As employees grow more concerned about their physical and mental health, they gravitate to businesses that share their priorities and reward employers who help.
Six of 10 employees say they will consider wellness benefits in choosing their next job, and 66% report feeling better about their employer after using a benefit, according to Paychex.
Additionally, research from Aon plc shows that improving employee well-being factors can enhance company performance by 11 to 55 percent. Companies performed better when they rated higher in factors like culture and climate of well-being, and related initiatives and funding. They also had better scores in areas such as workforce resilience, agility and belonging.
Employee Well-Being Impacts Performance
Aon surveyed more than 1,100 organizations, finding that employers are increasingly prioritizing well-being programs, in both recognizing the issue and aiming to take action. Well-being programs balance the resources, opportunities and commitment needed to achieve optimal health, resilience and sustainability for the individual, team, leadership, organization and community, Aon noted.
Aon also found that:
- Globally, 43 percent of companies say they have increased their investment in well-being, with about half of companies allocating two to five percent of their benefits funding toward well-being.
- Employee well-being programs have risen in effectiveness since 2020, with 42% rating their programs as exceptional or above average — an increase from 22% in the 2020 report.
- 80% of employers say well-being is fully or partially integrated into their overall business and talent strategy, an increase of 13 percent over 2020.
Well-being is as important to organizations as ever. “How an organization prioritizes and integrates well-being as a part of its business strategy can have a profound impact on employee engagement, talent acquisition and retention, and overall business results,” according to Aon.
With an eye on well-being and employee wellness, three-quarters of large companies say that improving access to behavioral health care will be a priority over the next few years, including through means such as expanding employee assistance programs and adding virtual behavioral health care options, according to Mercer.
Supporting employee mental health is key to strengthening workplace well-being. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that employees with high levels of stress are more likely to miss work or to show lower engagement and commitment while at work, which can negatively affect an organization’s bottom line.
Unfortunately, 76% of U.S. workers have reported at least one symptom of a mental health condition and 84% of all employees said their workplace conditions had contributed to at least one mental health challenge. Thus, it probably is not a coincidence that 40% of business leaders say they have experienced decreased revenue due to workplace mental health issues and 39% say they have had profitability decrease.
Supporting Workplace Wellness
Whereas common risks to mental health at work include factors like excessive workloads or an intense work pace, employers can protect and promote wellness through efforts like stress-management training or opportunities for physical leisure activities, the World Health Organization (WHO) notes. WHO also suggests embedding mental health into occupational safety and health systems.
Additional steps for supporting employees’ psychological well-being for maximum return, according to the American Psychological Association, may include:
- Equipping managers and supervisors to promote well-being resources offered through employee assistance programs;
- Offering mental health training to employees; and
- Surveying employees before launching wellness programs and measuring progress after implementation.
Ultimately, mental well-being is a talent management issue that requires time, money and effort. “The steps you take to better support your employees at work can empower them to thrive in other areas of their lives, thus ensuring the long-term health and success of your employees and your organization,” the American Psychological Association notes.
Furthermore, employers can support employee well-being by offering wellness benefits — such as access to professional mental health assessments. Employees can use assessments to identify issues and get proper care to ensure the best possible outcomes. Getting assessment results quickly and scheduling first treatments promptly are particularly helpful in improving mental health.
Mentavi Health, for example, offers 24/7 access to asynchronous assessments online from anywhere. A network of licensed psychologists evaluates assessments across all 50 states, and thousands of healthcare providers nationwide have accepted and provided treatment based on its assessments. Its assessment currently screens for ADHD, anxiety, and depression, and will soon include other conditions like OCD and binge eating disorder.
Employees want to work where their well-being matters and mental health benefits are an essential component. Employers can support these priorities by investing in well-being programs and wellness initiatives — and they may also boost the bottom line in doing so.