Financial and Mental Health: Employees Want More Employer Assistance

Nov 26, 2019
| Michael Altiero

Employee wellness has been one of the most talked about workplace trends in recent years. And though overall wellness is important, employees and employers alike have put an even greater emphasis on two types of wellbeing – financial wellness and mental health.

Despite the increased awareness, there still appears to be more that employers can do to help employees better address mental and financial health.

A new study from The National Business Group on Health explored this in more detail and found that workers want more assistance from their employer with wellness efforts.

Financial and Mental Health at Work

Conducted at the end of 2018, The National Business Group on Health/Optum Workplace Well-Being and the Employee Experience Survey was taken by 2,210 employees.

Survey data showed that 32% of employees say financial health is the one area of wellness that they want employers to better address today. Meanwhile, 27% said they want more support around mental health and wellness.

Looking specifically at financial wellness, healthcare costs (34%) and housing costs (26%) were the top two areas workers said they would like their employers' help with.

For mental health, around 40% said they want help with burnout caused at work and about 25% said that want assistance with improving sleeping habits.

The Role of Workplace Communities

Next, the survey explored the vital role of workplace communities on overall wellness and wellbeing. 59% of employees whose workplace communities support wellness initiatives reported higher wellbeing levels.

Here are a few specific examples of healthy features that impact a workplace community and have excellent/very good overall wellness:
  • Access to convenient healthcare – 57% report excellent/very good wellness
  • Sidewalks – 47% report excellent/very good wellness
  • Nearby fitness and recreation centers – 36% report excellent/very good wellness
  • Restaurants with healthy options – 34% report excellent/very good wellness
  • Designated bike paths and lanes – 27% report excellent/very good wellness

The survey also highlights that employers who invest in multiple areas of wellbeing see the highest levels of employee wellness. When employers invest in 4 to 5 wellness dimensions, 58% of employees say their overall wellness was excellent or very good.

Meanwhile, it’s only 43% for employers that support just 1 to 3 dimensions.

It’s also worth noting that at employers who support 4 to 5 wellbeing dimensions, around 90% of employees say their job performance is excellent and 77% have an excellent or very good impression of the company they work for.

Lastly, 57% would recommend their employer to their network and former colleagues, which can be a major boost to recruiting efforts for employers in today’s competitive talent market.

Employers That Exceed Employee Expectations Can Overcome Recruiting and Retention Challenges

Employees today face a wide-range of challenges that can not only impact their performance at work, but also their personal lives. Employers who actively look to improve all areas of employee wellness and wellbeing not only help their workforce, but also make their company an attractive place to work – boosting recruiting and retention efforts.

With employee wellness only growing in importance, employers of all sizes should seek resources to help employees improve their overall wellbeing.

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