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Has Coronavirus connected Health and Wellbeing to the employer/employee contract in a new way?

20 August 2020

Has Coronavirus connected Health and Wellbeing to the employer/employee contract in a new way?

Let’s take a look at 10 of the obvious manifestations of that:

  1. Employee health is now central a business risk. Its not just an employee benefit that sits in the background, it’s a central tenet to whether or not the company can deliver services
  2. Risk managers now have employee wellbeing on their agendas, it has made its way onto risk registers and business continuity plans
  3. Some employers had no idea where there employees were, and whether or not they were covered for anything when they were travelling or even when in a local country
  4. Working from home hasn’t been easy for many employees- they haven’t all had a garden, a desk and time to think
  5. Employees want to feel supported and valued by their employers more than ever now
  6. The employee experience regarding the pandemic has been very varied- how have employers communicated with staff
  7. When employees haven’t been able to access some benefits, they have had to rely on others- telemedicine has risen but how many employees haven’t seen a doctor who needed to (huge decrease in cancer diagnosis), how many have accessed EAP or mental health apps available
  8. Usage of benefit platforms have increased substantially during the pandemic as employees have been hungry for information on where to go
  9. Obvious financial concerns have been manifested during the pandemic as employees enter furlough and have income reductions- financial wellbeing is higher up the agenda
  10. We are definitely on the cusp of a global recession, there will be job losses. This will further increase mental and financial wellbeing stress for employees, they will need help

Any of this sound familiar, it should. How do you think your employees feel about it all, do you have the faintest idea?

This has been a time of firsts. When did they first work from home? When did they first go on a Zoom meeting? When did they start using contactless payments? Did they download a banking app for the first time? When did they use a telemedicine doctor for the first time? Did they decide not to seek help for a medical issue for the first time?

Everything has changed. And benefits should and will. Benefits spends will have to change. The definition of wellbeing has changed. Yoga sessions and a bowl of fruit isn’t wellbeing.

Pathways to medical treatment will have to evolve very quickly with the pent-up demand that there is going to be.

As they manifest themselves, mental health problems will have to be addressed along with new issues such as return to work.

Financial worries are here and going to increase.

How does the benefits package you offer align with that? What help is it going to be? What spend has become redundant? What benefits haven’t been used in lockdown and why?

Where’s your data? And do you even try to look at ROI or is the question simply too important.

Spend will be limited and important over the coming years, as reality bites, make sure that you spend the budget on what counts most.

Keep your benefits smarter.