As the lines between work and life are blurred by the acceleration to a hybrid model of working, many of our customers are really starting to rethink their reward programmes to include end-to-end wellbeing strategies that incorporate employee benefits.
The case for prioritising mental health
As a nation, we have struggled with our mental health over the last 14 months. Figures from mental health charity MIND show that half of Britons with no pre-existing conditions reported a decline in their mental health last year.[ii]
That’s bad news for employers when you consider that work-related stress, depression, and anxiety were already the main causes of employee absence prior to the pandemic. According to the Health & Safety Executive, 17.9 million working days were lost due to these mental health issues alone in 2019/20.[iii]
To complicate matters further, employers are also likely to see a raft of new mental health issues emerging – such as post-lockdown anxiety – as the world returns to normal.
From this point forwards, it’s going to be even more important to promote a culture of self-care, and identify any potential “hot spots” early by gathering regular insights into how your workforce is feeling.
Taking steps to protect your employees’ mental health is not just important to ensure productivity. Companies also have a legal duty to prevent workers suffering from excessive work-related stress by conducting risk assessments and taking the necessary action based on the results.
The benefits of a joined-up approach
The first step towards achieving an effective and integrated wellbeing strategy is to make it truly people-centric by staying in regular contact with your employees. Only once you recognise the problems they are facing can you start to work out how to “treat” them.
Using this business intelligence, we are able to work in collaboration with our customers to help design and provide strategic, targeted wellbeing programmes that incorporate impactful employee benefits and demonstrate return on investment.
Insights – from a variety of sources – are undoubtedly the way forward and the route to productivity and profitability. This includes geodemographic tools such as EQ’s Amplify Insight, which combines actual benefit usage data with data from external sources such as the Office for National Statistics, with a view to helping employers better design and communicate benefit and wellbeing programmes.