How to ensure you are offering the right benefits for your workforce
The majority of employees believe their employers are responsible for ensuring their overall wellbeing, and welcome help to stay healthy. All companies should be concerned with the health and wellbeing of their employees; not just because of the effect on productivity, but because it’s just the right thing to do.
Providing the appropriate financial, physical and mental wellbeing solutions for the needs of a multi-generational workforce can be a significant challenge. Before approaching the Board for their backing, both from a buy-in and financial perspective, it’s important to understand first-hand what employees would benefit from.
Data is King
Employees’ needs have never been uniform, and with the rise of less traditional employment contracts, workplace diversity and geographically dispersed workforces, meeting employee needs has become a greater hurdle than ever. HR analytics can give HR department’s instant insights into what a workforce wants and uses, and when. HR analytics gathers collective data – allowing HR to see which benefits are popular and helps them work out why.
At Personal Group, we help HR departments improve their employees financial, physical and mental wellbeing through the responsible use of our platform’s usage data. This can be used to highlight benefits and services which most benefit their staff.
Male Mental Health
Our recent EAP data has revealed that calls from male employees seeking mental health support have increased by 84% (May 2018 versus April 2019), whereas there was only a 6% increase in calls from female employees over the same period.
Whilst this could be seen as a negative indicator of worsening mental health amongst male employees in the UK, the increase in men seeking mental health support could also be viewed as a positive indicator of a shift in both the awareness and acknowledgement of male mental health struggles.
The risks to men’s overall health, mental and physical, are compounded further by their reluctance to seek help. Research shows that, as well as being less likely than women to seek help for a mental health problem, they are less likely to visit a GP, attend an NHS health check, or visit a pharmacy.
Cover all Bases
While data direct from your employees is always the best option, outside data sources are also useful when planning a truly all-inclusive wellbeing offering.
Female Financial Wellbeing
A recent CII report has revealed that, in general, women appear to be struggling with their financial wellbeing. It seems that once women exit the workforce, they find themselves far less finically stable than their male counterparts. It’s possible that this is when the realities of the gender pay gap come into play. A new report from HSBC reveals that half of working-age women across the world fear they will not be able to afford basics such as food and heating during their retirement.
In an interview with the Guardian in 2017, Jo Habib, who established the West Yorkshire Charities Board before retiring in 2013, stated that: ‘I’ve come to think that money is the most divisive aspect of retirement. When you’re working, you can have a quite different income from somebody else but you’re still equal. But once you retire, the difference between those who have big pensions and those who have small ones divides people who have previously been friends.’
Interestingly, this seems to be an issue more prominent for women, with 60% of working age women admitting to worrying about being unable to pay for their own care or medical bills in retirement, compared to 55% of working-age men (HSBC, 2018).
Ensuring that your wellbeing offering contains mental health assistance catered towards men and financial wellbeing initiatives aimed at women is a good starting point, but ultimately, your workforce needs a personalised programme tailored to their own individual needs.
It all boils down to data. Get as much as you can from wherever you can and make an informed decision about what issues are most affecting your workforce now and what is likely to affect them in the future.