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Survey provides insight into the priorities companies place on employee wellbeing

You would think that every company would have programs, strategies, objectives and goals already in place to take the best possible care of its most important asset: its employees.

You might be surprised by this reality check.

According to the Willis Towers Watson 2021 Wellbeing Diagnostic Survey released today, although nearly all companies identified Burnout as a threat to their workers:

  • Less than half (48%) had employee wellness programs.
  • Only 26% had adopted and articulated a worker wellness strategy with objectives and goals for each program.
  • Only 14% had effectively communicated the strategy and value proposition behind their programs and delivered on their promises.

The survey, which was conducted by the risk management firm in October, has a margin of error of +/- 5%.

The biggest surprise of the survey

Regina Ihrke is the Senior Director of Health and Benefits for Watson Towers Watson. She said the biggest surprise of the survey “is really where most employers see where they are today in wellness strategy and where they want to be in three years.

“Today, 48% of employers believe they have a variety of wellness programs, but no formally articulated strategy. Within three years, 73% of employers believe they will have a wellness strategy that will be differentiated to compete for talent and meet a wide variety of needs.

Maybe expansion Big resignation and the difficulties faced by business leaders in recruiting replacements will encourage employers to accelerate the implementation of their well-being programs.

A new priority for employers

Ihrke observed that “since the pandemic, we’ve definitely seen wellness have a whole new priority for employers that we expected to see emerge pre-pandemic, but the pandemic has really accelerated the need for more at a faster pace. fast.

“However, when we look at what priorities employers will focus on from the survey, they are very focused on moving benefits and programs across the four pillars, physical, emotional, financial and social along with emotional. and finance at the forefront of the areas to be prioritized. “, she noted.

A closer look at the survey results

An in-depth analysis of other survey results yields important insights into respondents’ intentions, plans and priorities for worker well-being.

Financial well-being

  • One-third of those who responded to the survey (34%) were planning or considering setting goals and following financial wellness programs at crucial financial decision points such as new family, young children and retirement. first house.
  • Only two in ten (18%) did so when the survey was conducted.

High cost cases

  • More than a quarter of respondents (27%) were planning or considering programs that target specific conditions for high-cost cases such as maternity, diabetes and depression.
  • Almost two in three (64%) offered these programs.

Employee Assistance Programs

  • Four in 10 respondents (39%) were planning or considering redesigning their employee assistance program, including increasing visit limits and expanding services.
  • Forty-two percent redesigned their programs in 2021.

physical well-being

  • More than a quarter of respondents (27%) were planning or considering programs that target specific conditions for high-cost cases such as maternity, diabetes and depression.
  • Almost two in three (64%) offered these programs.

Mobile app

  • One in four respondents (25%) planned or considered promoting the use of mobile apps for physical wellbeing.
  • Two in three (65%) had suggested the apps.

Advice for entrepreneurs

Ihrke of Watson Towers Watson said: “As levels of stress and burnout continue to rise amid the ongoing pandemic, employers are placing the overall well-being of their employees at the top of the list.

Develop strategies and articulate

“Organizations that most effectively move the needle are those that develop a holistic strategy that supports all aspects of employee wellbeing. It is also important to articulate this strategy to employees, provide training to managers and measure effectiveness,” she observed.

A differentiator

“As we approach 2022, employers struggling with recruitment and retention will look to make their wellness programs a differentiator to attract and engage top talent. For years, employers have used financial rewards to encourage employees to take action for their own well-being.

“However, because these incentives have often failed to change employee behavior, employers are looking for new avenues to engage and [incentivize] employees to take charge of their own well-being,” concluded Ihrke.