EXCLUSIVE: A third of employers offer an integrated wellness strategy

integrated wellness strategy

EXCLUSIVE: A third (33%) of employers offer an integrated wellness strategy, incorporating physical, mental, emotional and financial wellbeing, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.

The Employee Benefits/Health Shield healthcare research 2018 report was published in August and surveyed 162 respondents. It also found that the number of employers that offer an integrated approach is down 5% from last year. 

Meanwhile, slightly more than a third (34%) do not have an integrated strategy, while just under a third (32%) also do not, but are planning to do so.

In terms of the benefits offered to aid employees’ mental health, whether or not they have an integrated strategy, there has been a slight drop in some areas. For example, in¬†2017, nearly all (97%) organisations provided¬†employee assistance programmes (EAPs), but¬†this number has fallen to 92% this year.

Flexible working or work-life balance policies were provided by 61% of respondents’ organisations in 2017, whereas this option is now down to 56%. On-site occupational health has reduced by 11%, and specialist counselling services (other than EAPs) have decreased from 36% to 27% since 2017.

Flexible working, EAPs and access to education and guidance continue to rank as the top three mental health benefits offered by employers, showing a consistent trend across the years.

There are also some positive developments, as employee networks and champions have risen by 5%, from 27% in 2017 to 32% this year, while dedicated training for line managers has remained at 34% over the year, perhaps demonstrating that employers are aware of the power of peer support.

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