Survey Finds Employee Wellbeing Has Risen in Importance in Asia

Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm, has released its 2022-2023 Global Wellbeing Survey, wherein – among other key findings – global data shows that improving employee wellbeing factors can enhance company performance by at least 11% and up to 55%.

There is a relationship between well-being and a sustainable working life, which can impact company performance. The higher an employer’s ratings for overall employee well-being and the higher the performance of well-being initiatives, the better their scores are in the areas that form a sustainable working life.

Overall employee well-being ranked the highest in Asia Pacific (APAC) compared to other regions, with 49% of companies describing it as excellent or very good, slightly higher than the global average (46%). This could be attributed to the growing importance of employee well-being for APAC organisations.

Employee wellbeing ranked among the top three priorities for APAC businesses’ human capital strategy, with 67% of employers in APAC saying wellbeing is more important to their company and 48% say it has increased in priority, compared to 2020.

Furthermore, 49% of companies in APAC reported that they have increased their investment in well-being initiatives compared to 43% globally. With 50% of organisations allocating 4% or more of their overall benefits budget to wellbeing initiatives, funding allocation was the largest compared to other regions globally.

Mental Health is Top Wellbeing Issue

Mental health and burnout/languishing are the top two employee well-being issues in APAC. Burnout is defined as job-related stress that has not been managed, while languishing refers to a sense of being stuck and not making progress.

Although burnout is the second-most cited employee well-being issue, only 18% of companies incorporate this topic in their emotional well-being initiatives and only 24% train their managers on managing burnout.

The survey further revealed that companies are increasingly taking a more strategic approach to employee well-being, with 85% of organisations in APAC having a well-being strategy in 2022, compared to 55% in 2020.

In addition, 77% of employers reported that well-being is integrated into their overall business and talent strategy.

However, when compared to other regions, the APAC region rated second lowest in terms of the percentage of employers incorporating emotional wellbeing into their company’s strategy (52%).

Also, while 88% of companies in APAC have at least one well-being initiative in place, most well-being initiatives are one-dimensional, and there is a mismatch between what is offered and the issues that need to be addressed, indicating there is much work to be done.

Alan Oates, head of advisory and specialty for Health Solutions, APAC at Aon, said: “As businesses in the region allocate ever-greater investments to improve the wellbeing of their employees, our data reveals gaps in what businesses think is important versus what employees need and are offered.”

“Organisations must therefore avoid implementing one-off individual well-being initiatives with no connection to a larger business plan. Using data and analytics to identify employee needs and aligning interventions with those needs will ensure organisations make better decisions to improve wellbeing and overall workforce resilience.”

Aon conducted the survey of human resources and benefits leaders from more than 263 companies across 14 countries and sovereignties in Asia Pacific across multiple industries in collaboration with IPSOS, a leading global market research company, through August and November of 2022.

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