The first in Ukraine employee well-being survey: How companies take care of their employees
- How Ukrainian employers manage employee well-being
- Mental health and stress at work
- Overtime, working while on sick-leave or annual leave
- The impact of remote work on employee well-being
- Impact of technology on well-being
Deloitte Ukraine and Wellbeing Company have surveyed how Ukrainian employers support employee well-being, why well-being is becoming a relevant HR tool, and how it affects employee performance.
It has been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, posing significant challenges to employers. Remote work, blurring of boundaries between work and personal life, increased tension over health and safety issues, growing emotional burnout – all this has made well-being a top priority for company leaders and HR directors as well as a new business requirement for employers.
“Employee well-being is not just a whim of workers, but a key to business effectiveness. Employees with mental health issues who do not receive proper care are 50% less engaged in work. This affects many performance indicators of companies, including financial results. To ensure fast business recovery after the pandemic, company leaders must take all necessary measures to support both mental and physical health of employees to maintain their performance efficiency and ensure resilience of organizations. To do this, it is important to shift from the use of selective programs that cover only the basic needs of employees to the development of a comprehensive well-being strategy and implementation of interconnected set of actions and measures,” said Olena Boichenko, Director of Human Capital Advisory Services at Deloitte Ukraine.
Employee well-being survey: Identifying the path to success is the first survey of its kind conducted in Ukraine. It reflects the attitude of Ukrainian employers to employee well-being issues and provides advice on how to build strategies to improve well-being at work. The survey was completed by 57 Ukrainian companies spanning multiple industries. Almost half of the survey respondents have more than 1,000 employees working in their companies.
“Less than 40% of organizations have a comprehensive well-being strategy in place. It would be interesting to compare this figure with the number of leaders who understand the correlation between employee well-being and company performance. The report provides useful insights for CEOs, HR directors, and business owners. Every finding in this survey shows that employee well-being is an effective tool for achieving financial efficiency and building resilience, sustainable leadership, and a strong employer brand,” said Olena Bondar, CEO of Wellbeing Company.
How Ukrainian employers manage employee well-being
Despite the fact that all respondents take measures to support employee welfare, more than half of survey participants (61%) do not have a well-being strategy and respond on an ad hoc basis to certain needs of employees. This trend was observed across all industries, except consumer products, where 55% of companies stated that they have a well-being strategy in place.
Every third company (31%) develops employee well-being programs solely around health care, and only 1 in 6 organizations (16%) implement more comprehensive well-being strategies for the social good, by focusing on well-being as a part of social sustainability and health of community, families and citizens in general.
The survey respondents believe that the financial and physical well-being are the most important factors for employees. For this reason, corporate programs mostly cater for these components of well-being. The employers are also focused on supporting mental health of employees. The most popular initiatives offered by the well-being improvement programs include flexible work options (practiced by 94% of employers), private healthcare and medical insurance (offered by 89% of employers) and mental health awareness programs (conducted by 74% of employers).
82% of companies have revisited their well-being programs amid the pandemic, focusing on remote work, mental health, and expansion of insurance programs.
Almost all organizations (89%) reported positive results from the implementation of well-being programs in 2020, with the most impact on improving the organization's employment brand as well as employee morale and engagement.
Mental health and stress at work
More than half of organizations (53%) take measures to identify and reduce stress in the workplace. Companies conduct employee opinion surveys to identify potential problems (83% of companies), implement initiatives to improve work-life balance (79% of companies) and engage specialists who provide psychological support to employees (48% of companies).
High workload was cited as primary source of stress among employees in most organizations (78%), followed by various factors directly or indirectly related to the pandemic.
Although the majority (82%) of company leaders acknowledge the importance of employee well-being programs and support their development, only one in three organizations (33%) have senior leaders who encourage employees to take care of their mental health, one in five companies (22%) support communication on mental health issues, and only one in ten companies (9%) have managers competent in identifying early signs of mental illness.
Overtime, working while on sick-leave or annual leave
Over the past year, 76% of organizations have observed leaveism that occurs when workers take annual leave in order to catch up on their workload or work outside of their office hours. The employers are taking steps to discourage the practice of leaveism through monitoring and redistributing workload as well as communicating with employees on regular basis.
Presenteeism is another trend that refers to the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of an illness, injury, or other reasons. The presenteeism was observed by 63% of companies surveyed. The most popular way to tackle presenteeism is to send home employees who are feeling unwell.
The impact of remote work on employee well-being
Most organizations (83%) observe both the positive and negative impact of remote work on employee well-being.
To reduce the negative impact of remote work, the employers conduct online team meetings and team building sessions, and try to provide comfortable conditions for remote work. It is a widespread practice (72%) to provide employees with additional equipment or furniture (tables, chairs, routers, etc.). Some employers (4%) offer their employees compensation in the form of a one-time cash allowance.
Impact of technology on well-being
57% of respondents stated that the advancing technology landscape has both the positive and negative impact on employee well-being. The biggest challenge of using technologies is inability to separate work and personal life as well as lower quality of communication due to less face-to-face interaction.
On the other hand, the ability to work flexibly was cited as the most positive impact of technologies, as this allows saving time that would otherwise be spent on commuting to work as well as reducing expenses for travel to work.
Not all organizations use the full potential of technologies to improve well-being: only one-third (30%) of companies use technology solutions to support employee well-being.