Employees Want Better Mental Health Support At Home

Employees Want Better Mental Health Support At Home, But 50% Of Employers Are Failing When It Comes To Staff Wellbeing.

Three in five employees want their employers to spend more on supporting mental and physical wellbeing as a result of the Covid crisis, new research by health insurer Aetna International shows. Meanwhile, a separate study shows that almost one in two employers are failing to adequately address issues of staff wellbeing.

The Aetna International survey of 4,000 employees and 1,000 employers in the UK, US, Singapore and the UAE also found a significant gap exists between how employees and employers view the quality of the wellbeing support provided, both for those working in offices and remotely. 

Aetna found that just over eight out of 10 (84%) employees believe their mental health is more important today than it was a year ago. Furthermore, nine out of 10 (89%) employees said their physical health is more important to them now than it was 12 months ago.

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that 87% of employees surveyed said that access to quality healthcare is more important to them now than before the COVID-19 outbreak. However, whilst 63% would like their employer to spend more on health benefits and other resources to improve their health, just over a third (34%) agreed they should be spending more money.

Speaking about the survey’s findings, Dr Hemal Desai, global medical director, Aetna International, said: “The outbreak of a global pandemic has heightened employee expectations. Organisations across the globe are stepping up their health and wellness benefits efforts. Yet it’s clear that more needs to be done given the volatile, unpredictable and complex state of the world.”

Employers Failing On Staff Wellbeing

Meanwhile, a new survey by health cash plan provider Health Shield has revealed that almost one in two employers are failing to adequately address issues of staff wellbeing.

According to the social media poll of 3,528 individuals, 48% of employers have failed to gain employee insights on health, wealth and happiness. Of those that have, almost one in five (16.5%) do so annually, suggesting there has been little attempt to see how employee wellbeing in the UK has been impacted by moving in and out of lockdown.

Promisingly, almost two thirds (61%) of employers say that communication of benefits and wellbeing programmes will be a top priority for them this year, particularly when it comes to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), wellbeing apps and online mental health services.

Jennie Doyle, head of marketing at Health Shield, said: “These results suggest that many employers are still taking a traditional one-size-fits-all, top down and disjointed approach to benefit and wellbeing programme communication, if they’re communicating at all... Considering wellbeing provides the foundation for employee engagement, this hit and miss approach is a concern, especially during the current economic downturn.”

Providing The Right Benefits

Are the staff benefits you provide still in the best interests of your employees? Do you even know what your employees really want right now? Maybe it’s time you conducted a review and see how relevant your offerings still are. We are here to help.

Author: Tom Pullinger - Independent Healthcare & Protection Manager