Nearly seven in 10 (68%) employers now have emotional wellbeing strategies in place, up from 41% three years ago.
Aon’s UK Benefits & Trends 2020 Survey also reveals 51% of employers have financial wellbeing strategies in place, up from 21% three years ago.
These were the least developed pillars of employee wellbeing when Aon asked organisations in its 2017 UK Health Survey.
The survey shows 71% of employers either agree or strongly agree that they have a responsibility to influence employee health and change behaviours.
They also have specific strategies to address particular health conditions, with 57% having a strategy for mental health, 19% for cancer and 13% for heart and cardio, while 24% have a strategy for musculoskeletal conditions.
Meanwhile, 62% of respondents believe employee financial wellbeing is their responsibility, with 48% of companies planning to implement initiatives in the next year, predominantly focusing on seminars (78%) and communications (77%). Products were less likely to be implemented, with 38% of companies planning to do so.
Mark Witte, principal at Aon, said the focus on mental health is most likely testament to the surge of interest in the issue as well as an increased understanding of the impact on business performance.
However, he said the low number of employers with defined strategies for other health conditions seems at odds given their prevalence and impact.
“If we acknowledge the impact of musculoskeletal conditions on private medical insurance spend or working days lost, or the considerable impact that cancer and heart-related conditions can have both financially and emotionally for a firm, then a business case can surely be built to put in place strong strategies which focus on education, prevention and behavioural change,” he added. “It is incredibly encouraging that employers are focusing on emotional and financial wellbeing, but it’s inarguable that they focus on what their specific company data is telling them”.
The survey also shows that the most common data sets used by organisations largely focus on employees already in a state of poor health and needing access to treatment or support.
Employee assistance programmes and data/management information are used by 54% of companies to inform and drive their health and wellbeing strategy. A further 53% use absence data.
Data sources which focus on behaviours, such as health screening data (11%) or flexible benefit choices (24%), remain underused.