Despite many hoping that 2022 would mark the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and we could draw a line under the events of the past c. two years, new coronavirus variants seem to have other ideas. With this in mind, supporting employee health and wellbeing should be a top priority (if it’s not already) for organisations as this year continues to unfold and the role of group risk products should not be underestimated in fulfilling this mission.
Despite many hoping that 2022 would mark the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and we could draw a line under the events of the past c. two years, new coronavirus variants seem to have other ideas.
With this in mind, supporting employee health and wellbeing should be a top priority (if it’s not already) for organisations as this year continues to unfold and the role of group risk products should not be underestimated in fulfilling this mission.
[Related reading: Supporting Employee Health & Wellbeing In 2022]
Employers that support their employees’ health and wellbeing reap a number of benefits, according to new research by the industry body for the group risk protection sector.
The Group Risk Development (GRiD) survey of 505 HR decision makers at UK businesses, found that almost nine out of 10 (89%) organisations said they have recorded manifested improvements as a result of focussing on staff health and wellbeing.
Among the benefits that employers have witnessed are improved staff loyalty, engagement and reduced absence. However, they also cited a number of additional wider business benefits too.
Almost half (45%) said that supporting their employees’ health and wellbeing shows they care about their employees. Meanwhile, a similar proportion (42%) said employees are more engaged when they know their overall health and wellbeing is being supported.
For one in three firms (33%), supporting their employees – including their health and wellbeing – is integral to their company ethos, which helps them fulfil their business objectives.
Just over a quarter of businesses (26%) think that supporting their employee’s health and wellbeing differentiates them from their competitors, which helps with employee recruitment and retention.
One in five (19%) employers said that potential clients are interested in how they look after their employees and having a good policy in place helps attract new business.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: "Cultural shifts in business tend to need more than a feel-good factor to make a significant impact. The employee benefits industry has long been banging the drum that a healthier workforce is both a happier and more productive one. However, this acknowledgement by employers that they need to be seen to engage actively with their staff on health and wellbeing to win clients, takes the case a huge leap forwards."
The GRiD research also uncovered some of the reasons why some organisations have been slow on the take up when it comes to introducing group risk benefits. Just over a quarter (27%) said the affordability of such benefits was a major obstacle, especially when "competing with budgets for other areas of the business." A lack of resources (24%), a focus on business survival (24%) and knowing what staff value or want (23%) were also cited reasons.
[Related reading: Protecting Employee Health: Prevention & Support]
Is your organisation supporting its employees’ health and wellbeing? If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted it’s how valuable staff are. By supporting your employees health and wellbeing, you could reap the benefits outlined above.
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