Eight out of 10 employers believe that supporting the mental health of staff is also beneficial for their businesses, according to new research.
The survey by Group Risk Development (Grid) found that, mental health support was seen as marginally more important than supporting physical health or financial wellbeing — although the majority of employers still actively supported these.
These findings come at the start of Mental Health Awareness week (which begins on 18 May).
In total 81 per cent of employers said it was good for business to look after the mental wellbeing of their workforce. The most popular way to do this was by offering access to counselling.
Grid found that 78 per cent of employers said it was good for businesses to look after their physical health. Popular ways of doing this includesfast-track access to a physiotherapist or chiropractor.
A further 77 per cent said it was good for business to look after the financial wellbeing of employees, while73 per centof employers believe it is good for business to look after the social wellbeing of their workforce.
Although the research was undertaken before the Covid-19 outbreak, Grid says that with much of the country in lockdown this highlights the wellbeing role employers can play.
Grid points out that rather than being a drain on company resources, supporting employee wellbeing can yield positive results for businesses. The survey, of more than 500 HR decision makers, found that see tangible benefits from supporting such initiatives.
- 48 per cent of employers said it demonstrates care for staff, and engenders loyalty and engagement
- 47 per cent said it increases engagement
- 41 per cent said it increases productivity
- 40 per cent said it can mitigate the number and length of absences
- 38 per cent said it was integral to the company ethos
- 28 per cent said it helped them differentiate from their competitors, and helps recruitment and retention
Grid spokesperson Katharine Moxham says “Today, employers appreciate much more fully the link between supporting the wellbeing of staff and the benefits to their business.
“Businesses that have joined-up thinking about these issues, are much more likely to invest in supporting the health and wellbeing of their staff. And group risk products provide some of the best ways to do this, incorporating comprehensive benefits for physical, financial, social and mental wellbeing, so can really help employers offer holistic support.”