce plans,” said Dave Rahill, President, Mercer Health & Benefits.

The report also warns that while organizations globally take the issue of career experience seriously, with the majority (80 per cent) conducting regular (annual or semi-annual) talent reviews, far fewer actively employ other actions that enhance talent availability and quality, such as assessing supply and demand of critical talent, putting a strategic succession plan in place and developing programs for high-potential employees.

For more information on the Mercer Talent Barometer survey visit:

By Sara Bean