51% would like a wellness allowance to support a personal approach to wellbeing

More than half (51%) of employee respondents would like to have access to a wellness pot or allowance to support a personal approach to staying mentally and physically well, according to research by Thomsons Online Benefits.

Its UK employee benefits watch: 2016/17: transformation to wellness report, which surveyed 500 UK employees and 200 UK HR professionals, also found that 46% of employer respondents include improving employee health and wellbeing among the top three positive impacts they want their benefits programme to have.

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The research also found:

  • 4% of employer respondents offer staff a wellness pot or allowance, outside of flexible benefits, and 76% are not considering this approach.
  • 81% of employer respondents cite improving employee engagement among the top three positive impacts they want their benefits programme to have, and 54% cite improving talent retention.
  • 44% of employee respondents value gym memberships, 39% appreciate bikes-for-work schemes, and 44% value childcare vouchers.
  • 84% of employer respondents offer bikes-for-work schemes, 61% provide gym membership schemes, and 99% offer childcare vouchers.
  • 65% of employee respondents cite financial wellness in the workplace as important to them, and 7% of employer respondents provide financial wellness support.
  • 15% of employer respondents have implemented a financial education programme, and 47% are considering introducing a financial wellbeing programme in 2017.
  • 68% of employee respondents want to access all of their benefits from a single place, 54% want to access their benefits from a mobile device, and 52% want single sign on access.
  • 16% of employer respondents enable staff to access their benefits from one place, 28% provide mobile access, and 27% provide employees with single sign on access to their benefits.
  • 54% of employee respondents want a year-round benefits selection, and 38% of employer respondents offer this.

Matthew Gregson (pictured), senior vice president, data and analytics at Thomsons Online Benefits, said: “Employers that offer the latest in wellness support will have around three times as many employees who are extremely engaged in their [organisation]. These employees will perform better, and make a greater contribution to business productivity. Therefore, aligning benefits strategy with people strategy is an absolutely critical step in giving the right package to employees and getting the most back from them.”