Businesses are becoming wiser to the fact that employee health and wellbeing is more than just a one-off project. It’s not a job that can be ticked off on a list of to-dos. In reality, it needs to be treated as an important part of company culture.
This is where the term ‘Corporate Wellbeing’ comes in. It describes the strategic approach through which companies look after their hard-working employees – not just through a single activity, but in a variety of ways and on an ongoing basis.
A Corporate Wellbeing strategy should consist of the following three pillars:
- Physical wellbeing
- Mental wellbeing
- Financial wellbeing
In this article, we reveal how these pillars interlink and examine current trends from both the business and employee perspectives.
If you need professional assistance in setting up the best Corporate Wellbeing strategy for your company, contact our expert team at Engage Health Group +44 (0)1273 974419. We’re happy to answer any queries you may have.
What is Corporate Wellbeing?
Corporate Wellbeing is an employee support strategy that is designed to assist the health and wellbeing of team members. It can encompass a wide range of tools and activities which, together, are designed to ensure wellbeing needs are successfully met.
The growth of Corporate Wellbeing reflects the realisation that employers have an important role to play in improving the wellbeing of their staff. Full-time employees spend much of their day – and week – at work. Therefore, their workplace experiences (positive and negative) can have a major bearing on their general wellbeing.
As mentioned, there are three main pillars of wellbeing that employers need to target to ensure their staff are being looked after:
Once each of these pillars is accounted for, businesses can build a work culture of wellness. The result? Improved health and happiness, better productivity, and increased staff retention.
How are the three pillars are linked?
Physical, mental, and financial wellbeing are all inextricably linked. The state of an employee’s mental health will affect their mental wellbeing – and vice versa. Meanwhile, an individual’s financial state is likely to affect their mental, or indeed, physical health. If one element is out of kilter, then all-round wellbeing can suffer.
These interconnections have been most obvious during the time of Covid. Many of us have experienced a heightened sense of vulnerability. Both mental health and physical wellness have become a well-talked about subject.
Mental wellbeing remains the most common focus of corporate wellbeing initiatives. According to a report by Deloitte:
* 76% of employers have a defined strategy for emotional/mental wellbeing
* 61% have a defined strategy for physical initiatives
* 41% have a strategy for financial wellbeing
Mental health and financial issues are particularly linked – over 1.5 million in England alone are experiencing both debt and mental health problems according to The Money and Mental Health Institute. Stress and anxiety have a strong relationship to financial issues, made even more apparent since the onset of the pandemic and the economic uncertainty it’s unleashed.
For these reasons, the most forward-thinking organisations will have in place wellbeing strategies that encompass all three pillars, thereby providing a well-rounded programme to their staff.
Why should companies address physical, mental, and financial wellbeing?
Offering corporate wellbeing to employees is no longer deemed as an added perk based on top-line statistics. The majority of employers now agree that they are responsible for influencing employee health and changing behaviours! It’s essential for employers to build healthy and supportive workplaces to truly fulfil their duty of care to staff. Success requires a proactive approach.
The impact of a corporate wellbeing programme that successfully targets all three pillars results in:
- Improved employee morale & engagement
- A healthier & more inclusive culture
- Lower staff sickness & absence
- Reduced work-related stress
- Improved staff retention
- Improved productivity
- Enhanced brand reputation
Offering a range of benefits and choices is the only way to guarantee that each employee receives benefits that they want and need.
It’s a win-win situation; employers will benefit from reduced presenteeism (less people working while sick), absenteeism, increased productivity, and better business results! For every £1 spent on supporting employee mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment, according to Deloitte. The employee will themselves benefit from improved health, greater work-life balance, feeling of protection whilst they are at work – just a few positive outcomes.
What do employees want from Corporate Wellbeing?
As we continue to adapt to a pandemic world, so must employers and their corporate wellbeing strategies. In fact, 91% think that employee expectations are changing.
A 2021 survey by Hooray Health & Protection asked workers to choose their top three most desired benefits. These were the most popular choices:
- 57% health insurance
- 45% life insurance
- 41% extra holiday entitlement
- 35% generous pension scheme
- 28% retail leisure discounts
These statistics reveal an emphasis still on physical health, most likely due to the presence of Covid-19 and a heightened awareness of mortality and illness. However, mental health is still a priority to employees and has become even more so since the pandemic.
When asked which benefits would best assist their mental wellbeing, these were the top five:
- 57% access to mental health services
- 49% flexible working
- 38% extra holiday entitlement
- 20% a good pension scheme
- 20% free/discounted gym membership
The desire for access to formal mental health support shows that professional assistance is highly valued.
Are you looking to build a Corporate Wellbeing plan that covers all aspects of your employees’ needs? Get expert advice from the specialists at Engage. We help employers understand the employee benefits and health market by guiding you through the process step-by-step. Put your questions to us using the chat feature in the bottom right or call +44 (0)1273 974419.
What can employers do to help build Corporate Wellbeing?
When developing a Corporate Wellbeing strategy, the aim should be to actively listen to staff members in order to offer personalised benefits that will best fit their needs. This is becoming more common in the workplace with 78% of staff saying their employer has actively sought out their feedback, according to Hooray Health & Protection.
Employers need to recognise the need to respond to the changing expectations of employees. And be willing to adapt when they do change!
Ways that employers can help:
- Measure wellbeing e.g., tracking absences, retention rates, work performance, surveys
- Focus on building a positive work culture by making employees feel they are individually contributing
- Promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible or hybrid working arrangements if convenient
- Reduce direct healthcare costs through Group Health Insurance schemes
- Establish support networks for staff e.g., mental health counselling, virtual GP, Mental Health First Aid Training
The 2020 CIPD Health and Wellbeing report reveal which areas of wellbeing employers are prioritising:
- 80% Mental Health
- 71% Good Work
- 71% Collective/Social Relationships
- 68% Physical Health
- 66% Values/Principles
- 62% Personal Growth
- 53% Good Lifestyle Choices
- 43% Financial Wellbeing
These figures highlight how more and more employers are recognising the importance of having a well-rounded Corporate Wellbeing plan.
Has the current climate of Covid-19 changed the face of Corporate Wellbeing?
Mental health issues have increased, physical activity has declined due to isolation and lockdowns, and delays to medical treatments have become more common. Employers now must think beyond only offering salary and career growth opportunities.
Nurturing a resilient and adaptable workforce should remain a priority while employees continue to be tested in the aftermath of the pandemic. A heightened demand for support is unlikely to dissipate as various challenges – economic and social – are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
But it’s not all downbeat news. An increasingly positive and mutually beneficial relationship between company and employee is a strong foundation on which everyone can prosper. If you haven’t developed a corporate wellness plan, now’s a good time to start.
If you need help with developing a Corporate Wellbeing strategy that best fits you and your employees, the team at Engage Health Group are here to help. Learn more about how we help deliver employee benefits schemes here.