Disengaged employees and poor health cost UK economy £6 billion

Disengaged and unwell employees cost the UK economy £6 billion in 2012, according to a major new report out today.

The study, described as a "wake-up call" for employers, found a lack of motivation and poor health is causing workers in Britain to work well-below peak productivity, and is holding back potential growth.

About half of people admitted to not going 'above and beyond' at work because they think they won't be acknowledged or rewarded. And only 7% of employees said they are working to their full potential, the study of 5,000 UK workers, by private healthcare firm Bupa found.

Bupa, corporate director, Patrick Watt, said: "This is a wake-up call for employers, it shows that many employees are not engaged or motivated, which has a big impact on a businesses performance and productivity."

Britain not fit for growth

Bupa's study also looks at the health of employees and found that Britain is "not fit for growth" in its current state, with only 41% of employees operating at their peak physical level and 29% unable to concentrate at work due to poor health.

Watt added: "Successful businesses rely on healthy, engaged teams who are motivated to go the extra mile to help the organisation reach its full potential.

"But with 24% of employees concerned they will burnout, companies must take urgent action to raise levels of staff wellbeing to counteract the ripple effect of poor health on the wider organisation - and the economy as a whole."

Employers struggle to support workforce

The study also found 41% of workers said that when it comes to employee wellbeing, their company is "all talk, but no action", which is contributing to their lack of motivation and willingness to go above and beyond.

About 60% of employees don't expect their employer to do anything to help them to be less stressed, healthier, more physically fit, feel more valued or have a better work-life balance.

Bupa claims this is "unsurprising" given that 70% of employees state their companies do not invest in wellbeing initiatives.