WTW Survey: Employers See Workers’ Mental Well-Being As A Top Priority This Year

Most employers have named worker stress, mental health and burnout as key priorities in the coming year, but nearly half have yet to articulate a formal strategy for wellness, according to a new survey.

new survey from WTW, or Willis Towers Watson, finds 86% are putting a focus on mental health needs. However, 49% have yet to lay out their formal plan, the survey found. Just a quarter of the 322 employers surveyed have outlined and deployed a wellness strategy.

“As stress and burnout levels continue to climb amid the ongoing pandemic, employers are putting the overall well-being of their employees at the top of their list,” said Regina Ihrke, senior director of health and benefits at WTW, in a statement.

“The organizations that most effectively move the needle are those that develop a comprehensive strategy that supports all aspects of their employees’ wellbeing,” Ihrke said. “It’s also important to articulate that strategy to employees, conduct manager training and measure effectiveness.”

The surveyed employers represent 5.3 million workers.

The survey also examines employers’ progress toward well-being programs targeting a number of specific areas, including physical, emotional and financial health. For instance, 48% of employers are planning or considering programs that target emotional well-being. About one-third (35%) have rolled out such a program.

Twenty-seven percent of employers said they were planning or considering programs that target specific high-cost needs such as maternity, diabetes and depression. Sixty-four percent said they already offer such programs.

In addition, the survey found 32% of employers are planning or considering financial well-being of workers. Just 18% currently offer such programs.

“As we move into 2022, employers struggling with recruitment and retention will look to make their wellbeing programs a differentiator to attract and engage top talent. For years, employers have used financial rewards to encourage employees to take action for their own wellbeing; however, as those incentives have often failed to change employee behavior, employers are seeking new avenues to engage and incent employees to take charge of their own wellbeing,” said Ihrke.


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