Survey: C-suite leaders working to increase focus on wellbeing

A Deloitte survey finds that C-suite leaders are beginning to take wellbeing more seriously, and that could serve everyone well – including leaders themselves.

A majority of C-suite leaders and employees currently value their wellbeing over career advancement, according to a Deloitte survey, but most admit they aren't helping enough.

Deloitte recently partnered with Workplace Intelligence to survey 1,050 C-suite leaders and 1,050 employees in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia. Eighty-one per cent of C-suite leaders and 68% of employees said "improving their wellbeing is more important than advancing their career".

To that end, 69% of C-suite executives said they are "seriously considering" quitting their job in favour of a role that better supports their wellbeing. Fifty-seven per cent of employees said the same.

Executives are much more likely than employees to see their job as having a positive impact on their wellbeing. About three-quarters of C-suite leaders surveyed said their job improves their physical, mental, and social wellbeing, while approximately 36% of employees said the same.

The C-suite holds the key to empowering employees regarding their wellbeing.

Ninety-six per cent of C-suite leaders feel responsible for their employees' wellbeing, but 68% admitted they're not doing enough to "safeguard employee and stakeholder health".

Eight-three per cent of executives said they plan to improve or expand their organisation's wellbeing benefits over the next year or two, but the leaders say they could use a helping hand from their organisation.

Eighty-six per cent said they'd welcome more organisational support, with 48% advocating for an executive training programme focused on health. Such measures could benefit everyone: About one in five C-suite executives said an increased focus on wellbeing has complicated their job, added stress to it, and worsened their own wellbeing; but more than one in three said it has made them better leaders, made their job more rewarding, and made them feel connected to a bigger purpose.

Perhaps an increased understanding of the critical role that wellbeing can play in the success of an organisation will help close a concerning gap. The survey found that while just 56% of employees think their company's executives care about their wellbeing, 91% of executives think their employees believe they care.

The survey revealed some possible solutions:

  • About two-thirds of C-suite leaders — but just less than half of employees — say they have enough time for friends and family, use all of their paid time off each year, get at least seven hours of sleep, and take microbreaks during the workday.
  • Just 40% of executives require employees to take time off, and 35% require employees to take breaks during the day.
  • Twenty per cent of executives have a ban on after-hours emailing.

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