The power of employee benefits for mental and physical wellness

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Building a healthy workforce is key to the success of any business, no matter what size or shape it is. But just how many employers offer the type of benefits that really support the mental and physical wellness of their people?

Not enough it would seem. In a recent survey, only 18%[1] of workers thought their company benefits programme supported their mental wellbeing. And yet 40%[2] thought this was something they’d find helpful.

Although most people don’t associate wellness benefits as something they would be interested in, the same survey also showed that employees are interested in programmes such as Employee Assistance (54%) and Stress Management (58%)[3].

Falling behind

So why is there such a mismatch between what employers are offering and what employees want? Without doubt, there are huge pressures on employers. When it comes to spending on healthcare, the UK is ranked 13th[4] by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  Just 9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) goes towards keeping us fit and healthy.

On top of this, employers report a 55%[5] increase in the number of stress or mental health related illnesses they’re seeing. And with an ageing workforce, long-term conditions are becoming much more prevalent.

A growing problem

Employers will need to tackle these issues before they spiral out of control. In the financial services industry alone, 67%[6] of employees said they’d consider leaving their job in the next 12 months if stress levels didn’t improve, and over half of employees say work has a detrimental impact on their wellbeing[7].

And yet, only 35% of employees[8] who have access to health programmes actually use it, which shows not only that employers should invest in health benefits, but also promote them to their staff.

Finding a solution

According to the recent survey, 87% of employees[9] said wellness programmes had a positive impact on their health. The more you can do to help your employees stay healthy and stress free, the better it will be for your business.  A fit and happy workforce means less absence, increased productivity and a boost to your profits.

To find out more about how you can promote physical and mental wellness throughout your business, take a look at this useful infographic, or contact your usual Jelf consultant.

The power of employee benefits for mental and physical wellness

[1] http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/work-affecting-mental-physical-financial-health-of-employees
[2]
http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/work-affecting-mental-physical-financial-health-of-employees
[3] MetLife UK Employee Benefits Trends Survey, 2017
[4] http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-data.htm
[5] Aon Employee Benefits & Trends Survey 2016
[6] MetLife UK Employee Benefit Trends Study , 2017
[7] http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/work-affecting-mental-physical-financial-health-of-employees
[8] MetLife UK Employee Benefit Trends Study , 2017
[9] MetLife UK Employee Benefit Trends Study , 2017

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About the author

Jo Elphick is Head of Marketing at MetLife in the UK.  She has nearly 20 years’ experience in employee benefits and is a big believer in the positive impact benefits can have for companies and the individuals that work in them.  In her role at MetLife she oversees the Marketing for all lines of the UK business, which as well as employee benefits includes individual protection and retirement and savings.