MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Almost Half of Employers Haven’t Asked Employees How They’re Doing

A social media poll by Health Shield friendly society has revealed that many employers are still failing to keep on top of employee wellbeing as the UK goes in and out of lockdowns.

The results also suggest that employee awareness and understanding of benefits and wellbeing services is low. Yet, when employees are aware of the support available via their employer it seems valued.

The poll, carried out across three dates in September 2020, and with an average response rate of 3,528 individuals per question (Twitter) found that.

  • 48% of employees said their employer hasn’t gained their views on their health, wealth, happiness and/or any concerns.
  • 5% of those employers that do ask about employee wellbeing only do it via a once-a-year survey.
  • 55% said they’re not fully aware of the employee benefit and wellbeing services to which they’re entitled via their employer.
  • Of those that were aware of the support available (30%), over half (55%) said they would miss these benefits and services if they were gone.

These results come at a time when employee wellbeing is cited as a top leadership priority in PwC’s 2020 CEO Panel Survey. This found that found that 9 in 10 CEOs believe wellbeing initiatives are key to driving long-term changes to their business model.

In line with this, according to Willis Towers Watson’s May 2020 Employer Study, almost two thirds (61%) of employers think that communication of benefits and wellbeing programmes will be a top priority this year. In particular with relation to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs), online mental health services and wellbeing apps.

Jennie Doyle, Head of Marketing at Health Shield, commented: “These results suggest that many employers are still taking a traditional one-size-fits-all, top down and disjointed approach to benefit and wellbeing programme communication, if they’re communicating at all. Considering wellbeing provides the foundation for employee engagement, this hit and miss approach is a concern, especially during the current economic downturn.

“It’s vital that employers gather the employee insights they need – through actually talking to employees via various means, from line manager meetings through to regular physical, mental and financial wellbeing assessments available via various platforms. Through such insights, employers can better tailor integrated care pathways. They can also communicate in such a way that helps individuals understand relevance. It’s this that will ensure usage and value; in turn bringing advantages to people and to business.”