Blog - Wellbeing 2021 Research
Benefits crucial in wellbeing delivery
The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the health and wellbeing of employees. Results from our survey “Wellbeing in 2021: Global Mobility’s next big challenge” revealed 92% of respondents agreed that wellbeing was placed at the forefront of HR strategy in the last 12 months.
Our research revealed cost (24%) as the largest barrier employers faced in developing a wellbeing strategy. This seems to imply that additional money must be spent to achieve an effective wellbeing response, but that need not be the case if employers make use of what is already in their grasp.
Employee benefit plans are central to the delivery of wellbeing programmes. Employers’ interests are aligned with the interests of their insurer or carrier – neither want a claim to ensue. Both want to secure positive long-term health outcomes for the workforce.
Employers can access a whole host of wellbeing benefits through their existing benefits package. The most common of these is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which will often sit at the heart of wellbeing. It offers assistance to employees that need to talk to someone about their state of mind, or just get general advice around mental and physical wellbeing. This can be embedded in Group Life or Group Income Protection plans and can often be extended to include those not covered by the plan. Private Medical Insurance will deliver a range of both preventative and clinical solutions to problems that arise. Early intervention can play a key role in positive outcomes for employees.
Employers are encouraged to look into their existing plans. You will often find access to a variety of resources including wellbeing apps, fitness coaches, health engagement platforms, resilience programmes, second opinion services and new mother support. If you don’t have access to these, employers need to review their plans to see why they are missing out.
Employee benefits can provide a framework for wellbeing strategy, but the implementation will not fall into place on its own. Management buy-in and time commitment (both at 22%) will be critical for its success as indicated in our research.
If there was ever a time to look at a wellbeing strategy, it is now. Any perceived lack of engagement with employee health will be challenged in the current landscape, and if Global Mobility and HR can generate that debate and look within the existing employee benefits to generate the answers, then why would any company refuse?
To review your existing employee benefits with a local WBN member, contact me at [email protected].