"It is vital that employers consult their staff regularly to see how their needs are changing regarding health and wellbeing… A workforce that feels unsupported will be less productive and less loyal."
- Debra Clark, Towergate Health & Protection head of specialist consulting
Research conducted among companies of all sizes across the UK has revealed that employers are most concerned about employee mental health (54%), followed by financial health (48%), physical health (34%) and social health (29%).
Debra Clark notes that "to some extent this is a good thing as it means that mental health has moved up the agenda…however, it is clearly not positive that mental health is a growing issue." Clark highlighted that "this needs to be met with the appropriate response from employers to manage and improve mental health in the workplace."
Furthermore, Towergate Health & Protection’s research found that employees have higher workplace health and wellbeing expectations. According to employees, financial health (48%) was the most important to employees, followed by mental health (42%), social health (34%) and physical health (34%).
Debra Clark felt that since the different pillars of health and wellbeing are often intertwined, "financial health will impact mental health; mental health affects physical health and so on." Noting that both employers and employees put financial and mental health at the top of the list, Clark felt these two were "particularly impactful on each other in current times."
"Employers should consider a targeted response to address the issues, such as offering access to counselling, or to budgeting advice," Clark continued.
Looking at what support has increased, Towergate Health & Protection found that mental health was the area of support that had increased the most, followed by financial health (36%), social health (35%) and physical health (31%).
"Requirements are not static and the support needs to closely match the concerns…employers should consider a holistic approach to health and wellbeing support, giving credence to each of the four pillars: mental, financial, physical, and social health," Debra Clark concluded.