As lockdown restrictions ease and nonessential functions reopen, around half of organisations in Asia Pacific are prioritising employee wellbeing in their return-to-work strategy. In addition to actions that can help to ease anxiety and foster connections for employees working from home (see Figure 1), 24% of organisations have raised awareness for existing emergency financial assistance (government programs, emergency loans, early access to pay/salary advance), and 18% offered training to help managers identify employees who may be feeling lonely, disconnected, or actively withdrawing.1
This suggests employers are taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, looking after not simply the physical aspects of health, but also considering mental, social and financial aspects.
Our 2020 Global Medical Trends Survey highlighted mental health as a growing concern in every region. Before the pandemic, only around half of insurers in Asia Pacific covered mental health conditions. Over the course of the crisis, many employees have reported experiencing mental and social anxieties. Employers leapt into action to communicate the options available to alleviate these concerns for their workforce – 85% prioritised communication of their employee assistance program (EAP) and a similar 83% made it a priority to promote their online emotional/health services.1
Managers and other leaders can play a vital role in battling these concerns. A quarter of employers are training managers to recognise signs of depression or anxiety and to guide employees to the right assistance programs (Figure 2).
In periods of uncertainty, supporting employee wellbeing is crucial to sustaining engagement. Here are three broad health and wellbeing practices that you can employ to support a workforce under stress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented employers with an unprecedented opportunity to build a culture of health and wellbeing, to give employees the tools to survive and thrive through both the current crisis and future challenges.
It is imperative to understand the current state of your workforce to have a clearer picture of any existing gaps and where to focus in the near-term. This will also enable you to better meet the health and wellbeing needs of your employees through the current pandemic and in the future.
Get a quick pulse check to assess your organisation’s wellbeing journey. Download and answer the Wellbeing Program Readiness Questionnaire below and then contact your Willis Towers Watson consultant for guidance on building a wellbeing strategy for your organisation.
|Wellbeing Program Readiness Questionnaire