Aon Employee Benefits have conducted research which shows that over half (55%) of employers have experienced an increase of their employees suffering with stress and mental health related illness.
Despite this, over 70% of employers felt that they had a key role in influencing their employee’s health in 2015. This actually decreased in 2016 to 67%.
What are employers doing to combat mental health issues in the workplace?
This study by Aon did reveal that almost 60% of employers do want to gain a better understanding of the impacts caused by health risks. Over 70% of companies are, however, using absence data and employment engagement surveys to drive and focus their health and well being strategies. Also, the number of employers that have considered managing a known health risk has almost doubled in the last two years to 48%.
Unfortunately, it is a task that is much easier said than done for a company to set up a competent and understanding strategy to deal with mental health issues. The principal of Aon Employee Benefits, Mark Witte, stated that crafting and implementing an effective mental health plan can be an extremely complicated and daunting task. This is mainly because there are often many underlying issues and influences contributing to the big picture.
This research did show that companies do have some tactics in place to help with health and well being. The most popular options of these tactics are branded wellness programs and flexible working. Unfortunately, as Witte said, some employers don’t put their attention where it would probably have the most impact.
He said “data from providers such as absence, occupational health, medical and risk benefit claims can be invaluable in helping to understand people risks and inform targeted health initiatives and benefits decisions.”
As much as there has been an improvement in companies awareness for a need for strategies to help employees deal with mental health issues, there are over a third (39%) of employers that have never used early intervention or rehabilitation services provided by their group income protection provider.