Employees want workplace wellbeing initiatives — especially ones that involve apps — and by providing them, employers can retain their best talent. These are the main findings of some new workplace wellbeing research.
At a time when employees are feeling unsettled, despondent and generally uncertain, and many businesses are really feeling the pinch, employers that focus on wellbeing now could weather the storm and come out the other side in a strong position.
Demand for wellness apps surges during COVID-19 crisis
The study conducted by YouGov revealed that wellness app downloads, such as those used for meditation and fitness tracking, have increased 28% in the last three months. Among millennials, the increase was 39%.
Furthermore, according to the research, as many as 65% of employees said they would be encouraged to do more physical activity if their employer rewarded them.
In fact, 44% of survey respondents said they most want rewards for healthy living, while 34% said they would do more than two hours of extra physical activity per week if they were rewarded for doing so.
Wellbeing initiatives likely to boost employee loyalty
Almost nine out of 10 (87%) employees would be more likely to stay with an employer if the organisation was committed to improving employee wellbeing. This suggests incentivised group risk protection can help improve staff loyalty. However, more than a quarter (26%) of employees said they felt that their current employer does not look after staff wellbeing.
The study of 2,080 UK adults (over 600 of which were office workers) also revealed that just under one-third (31%) value life insurance as a benefit with the longest term value – in comparison to other workplace benefits – while 61% agree that they would benefit from life insurance that rewards healthy living.
Additionally, more than one in 10 (13%) employees want their employer to offer wellbeing-focussed social events or entertainment, while an additional 13% would like a subsidised gym membership.
The survey highlights that demand is strong and the lasting / long-term value is significant. Employees want to feel a part of a workplace environment that provides the tools they need for physical, mental and financial health.
The new normal
Having spent months working from home, furloughed or simply locked down, employees have come to accept what the so-called ‘new normal’ could look like going forward. With many employees’ mental health put under pressure throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, employers that show they are committed to the health and wellbeing of their staff will stand out as employers that care.
The current pandemic highlights how life can suddenly take us all by surprise and that certain situations are literally unavoidable. But by planning and mitigating risk as much as possible, employers and employees can put themselves in the best possible position to weather any future storms.
One of the positives of the situation is that employees and employers alike are learning new ways to connect, while the latter are expanding their support programmes and developing fresh initiatives to engage with their employees.
Claire Ginnelly is the Managing Director of Premier Choice Health and has been in the private medical insurance industry since 1991. All her experience has been gained working for large insurance companies managing the distribution of health insurance products through intermediaries. She has held senior positions within Standard Life Healthcare, as Head of Intermediary Sales, and Groupama Healthcare, as Head of Distribution.