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A just-published comprehensive report by Aon has revealed that among employees in APAC, the top five issues are work-life balance, working environment-culture, mental health, physical health and burnout.

Encouragingly, the findings also showed that many organisations in the region are doing their bit with 90% of APAC companies have at least one wellbeing initiative in place. While almost a quarter (24%) of wellbeing programmes in APAC are performing exceptionally or above average.

However, only 55% have a strategy and just 27% fully integrate wellbeing into their business and talent strategy.    

“Companies should ensure top leadership support in creating a culture and a wellbeing strategy that is aligned with their business strategy. This will lead to a resilient workforce that moves forward with confidence and certainty driving business performance.”     

“A culture of wellbeing is not an ‘initiative’, but a permanent change in how work is conducted,” the report points out.

Drilling down into individual jurisdictions, 88% of Hong Kong companies have at least one wellbeing initiative in place, but only 55% have a strategy and just 19% fully integrate wellbeing into their business and talent strategy.

A total of 26% of wellbeing programmes in Hong Kong are performing exceptionally or above average.

In Singapore, beyond financial resources and investment, 44% of companies indicated that being able to measure the return on actions being implemented is one of their biggest challenges in starting or expanding wellbeing initiatives.

While leadership can set the tone for culture and wellbeing. A total of 42% of Singapore companies agreed that the chief human resources officer (CHRO) is the main driver of wellbeing initiatives, followed by the CEO (21%).

While in Malaysia, nine out of ten (91%) of companies have at least one wellbeing initiative in place. But only 51% have a strategy and just 25% fully integrate wellbeing into their business and talent strategy.

“The impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and a volatile economy has elevated the importance of wellbeing to individuals, organisations and communities in the region,” said Tim Dwyer, CEO for health solutions, Asia Pacific for Aon.

“Companies will do well to ensure that there is top leadership support in creating a culture and a wellbeing strategy that is aligned with their business strategy. This will lead to a resilient workforce that moves forward with confidence and certainty driving business performance,” he added.

Wellbeing requires a strategy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many organisations have identified mental health issues within their populations, and a recent global survey found that 42% of employees had experienced a decline in their mental health since the pandemic started.
aon wellbeing stats

For APAC, the survey concluded that a more strategic and culture-focused approach would support the top driver in developing a business case for wellbeing: Developing activities that are aligned with desired company culture (74%).

Respondents in APAC indicated that controlling costs is the top reason for not prioritising wellbeing (46%). However, this approach would require less financial commitment than adding additional programmes.

A shift to more strategic and culture-focused wellbeing approach would also support the top two measurement priorities of satisfaction (60%) and participation in programmes (59%), the report stated.