Affordability is the biggest challenge in supporting the health and wellbeing of staff, according to nearly a third (30%) of employers polled by Group Risk Development (GRiD).
However, the study also indicates that, beyond the apparent financial challenges, 89% of companies that do introduce mental health support for their employees observe positive effects on their business.
Despite this, though, only 51% of businesses assess the impact of implementing such support. Among this group, 42% see evidence that supporting health and wellbeing helps them manage absence, allowing for quicker returns to work.
“Unlike an investment in other business assets, evaluating the business benefits of health and wellbeing support can be more nuanced,” said Katharine Moxham, GRiD spokesperson. “That’s why it’s so important that HR teams have measurements in place that demonstrate the worth of their selected employee benefits to ensure they can retain and grow their budget for this type of support in the future,” she added.
GRiD’s research also found that 39% of employers view mental health and wellness support as an integral component of their corporate ethos, aligning positively with their business objectives.
Additionally, 36% expressed the belief that the wellbeing, fitness and engagement of their staff would make their business more likely to succeed financially. A similar percentage (35%) noted an increase in productivity when employees felt supported with their overall health and wellbeing.
Furthermore, 30% of employers said potential clients were interested in how well they looked after staff.
“The perceived value of health and wellbeing support should not be taken for granted,” said Moxham. “It is down to HR teams and the wider business to not only provide health and wellbeing benefits for their staff, such as group risk – employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness – but to also measure and then demonstrate the inherent value within them.
“This doesn’t necessarily need to be undertaken by the business in isolation,” Moxham added. “Advisers and providers can also help determine how to measure success in order to build the business case.”