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Over half of employers don’t provide an actively managed Health & Wellbeing programme

Vested, the Workplace Savings & Benefits consultancy of Embark Group, has today published findings from its Health & Wellbeing Survey, which reveals that 56% of respondents don’t have an actively managed health & wellbeing programme. Despite this, the survey, undertaken in collaboration with employee wellbeing specialists Healthy Performance, found that employers are increasingly recognising the importance of mental wellbeing, with over three quarters (77%) indicating they would consider, or have actively considered, increasing support for staff who show symptoms of stress.

Among the 56% of companies without an actively managed programme, over a third of respondents (36%) have nothing in place at all, while 20% have started to build their offering but are aware it requires further development. The most popular health & wellbeing benefits provided by the respondents were: cycle to work schemes (13%), employee assistance programmes (13%), private medical insurance (11%) and health screening (11%). Nearly half (43%) of the organisations offered three or more benefits to their employees.

Employers are more proactive in reviewing their health and wellbeing programmes, with 14% reviewing activities every 6 months and 47% looking at it once a year. Despite this, 1 in 5 (21%) respondents currently never look at the effectiveness of the products within their health & wellbeing programmes.

As employers look to establish health & wellbeing programmes, and those with existing schemes seek to develop them, Vested and Healthy Performance are collaborating to save organisations money, improve coverage and introduce better preventative support. Vested provide general health & wellbeing reviews for organisations and advisory services in relation to benefit offerings, and Healthy Performance offer online educational tools and preventative services.

Howard Finch, Vested Managing Director, commented:

“Over the coming years, we would expect to see a continued growth in the number of actively managed programmes, as employers increasingly recognise the benefits for their staff and their business. It’s promising that the majority of employers that do offer these types of programmes are regularly reviewing their approach. We would encourage all companies to review their programmes once a year at the very least. And, most importantly, to engage with staff to ensure that programmes actually meet their needs. The result will be far higher usage, engagement and, ultimately, satisfaction levels.”

The survey revealed that occupational health services were offered by only 1% of respondents. However, the survey found that 9% were intending on introducing these services in the next 12 months. And, recognition of the importance of mental wellbeing is clearly growing, with over half (51%) of employers having already considered increasing the level of support for staff suffering from stress in 2019. A further 26% of respondents stated that although they hadn’t considered it previously, they would consider taking action in the future.

Wayne Campbell, Healthy Performance Managing Director, commented:

“Many employers struggle to identify the key signs of stress until it is too late, and they fail to identify how significant a risk it is to the business. We find that line managers and supervisors are not sufficiently trained to assist in this area so it typically falls to the HR team, which may be undertrained or resourced to deal with these issues effectively. Stress remains the number one reason for both short and longer-term employee absence and this is an area we recommend organisations focus on in 2020.”

The survey was undertaken in August 2019 with 100 participating companies across a range of sectors, including professional services, construction, healthcare and retail.

Download the Health & Wellbeing report

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