Employee health and wellness has become a matter of top concern today, like never before, for many employers, and this is because it affects multiple elements of a business. Right from rising healthcare costs to increased absenteeism rates, lost productivity, and overall workplace culture – many factors are highly influenced by employee health and wellness. And so, many employers are looking for effective ways to boost workforce health and workplace wellness that reflects better organizational productivity and ROI.
Offering corporate wellness programs has been proven to be practically effective in helping employees achieve holistic wellness and stay more productive at work.
However, these employee wellness programs can give the desired positive outcomes only when they meet the employee’s health and wellness requirements. To design best-fitting wellness programs, you need to start by identifying employee health issues, interests, and other influential factors.
A Wellbeing Survey conducted by Cigna put forth many briefs about the various wellbeing factors and health concerns of employees, globally. 84% of the survey respondents agreed that they had stress issues, and 13% said it was unmanageable. Stress was a major health and wellness issue for many employees, especially women, contributing to 88% of the stressed-out numbers.
Cigna Employee Wellbeing Survey Outcomes
Cigna surveyed to understand how employees feel about their health and wellness by questioning them on various holistic wellbeing aspects, including – physical, mental, social, workplace, personal, and financial wellness dimensions. Stress was one of the major health concerns affecting most respondents, contributing to their low workplace productivity and deteriorating physical health.
Also, people aged 35 – 49 years seemed to have more worries in most aspects, as they felt the response rate to their needs was relatively slow.
While the overall employee health and wellness quotient improved significantly in countries like India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Nigeria, it fell in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Stress and Workplace Wellness
The outcomes of the Cigna survey concluded a couple of details regarding stress and how it affected employee health and wellness, and overall workplace wellness.
- Almost 84% of the survey respondents said they were stressed, and 13% considered their stress to be an unmanageable health issue.
- While 17% admitted that financial stress was the major trigger to stress, 16% felt it was work pressure, and 14% thought their health concerns were the biggest triggers causing stress.
- 87% of respondents felt they were stressed at work. 64% said it was mainly because of the workplace culture, pressure, and environment and 12% said it was unmanageable. The workload and pressure of having to answer calls and emails outside of working hours, and narrow deadlines added to the stress and workplace burnout issues. Also, 91% agreed that their co-worker’s stress and worries influenced them negatively, lowering their morale. Unfortunately, many employers did not take any steps to help their employees overcome these issues.
- Sadly, 38% said that they did not receive any kind of stress management support from their employers, and 46% said they received some kind of support. However, 28% felt the offered stress relief support was not enough to overcome it completely.
Although only a smaller group was offered some kind of a wellbeing program, 45% of these employees felt that the employee wellness programs offered by their employers focused more on physical wellbeing instead of mental wellness. They wanted a tailor-made wellness program that specifically meets their individual health and wellness needs, rather than having a wellbeing program that is built with a one-size-fits-all approach. They said it would be a great employee engagement strategy, boost productivity, enhance employee health, and improve workplace wellness.
The survey also concluded that women were more likely to be stressed out than men – In comparison to 85% of working men who were stressed, 88% of the working women were stressed out. While 13% of the women agreed that their stress was unmanageable, a lesser 11% of the men agreed to the same. Almost 61% of the working women felt that employee wellness programs at their workplace should address their health and wellness needs that are gender-specific.
How Employee Wellness Programs Can Help?
Mental health continues to be a growing health concern, across the globe. As it impacts employee health and wellness, businesses, the healthcare industry, and the complete society, it is evident that corporate wellness programs must focus on stress management and mental wellness.
Identifying the stressors of your employees, and finding ways to relieve them is the key to corporate stress management measures. Apart from suitable wellness challenges and other employee engagement strategies, employers must cater to employee needs and demands. Conducting an employee survey, poll, or a discussion with the employees for their feedback is a great way to know their requirements. According to the survey the most common employee demands were-
While 17% of the employees preferred employer-sponsored physical activities offered through corporate wellness programs, 14% were looking for employer-sponsored activities for better mental wellness, 9% expected private discussions with a medical professional, and 4% had other wellbeing program expectations from the employers.
Know what your employees are looking out for and tailor your corporate wellness programs to meet the specific employee health and wellness needs. Ensure there is adequate and proper communication to bridge the gap between employee mental wellness needs and employer support. With the right wellness program modules, you can help your employees achieve holistic wellness, boost employee engagement, enhance organizational productivity, and improve overall workplace culture.