Financial return on investing in wellbeing could be up to £370 billion, new research shows

Financial return on investing in wellbeing could be up to £370 billion, new research shows

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, has today published new research by McKinsey Health Institute revealing that the UK economic value of improved employee wellbeing could be between £130-370 billion per year or 6-17% of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product. [2] This is the equivalent of £4,000-£12,000 per UK employee.

The research found that reducing the costs of poor employee wellbeing and unlocking the benefits of good employee wellbeing could create a significant increase to the UK economy. The research gives a breakdown of the financial benefits of addressing wellbeing related issues in the workplace. For example:

  • Addressing attrition could lead to a £12-36 billion increase to the economy;
  • Reducing absenteeism could lead to £4bn; [3]
  • Reducing presenteeism and improving productivity could lead to £85-288bn; [4]
  • Boosting retention could lead to £15-24bn; and
  • Increasing attraction (employer brand) could lead to a £13bn increase to the economy.

BITC’s report, published today, focuses on the financial returns of investing in wellbeing and calls on business leaders across the UK to make people a boardroom priority.

Javier Echave, CFO at Heathrow Airport and Chair of BITC’s Wellbeing Leadership Team said:

“Investing in employee wellbeing is not only the right thing to do, but it could also lead to a significant gain for the UK economy. Instead of looking at the negatives of poor wellbeing, we wanted to showcase the positives of businesses investing in their people to encourage more leaders to make this a boardroom priority. If business leaders invest in the right initiatives and prioritise their people, they will reap the rewards.”

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at Business in the Community, said:

“Traditional models of working have imploded. Employers have two choices: do nothing, which is not sustainable, or create ways of working that enable people, their greatest asset, to thrive. Wellbeing must be positioned as non-negotiable, and this report demonstrates the compelling business case for putting thriving employees at the heart of organisational purpose and business strategy.

“However, building a workforce that is 100% productive and doesn’t have absences or resignations is somewhat unachievable, but even if employers took the steps to address even a proportion of these issues, not only will they have a happier and more productive workforce, but they could also see a financial return.”


Notes to editor

  1. Read BITC’s Prioritise People: Unlock the Value of a thriving workforce here.
  2. Full details of McKinsey Health Institute research are available upon request.
  3. Absenteeism includes work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries.
  4. Incremental value captured from presenteeism is £0-110bn depending on the extent of overlap with increased productivity.

For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy, on 07702 903 216.