Health & Wellness Matters: Helping Employers Provide The Benefits Their Staff Truly Need

Why employers need to stay in touch with changing attitudes towards health and wellbeing in the wake of Covid19.

With the UK Covid death toll now at more than 100,000 and daily fatalities in January averaging more than 1,000, more people than ever -- including younger individuals -- are thinking about their mortality. It’s a reality that employers would do well to take note of when considering benefits options, and shape their offerings accordingly.

Despite vaccines offering some hope and the UK administering more than 10 million doses to date, the effects of Covid -- especially in terms of how people view their health -- are going to be long lasting.

Let’s also not forget that many people are still furloughed or working from home. This by itself is unusual and will be giving individuals even more to think about, much of which will come back to the pandemic, personal health and what they can do going forward to safeguard their and their family’s lives.

For employers, the entire situation provides plenty of food for thought, especially when it comes to benefits offerings. It goes without saying that health and wellbeing-related employee benefits can no longer be an afterthought; they need to be at the forefront of employer agenda's.

Now is the perfect time for organisations to review their current employee benefit offerings and tailor their packages to better support the health and wellbeing of their employees. 

Here are three factors for employers to consider when reviewing their employee benefits offering:

1. Health and wellbeing benefits drive better employee health behaviours

When an employer offers health and wellbeing benefits to their employees, the latter naturally become more interested in adopting healthier behaviours in most areas of their lives. This leads to better health and wellbeing outcomes, which improves productivity, reduces presenteeism and sickness absence.

2. Employee benefits should probably be extended to cover dependents

While employees are obviously concerned about their own health and wellbeing, their family's health and wellbeing is also very important. By recognising that an employee’s health and wellbeing is impacted by their family’s, by extending employee benefits to cover dependents, employers can really add value, as well as emphasise how much they care.

3. Financial peace of mind boosts health and wellbeing

Finally, the role of financial protection should not be overlooked. Being furloughed, working reduced hours and reading in the media about how poorly many organisations are faring right now can all negatively impact employee health and wellbeing.

Employers can help alleviate some of this worry by providing benefits that are designed to safeguard an employee’s finances in the event that they cannot work. Group Risk products, such as Group Income Protection, Group Critical Illness and Death in Service can all provide some much-needed peace of mind for employees.

Choosing the right benefits

If you haven’t reviewed the benefits you are offering to your employees, there has never been a better time than now. Covid has caused individuals to think differently about their health and wellbeing, and forward-thinking employers will be the ones that benefit the most from tweaking their employee benefits offering to the needs of their staff. 

Reach out today and see how we can help you implement benefits that are right for you and your employees.

Author: Alex Tate - Healthcare & Protection Adviser