Affordability and flexibility are the most important factors for employers in terms of implementing a health and wellbeing support programme, according to research from Towergate Health & Protection.
Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “Being affordable is of course crucial to any wellbeing programme, but it is also important that it achieves value for money. It is many of the other factors identified by employers as important in a support programme that helps to ensure true value is received.”
Most important factors in a health and wellbeing support programme:
Added benefits: 27%
Engaging staff in health and wellness programmes: 23%
Level of understanding of our workforce, including profile and needs: 20%
Personalisation options for individual employees: 20%
Digitally delivered: 19%
Tailor-made for our workforce and overall business needs: 19%
The needs of existing employees constantly change and so do the benefits that are effective in recruiting new talent. So a programme needs to adapt to mirror changing requirements.
Additional benefits are often included at no additional cost to the main health and wellbeing benefits. These can help to increase the value for money of health and wellbeing support and can include such support as a virtual GP, wellness apps, or counselling. Employees, and even employers themselves, are often not aware of all of the elements of particular benefits and a robust wellbeing strategy will enable them to bring these to the fore.
A health and wellbeing support programme needs to be just that – a full and rounded programme, consisting of several elements that work together, whether core support, or added value benefits, creating a holistic approach to support all pillars of health and wellbeing.
A support programme should help with making employees feel enthusiastic about their job and dedicated to the company: ‘if you support them, they will support you’. Aligning the strategy to the company’s values will mean it is part of the culture and will give employees a sense of belonging.
Understanding the workforce’s needs and tailoring benefits to match is vital. Today’s health and wellbeing programmes should not be ‘one size fits all’. To be effective and give value for money they need to be personalised to meet the requirements of the individual and offer appropriate support.
An online programme and digital platform can reach more employees, more easily, more often, and more accurately than non-digital solutions. Digital delivery can play an important role in reaching a hybrid workforce. It also makes it easier for employers to look at utilisation patterns and assess the success of different elements of the programme.
Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection concludes: “Carefully targeting health and wellbeing support to match employee needs, as well as providing a range of regularly reviewed options, will help to provide value for money in terms of the positive outcomes.”