Mental health and wellness benefits have become a focus for employees post-pandemic. Employees are comparing their current mental health and wellness benefits to the benefits offered at prospective employers.
In a recent episode on the AwesomeOffice.com podcast, Life is Good founder Bert Jacobs talked about how focusing on things like employee wellbeing has been an under-acknowledged business benefit for organizations.
Jacobs says focusing on employee wellbeing and purpose is “a smart strategy for building a strong business…The organization only hurts themselves if they’re not working in the best interest of everybody at their organization.”
Tim Allen, CEO of Care.com, writes in an article from Harvard Business Review, “I’m encouraged to see that companies are responding. They’ve recognized that employee benefits can be life-changing for their workforce, especially those centered around care, flexibility, and mental health. In conversations I’ve had with business leaders, many have told me that, in order to better support their employees and the business, they plan to revise their benefit strategies.”
A new survey by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), found the majority of employers point to rising stress and burnout as the top wellbeing and mental health concern.
The WTW survey proposes that to improve employees’ wellbeing, employers should focus on listening and effective communication. According to the survey, “Among those who report that their mental/emotional health improved during the pandemic, 71% say that their employer listened to how they want to be supported and 75% say that their employer communicated effectively during the pandemic.”
The survey also showed the importance of companies giving employees the flexibility to take wellness days, calling it a “key benefit employees seek to improve their social and emotional wellbeing.” More specifically, over half of women, employees earning under $100,000, and older workers favored this benefit. “Wellness days can be integrated into overall time off and leave strategy,” WTW suggests. “Another preferred benefit in this area is access to counselors and mental health professionals.”
With the pressing need for better mental health and wellness initiatives to retain workers, employers need to get creative and continue to build up their people.