The importance of employee wellbeing has always been at the forefront of professional and corporate companies, but with the last 18 months of the pandemic still very fresh in our minds, Covid-19 has both exaggerated existing wellbeing risks and sadly created new areas of concern for all of our mental health concerns. A huge proportion of us have suffered social loneliness, financial hardship, and even grief, and the future of workplace wellbeing needs to shift into a more proactive approach, offering early prevention to combat this added stress.
Historically, the approach that many organisations adopted towards health and wellbeing in the workplace was reactive protection benefits such as the provision of health insurance, or traditional occupational health approaches such as Employment Assistance Programmes. Whilst these kinds of benefits continue to have a valuable role in supporting employees, what they do not address is the need to create a culture which prevents physical or mental ill health from occurring in the first place.
Being proactive means promoting awareness, providing training and integrating wellbeing within the organisation as a permanent fixture and as the future of workplace wellbeing. Initiatives such as mindfulness sessions, employee fitness campaigns or financial education provision are becoming more prevalent – and should be the focus for every organisation. Prevention is always better than a cure and an individualist approach to employees from the top down, should be practised.
Money really is the cause of most stress, not all, but it’s certainly high up there with the cause of mental health struggles. Offering debt management support can enable staff to make better financial decisions and have the confidence to deal with what sometimes, can seem overwhelming and enabling employees to take control of their own finances, vial education is key.
Financial wellbeing is how people feel about the control they have over their financial future – and their relationship with money. It’s about focusing on the things that make their life enjoyable and meaningful both now and in retirement, all having a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health.
Salary sacrifice schemes
One way to meaningfully improve the financial wellbeing of employees is to offer salary sacrifice schemes. These are tax-friendly incentive schemes that allow employees to save money, usually on something that they were going to benefit from anyway. This can be anything from the common pension scheme, to childcare vouchers, gym membership and cycle to work schemes. Providing these benefits show that a company cares about their employees’ wellbeing – that they are actively thinking about ways in which they can support them.
In an ever changing world, one which none of us could of predicted, the future of workplace wellbeing continues to rightly be, a huge priority and our quest as employers and employees to assist and support and prioritise could be the one positive we are all looking for to come out of this pandemic.
For further information on the future of workplace wellbeing and any other Health and Safety requirements please contact us here.