Aetna’s new report, The Business of health 2020  – Tackling polarised perceptions of corporate health and wellness, looks at how technology can positively impact employee mental ill health and lifestyle-related health conditions in an increasingly blurred work-life balance in the workplace. The report was published in January 2020.
With wellbeing now being broader in scope than previously understood, it has come to include physical and emotional health, financial security, social connectedness, purpose and character strength. The response by companies has been to implement wellness programs and increasingly sophisticated risk-management strategies when looking at the impacts and results for their own corporate governance and shareholders.
Nevertheless, there is a divergence with some companies failing to meet certain levels of employee retention, talent values, and market trends. Aetna surveyed more than 1,000 HR Directors and 4,000 employees in large and medium enterprises across the world.
Employer failings: perception gap
The survey showed:
- Employees and employers still have a differing perceptions of what is offered by employers and what is needed/expected by staff.
- 94% of businesses understand the need to prioritize physical and mental health over work
- Majority of employees do not see support offered as sufficient.
- While 70% of businesses think they offer good wellness programs, only 23% of employees agree. (24% in fact rated support as “Poor”).
The survey was conducted with employees from UK, USA, UAE, and Singapore and is a part of the Business of Health 2020 reports. Further findings show:
- Productivity is most affected by flu and other viruses.
- With back pain, stress, serious illness, and mental health having major impact on productivity as well, e.g. 38% view support for stress as poor. Of employers, this figure stands at 10%, with 9 out of 10 viewing their stress support as adequate.
- The UAE presents the greatest challenges with over half of employees viewing their company’s support for stress provision as poor (compared to 13% of employers.
Other factors covered in the report include:
- Stress and sleep deprivation
- Retention and recruitment
- Sick leave
- HR Directors and benefit packages
The full report is available here .