Research released today by Towergate Health & Protection reveals the changing concerns of employers in today’s world. Among companies of all sizes across the UK, 54% stated that of the four pillars of health and wellbeing, the mental health of their staff is the area about which they are now most concerned.

Areas where employers are more concerned about their employees:

Mental health is currently topping the list of employers’ worries about their staff. To some extent this is a good thing as it means that mental health has moved up the agenda, that it is recognised as a very real concern and that employers are taking notice of its impact. However, it is clearly not positive that mental health is a growing issue, so this now needs to be met with the appropriate response from employers to manage and improve mental health in the workplace.

The research goes on to show that employees also now have higher expectations of workplace health and wellbeing. Interestingly, it is financial health where employees most want support, followed by mental health.

Areas where employee expectations for more support have grown:  

The different pillars of health and wellbeing are often intertwined. Financial health will impact mental health; mental health affects physical health and so on. The fact that both employers and employees put financial and mental health at the top of the list suggests that these two are particularly impactful on each other in current times. Employers should consider a targeted response to address the issues, such as offering access to counselling, or to budgeting advice.

Wellbeing support must match needs and expectations

Towergate Health & Protection then looked at which support had actually increased and whether it was in line with the concerns and expectations of employees. It found that the increase in support did not match with the level of concern, or with employees’ expectations of support for their different areas of health.

Areas where support has increased from employers:

It is vital that employers consult their staff regularly to see how their needs are changing regarding health and wellbeing. Requirements are not static and the support needs to closely match the concerns. Employers should consider a holistic approach to health and wellbeing support, giving credence to each of the four pillars: mental, financial, physical, and social health. A workforce that feels unsupported will be less productive and less loyal.

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